Was Browsing The Net Always This Annoying?

Nowadays, when you go online, whether it’s to share your thoughts, buy something, research some info, or otherwise, it’s all too easy to get inundated with annoyances, interruptions, and downright threats along the way. Advertisements, popups, targeting, auto-playing videos, the list goes on and on. Sometimes it can feel like you spend as much time dealing with all of those annoyances as you do actually using the net. So, for that reason, we’re going to look at what you can do to make the net a little less annoying. 

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Passwords and logins

Now, there’s no denying that it’s downright essential for you to protect your various online accounts with login details, including passwords. What’s more, you should make sure that you’re using different passwords as best as possible. However, you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) keep a master list of passwords. Let a password manager do the work for you. These tools can generate and keep track of passwords across all of the various sites and tools that you log into. All that you need to do is make sure that you remember the password to your password manager so that you can access its database at any given point. You should keep in mind that if you have auto-complete on, then anyone using your terminal while you’re logged in can log into any account that you have saved with your password manager.

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Make search engines useful again

What happened to the big search engines? Well, in a word: business. Companies and organizations learned how to use search engine optimization to make sure that online browsers are always directed to their websites first and foremost for a wide range of queries. Now, if you try to get an informational answer to a question, you’re often being directed to companies providing that information, and often with the agenda of trying to sell you on a product or service. There are guides on how to use different search engines to get better answers, which can often mean clarifying that you want answers from communities like Reddit and Yahoo Answers rather than from business websites.

When search engines get too close

When search engines aren’t pushing you towards business websites, they’re getting far too close to you. Search engines are gathering more data on their users and, to some degree, this can be useful. However, a lot of people don’t want search engines to take the personal approach and don’t like the idea of them holding onto data and, for those people, you might want to look at how to depersonalize your search engine. From going into a private browser mode to using extensions that actively depersonalize your search results, there are a lot of ways to get straight answers from search engines, rather than answers that are supposed to be specifically for you, but often end up missing the mark.

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Stop ads from running wild over your browsing experience

One of the oldest and truest annoyances on the internet. Ads have always been a huge hassle. Not only can they bombard you with information that you don’t want, but they can often slow down the browsing experience, making web pages take longer to load, and making it harder to identify useful information on those webpages. There are plenty of great tools for blocking ads, so you should start by looking for the best ad blocker for Safari, first and foremost. Some websites detect ad blockers and gate you off from content if you’re using one, but, as the arms race goes on, some ad blockers are even starting to get through these roadblocks.

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Shut those videos up

They might not be quite as prevalent an annoyance, but videos that start playing automatically on websites can always be a hassle, especially if you’re trying to avoid making unnecessary noise late at night or in a public place. To that end, there are tools that can stop videos from auto-playing when you’re visiting web pages. These tools don’t make the videos entirely inaccessible, you can still click play if you feel so inclined. However, you don’t have to be jump-scared or have your browsing experience interrupted before you’re able to do it. It’s a small annoyance, but one that’s definitely worth getting rid of.

Become untrackable 

Another one of the biggest annoyances on the modern internet is the constant rush to get to know everything about every user. It seems like every site, business, and organization is trying to track and collect data on you online. Sometimes, you can’t avoid it, as you can’t stop a social media platform from tracking your use if you’re logging into your own account. Some web browsers use privacy protection systems that will block cookies from across other websites than the one that you’re on. Safari also has Intelligent Tracking Protection for much the same reason, but you should pay more attention to which apps and companies you give data permissions to. Always search for the words “sell,” “sale,” and “share” in their data or privacy policies before you agree.

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Stay private

VPNs have a wide range of uses that are making quite a versatile tool for anyone who wants to be savvy while browsing the internet. For one, they can allow you to connect to networks with some degree of anonymity by encrypting data that you send and receive, which can make you safe on even public networks (to some degree). They can stop companies, including ISPs (to some degree) from tracking what you do online. Of course, they can also help you access content and websites that might normally be blocked from your IP, allowing for a much freer experience of the internet.

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The net is always going to try and find new ways to sell you things and gather your data. It’s the nature of the beast. However, keep up to date with the tools and tips above and you can always stop it from becoming all too overbearing. There will always be new ways for the net to annoy us, and new tools made by savvy people to get rid of those annoyances.

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