I do not have lots to hide from the online world since I try to control on what info I set free on the internet but if you could collect all the data available you would get a pretty good idea of who I am, what my hobbies are, what and where I shop from, eat, sleep and so on. Scary actually. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google have huge files of our lives and credit cards and I guess it is ok since they are companies we chose to do business with and “allow” them to have access and collect our data. But there are also trackers that collect data without our consent and this is no good.
One simple way to control (or at least minimise) this is to switch to private browsing on your browser which will block sites from sending you cookies and storing your history. This is ok for sites you visit but it will not block outside site from tracking you IP. This can be easily done by choosing the correct privacy setting on you browser and enabling a feature called “Do Not Track”. Available on all browsers like Firefox, IE, Safari and Chrome.
On Apples Safari its really easy by just clicking the correct box. It’s located in the Safari prefs under the Privacy tab called website tracking.
This will not save you from full tracking, spams, and any online baddies but it is one move towards the correct direction. The other is avoid passwords like your birth year or 1234.
Similar settings exist on smartphones.
You can find more info on the donottrack.us website.
There is a Firefox plugin that which I used for some time and allows you to see in real time which third parties track your traffic. It is disturbing to watch but it is not called web for no reason.