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How to stop online ads from following you

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Ever go online and start shopping for running shoes, only to see advertisements for them follow you all over the internet? These are called targeted ads, and they can be creepy and annoying. The good news, however, is there are a few simple ways to keep them away.

At Asurion, we help you get the most out of your tech. Whether you want to secure your phone from hackers or make your phone charge faster, our expert have the know-how to help. Here's how to stop online ads from following you.

Clear your cookies

When you browse the web, files called cookies track what you search for, pages you visit, links you click on, and even items you add to your shopping cart. Advertisers use these cookies, along with other data from your web browser, to analyze your behavior, and send you personalized ads.

The solution: Once a week, go into your browser settings and clear your cookies on each of your devices. This will make it more difficult for advertisers to follow you around the web. You can block cookies altogether, but keep in mind, some sites require cookies to function properly.

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to clear cookies.

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Reset your Advertising ID

All Apple® and Android™ phones have an advertising ID that helps marketers track your browsing habits. You can reset it or turn it off to help block targeted ads.

  • On Android: Go to Settings > Google, and tap Ads > Reset Advertising ID.
  • On iPhone: Go to Settings Privacy, and tap Apple Advertising > Turn off Personalized Ads.

Go incognito

Want a little more privacy, like if you're shopping for a gift on a shared device? Almost all web browsers have a private or incognito browsing mode that'll block most cookies and automatically delete your search history.

To learn how to use incognito mode and private browsing, check out our guide.

Check your Google Ad settings

Google® lets you see what information it has stored about you, including the history of ads you have loaded. In Ad Settings, you can turn off targeted ads completely (from Google) or, choose the topics you'd like to see personalized ads for and turn off the ones you don't. Here's how:

  1. Go to Google.com and make sure you're signed in.
  2. Click your Profile icon > Google Account.
  3. Under Data & privacy, choose Ad Settings > Manage Ad Settings.
  4. To turn off personalized ads completely, click the switch at the top of the screen.
  5. To turn off ads by topic, scroll down until you see “How your ads are personalized," tap the topic you want to remove, and turn it off.

Also check out their My Activity tool. You can see your browsing history and most other activity connected to your Google account. To help avoid targeted ads, check it periodically and delete your data.

Connect to a VPN

Using a virtual private network (VPN) keeps your personal information safe and anonymous. That means it's another way to stop ads from following you online.

Want to know more? Check out our guide to learn what's a VPN and do I really need one?

Tried these steps and still need help? We got you. Get your tech problem solved when you call or chat with an expert now.


*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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