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ShareMeNot for Firefox 2.3.3

Protect your privacy online by blocking social network button tracking

by Bob Thornton

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 08 November 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 594
Developer: sharemenot.cs.washington.edu
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ShareMeNot
Prevent social network tracking with ShareMeNot

It is now commonplace to find that the web sites you visit feature buttons that enable you to like article on Facebook or share them via this and other social networks. While this is great from an audience participation point of view, there are also privacy concerns to keep in mind. You might expect that the likes of Facebook would be aware of which sites you have been visiting when you like a Like button, but you might be surprised to learn that the mere presence of these buttons is enough to broadcast this information to such social networks.

If you would rather be in control of just what details of your browsing habits are shared, ShareMeNot is a browser extension that’s available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that provides you with precisely this option. With the extension installed, any of the call-home features attached to any of these buttons is automatically disabled, helping to protect your privacy and security.

But this does not mean that the social networking buttons have been rendered useful. There may well be times when you would like to share a page on Google+ or Like a page on Facebook. If you click the buttons on a site that features them, they will function exactly as normal, but the point is that the social networks associated with them would not know about the page you were visiting until the second you clicked the button. You can also specify a list of sites for which such buttons should never be blocked.

It could be argued that the extension is slightly less useful to Firefox users, as choosing to disable third-party cookies can help with the problem, but for Chrome users, or anyone who is particularly concerned about their privacy. One of the prices of having access to the internet is that at least a small proportion of your privacy is sacrificed, but ShareMeNot enables you to better control what information social networks can learn about you.

Version 2.3.3:
    - Fixed issues with Pinterest and AddThis replacement buttons.

Verdict:

Although currently only a research project, this extension brings a valuable tool to concerned internet users.

Your Comments & Opinion
 
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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.1

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.1 brings:
 - WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: