DNTMe Frequently Asked Questions
- What is DoNotTrackMe/DNTMe?
- How does DNTMe work?
- Which browsers does DNTMe support?
- How do I know if DNTMe is installed correctly?
- Do I have to do anything to set up DNTMe?
- Does DNTMe block ads?
- How do you make money?
- Are you compatible with mobile phones, iPads, Opera, etc.?
- Are you compatible with Mac and/or PC?
- When will we see DNTMe on smartphones and tablets?
About Internet Privacy
- What's the difference between a social button, an ad network, & a company?
- Who are these tracking companies?
- How do I know I can trust Abine?
- How do I know that Abine is not tracking me?
- Why does DNTMe add more cookies to my browser?
- DNTMe is breaking the functionality on a page.
- The start/post-install page keeps coming up each time I restart my browser.
- How do I turn off DNTMe on a particular website?
- I have Firefox and can’t see the icon.
- I have IE and can’t see the icon.
- My DNTMe window is cut off in IE. How do I fix it?
- Why is it that the number on the icon does not match the number of items blocked?
- Why is DNTMe is interfering with Facebook?
- Does your software stop ALL tracking by Facebook?
- Does your service stop ALL tracking by Google?
- Why can’t I block this tracker? / Why is the icon red?
- Why is my icon yellow and not green?
- What happens if I’m using Ghostery at the same time as DNTMe?
- What’s the difference between Ghostery and DNTMe?
- What’s the difference between TACO/PrivacySuite and DNTMe?
- I can’t download the file to my Mac - help!
- How do I determine which version of DNTMe I have?
- Does DNTMe slow down my browser performance and speed?
- How do you remove 'blocked trackers' once DNTMe has found them?
- I'm using Internet Explorer and the icon is not appearing in the tool bar area.
Advanced Player Mode
- Is DNTMe open source? Can I view the code?
- What’s up with the licensing? I thought this was free!
- How do I make DNTMe compatible with ZoneAlarm?
- Can I use DNTMe in Chrome’s Incognito mode or IE’s InPrivate Browsing mode?
- I love DNTMe. How can I help Abine continue the fight for online privacy?
- I have a question not addressed in this FAQ. how can I get in touch?
- 1. What is DoNotTrackMe (DNTMe)?
DNTMe is a simple yet effective browser tool that blocks the tracking capabilities of advertisers, social networks, and data-collection companies. DNTMe helps you restore your online privacy and regain control over who sees what you are doing online, stop annoying pop up ads and other targeted advertising, and load certain websites up to 4 times faster.
- 2. How does DNTMe work?
When you visit a website, that site tells your browser to contact all sorts of other companies to get information about what you do and who you are. DNTMe stops that data collection from happening by preventing your browser from communicating with these companies.
- 3. Which browsers does DNTMe support?
We currently support Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. We do not have any mobile offerings yet, but we're working on it in the future.
- 4. How do I know if DNTMe is installed correctly?
If this toolbar icon appears in the top right corner of your browser, you're good to go:
If you don't see the icon, click here for installation instructions.
- 5. Do I have to do anything to set up DNTMe?
No. By default, DNTMe is set to block all tracking. To see all the tracking companies you're blocking, click on "settings."
- 6. Do you block ads?
DNTMe is not designed to be ad-blocking software. Our goal is to block targeted advertising that uses your personal information to send you tailored advertising. We are not against websites trying to make money through contextual advertising, which shows you ads based on the content on the website you’re currently viewing. Contextual advertising does not abuse your personal information.
Any ad-blocking we do is a byproduct of the way the website displays ads. If you see a large amount of ads being blocked, let us know and we'll investigate.
- 7. How do you make money?
You probably want to know how we make money as a leader in privacy protection without compromising your data. Quite simply, we rely on users liking and trusting our free software enough to try our paid solutions such as DeleteMe. You can learn more about DeleteMe here: http://abine.com/deleteme/.
Our hope is that some of you will find value in these enhanced privacy services. As you might have guessed, we don't do advertising or data mining of any sort, ever. We aren’t the typical online company that makes money by advertising, selling data, or in other ways that reduce your privacy.
- 1. Are you compatible with mobile phones, iPads, Opera, etc.?
Currently our products are not compatible with mobile sites and devices, but a mobile version is under development. If you would like to be notified about product updates, please let us know by leaving your email address on our community page at http://abine.com/community.php
- 2. Are you compatible with Mac and/or PC?
Yes, DNTMe is compatible with both Mac and PC on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browsers. If you visit our download site at http://abine.com/dntdetail.php, it will recognize which browser you are using automatically.
- 3. When can we see DNTMe on smartphones and tablets?
We currently cannot develop DNTMe for mobile smartphones and tablets due to technology limitations, but we are actively working on other mobile products. To receive updates on our newest mobile products, please join our mailing list here: http://abine.com/community.php
- 1. What does the number in my DNTMe icon mean?
That number shows you how many tracking companies are trying to monitor your activity.
For example, a 10 means that there are a total of 10 social networks, ad networks, and other companies trying to gather information about you from the site you're currently visiting.
- 2. Where can I find the websites that are tracking me?
Click on the toolbar icon to open the privacy alert window, then select any one of the three different tracking method categories to get a full list of the websites that are trying to track you.
The tracking method you select will expand, and you'll see a list of company ids like these:
- 1. What's the difference between a social button, an ad network, & company?
Brace yourself: it's about to get a little complicated.
Social buttons connect with websites that focus on building social relationships (like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) and help members easily share content, interests, and activities with their contacts. With social buttons, social networks are able to track your activity across the internet.
Advertising networks share information across many different sites. They collect data, display advertising, place cookies, and do a variety of other things as a paid service for their clients. Typically, the customer who buys from an ad network is a publisher who's interested in displaying targeted marketing content on many different websites.
Tracking companies provide individual website owners with tools to analyze and monitor the visitors that come to their sites. These analytics networks collect data on how long you stayed on a site, what you clicked on, where you went before and after your visit, and more.
- 2. Who are these tracking companies?
You probably don't recognize most of the company ids you see in DNTMe, which is just the way they want it. Lucky for you, we've compiled a detailed list of the tracking companies that we block along with comprehensive information on each of them. To understand exactly how tracking companies work, check out our online guide.
- 3. How do I know if I can trust Abine?
Abine is a BBB accredited business, with reviews in CNET and other major publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes -- we’ve compiled them online here: http://abine.com/news/. You can also learn more about our executive team and backers here: http://abine.com/team.php
- 4. How do I know that Abine is not tracking me?
DNTMe does not track any of your web activity. It has no ability to collect data about what sites you visit or any other web behavior. The tool can save your personal settings and preferences, but those are stored locally on your computer and are not visible to us.
Our software is built entirely around the principle of privacy. We have no ability to track our users. You can verify this fact yourself by using an app that monitors the requests made for your computer's information throughout the day. Two examples of apps like these are Live HTTP Headers or WireChart, neither of which were made by us. Our software makes one request per day to your computer for updated tracker blocking rules. It also checks for upgrades to new versions of DNTMe. You will be able to see those requests and what they entail.
Since you’ve come this far investigating ways to protect your privacy -- and found Abine -- you probably want to know how we make money as a leader in privacy protection without compromising your data. Quite simply, we rely on users liking and trusting our free software enough to try our paid solutions such as DeleteMe. You can learn more about DeleteMe here: http://abine.com/deleteme/.
Our hope is that some of you will find value in these enhanced privacy services. It only takes a few people to keep our business growing. As you might have guessed, we don't do advertising or data mining of any sort, ever.
- 5. Why does DNTMe add more cookies to my browser?
We fight tracking companies by blocking them and by opting you out of being tracked. These are 2 different methods, and you can learn more about them here: http://www.donottrackplus.com/whatisoptout.php
There are good cookies and bad cookies, and we add the good kind to your browser. They’re called “opt-out cookies,” and they signal to advertisers that you want to opt out of receiving target advertising (it's like the "Do Not Call" list for targeted advertising).
It is true that some of these companies still track your movement across the internet.
You do have the option to turn off these opt-out cookies entirely when using DNTMe, which would leave you with the functionality that blocks tracking and targeted ads.
We recommend the following link for anyone interested in reading more about opt-out cookies: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp
- 1. DNTMe is breaking the functionality on a page.
If you notice a page is not loading correctly and believe that an Abine product is the cause, you can try allowing the tracking companies one by one until the page starts working again. Please provide us with the exact URL where this is happening so our developers can make a permanent fix.
As a temporary fix, click the toolbar icon to open the alert window and unblock companies one by one until the page starts working again. In this way, you'll still be protected from the other tracking companies that don’t break the site. Alternatively, you can simply turn the tool off on that particular site and it will remember your settings in the future.
- 2. Your start/post-install page keeps coming up each time I restart my browser.
This problem happened on an older version of DNTMe for Safari and has since been fixed. Please download the latest version to resolve this issue.
Try closing Chrome not by clicking the red X, but by quitting from the top menu itself. If you’re not sure how, follow these steps:
- If you’re using a PC, click the “settings” wrench icon on the top right of the browser window. Choose "exit" at the bottom and restart your browser.
- If you’re using a Mac, click “Chrome” and then “Quit Google Chrome.” Restart your browser.
- Are you using either of the plugins: Click&Clean or CCleaner? These plugins conflict with our post install page. You'll need to disable a setting in those plugins called “Delete Client-Side Web SQL Databases.”
- 3. How do I turn off DNTMe on a particular website?
It's rare, but sometimes blocking the tracking on a website can make that site act a little funny. Usually you can fix the problem by turning tracking back on, so here's how to do that:
- First, click the toolbar icon to open the privacy alert window.
- At the top of the privacy alert window, you'll find the ON/OFF switch.
- Slide the switch to ON to allow tracking.
In the meantime, we're working on fixing bugs like these, and we appreciate hearing from you about them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some examples of bug reports we love.
- 4. I have Firefox and can’t see the icon.
Please try the following:
- Check Tools >> Add-ons >> Extensions to make sure its installed and enabled. If not, install and enable it.
- If the icon is still not appearing, click Tools >> Add-ons >> Extensions >> Options >> Settings >> View Do Not Track Settings >> check the "Show Icon" box
- Right click on the toolbar and make sure "Navigation Toolbar" is checked
- Right click on toolbar, choose "Customize,” look for a green icon at the bottom of the list. Drag the icon to your toolbar and click "Done.”
- Do a complete uninstall. This includes restarting Firefox completely, exiting your browser (don't merely close the browser window, but quit completely), then reinstall using this link: http://donottrackplus.com/download/dntp-giveaway-firefox.xpi
- 5. I have IE and can’t see the icon.
Please try the following:
- Check Windows Start Menu >> Control Panel >> Add or Remove Programs to make sure DNTMe is installed. If DNTMe does not appear in your list of add-ons, install it.
- Check Tools >> Manage Add-ons to make sure it's enabled. If not, enable it.
- Right-click on toolbar and make sure "Command Bar" is checked. Make sure "Lock the toolbars" is unchecked.
- Right click on your toolbar >> Customize >> Add or Remove Commands >> Reset button. Restart IE completely.
- Restarting IE completely will also fix issues if you’ve customized the icons using "Show Only Icons," "Show Selective Text," or "Show All Text Labels."
- Under Tools >> Internet Options >> Advanced, make sure you have checked “Enable third-party browser extensions."
- Make sure you're not currently in InPrivate (private browsing) mode.
- For IE9, make sure that “Active X Filtering” is turned off.
- Do a complete uninstall. This includes restarting IE completely (don't merely close the browser window, but quit completely). Reinstall from this link: http://donottrackplus.com/download/dntp-giveaway-ie.exe
- 6. My DNTMe window is cut off in IE. How do I fix it?
- In Windows, go to “Start” >> “Control Panel”
- Go to “Appearance and Personalization”
- Choose “Make Text and Other Items Bigger or Smaller”
- Change setting to “100%”
- 7. How come the number on the icon doesn’t match the number of items displayed when I click the icon to view details? The number on the icon then changes to match the details.
The software is working correctly despite the fact that you see different numbers. The first icon number you see represents the total number of tracking companies and social networks.
Different pages (even on the same site) can introduce different advertising technologies at different times, leading to changing counts in our numbers. DNTMe first counts the number of companies tracking you in real time on the page. Then, when you click on the icon, DNTMe adds in the number of opt-out cookies that were sent to the advertisers on that page. Although we're working to make this even more seamless, the software is working correctly even though the numbers don't appear to agree. The numbers are consistent, however, and the interface adjusts as different tracking technologies are sent and counted at slightly different times as web pages load.
- 8. Why is DNTMe interfering with Facebook?
Some features on Facebook won’t work if you’re blocking tracking companies. The most common company we’ve seen problems with is called “Visual Sciences.” Please open your DNTMe alert window at Facebook and unblock "Visual Sciences,” then refresh your Facebook page. If you’re still having trouble, we suggest turning off DNTMe to see if that resolves the issue.
Fortunately, if you turn off DNTMe at Facebook,com, it will still block Facebook trackers on thousands of other websites where they appear. So your privacy is protected as you travel around the web, and you don't need to worry about getting targeted Facebook advertising.
- 9. Does your software stop all tracking by Facebook?
Facebook makes money from advertising, so they make it complicated for you to use their site in a way that interrupts their ability to collect your personal information for advertisers. Although we can stop Facebook and Facebook advertisers from tracking you when you are not on Facebook (blocking “Like” buttons, etc) there's nothing that DNTMe -- or anyone else -- can do about Facebook when you are actually ON Facebook. Anything you voluntarily post, including photos, comments, interests, and your location, is used for tracking purposes.
Our best advice is to set strict privacy settings, limit what you share, and avoid games & apps (they are marketing companies in disguise). Facebook isn't truly a free service; it's paid for by its users' information. That’s why the DNTMe icon turns yellow on Facebook: even if you can't see any tracking companies in the alert window, you should surf with caution.
- 10. Does your service stop all tracking by Google?
Google makes 90% of its money from advertising, and they make it complicated for you to use their services in a way that interrupts their ability to collect your personal information. Although we can stop them from tracking you OFF of Google (i.e., +1 buttons on other non-Google sites), there's nothing that DNTMe -- or anyone else -- can do about them ON Google sites. Anything you voluntarily post, such as photos, comments, interests, your location, etc., is used for tracking purposes.
Our best advice is to set strict privacy settings, limit what you share, and avoid games & apps (they are marketing companies in disguise). Google’s services aren’t truly service; they’re paid for by their users' information. That’s why the DNTMe icon turns yellow on Google: even if you can't see any tracking companies in the alert window, you should surf with caution.
- 11. Why are some trackers not blocked? / Why is the DNTMe icon red?
DNTMe attempts to block as much tracking as possible without breaking the websites you’re visiting. Sometimes when you block all tracking companies, a core functionality of the site will break (such as videos and menus dropdowns); in these situations, DNTMe automatically unblocks the troublesome company. We always give you the option to override this manually. Our goal is to provide a simple tool that provides maximum protection without disrupting your internet browsing experience.
- 12. Why is my icon yellow and not green?
The yellow icon serves as a warning to alert you about sites that track you, not trackers. Even if you can't see any tracking companies in the alert window, you should still surf with caution as some sites collect your information for themselves, not through trackers. The yellow icon is most typically seen on social networking sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Green means the site is safe or that you're blocking all the trackers we found.
- 13. What happens if I’m using Ghostery at the same time as DNTMe?
If you are running Ghostery and DNTMe simultaneously, DNTMe will act as a back-stop to Ghostery and may report lower numbers because it cannot see tracking requests after Ghostery blocks them. Once a request has been blocked, processing on that request stops and other add-ons never see it.
- 14. What’s the difference between Ghostery and DNTMe?
Ghostery and DNTMe are both simple, functional "starters" for people who want to protect their privacy online.
- DNTMe is faster, based on page load/processing times.
- Abine, the makers of DNTMe, is a consumer privacy company that’s funded by our customers and our investors. In contrast, the company that owns Ghostery (Evidon, formerly Better Advertising, Inc.) is funded by advertisers and businesses paying them for ad data and compliance.
- Unlike Ghostery/Evidon, Abine doesn’t collect any of your data when you use DNTMe. All we see is that a download occurred, which lets us know how many users we have. You can start using DNTMe with one click and no exchange of your personal information. Ghostery collects data from users who opt into GhostRank.
- 15. What’s the difference between TACO/PS and DNTMe?
TACO and DNTMe both provide the same level of protection against social networks, ad networks, and tracking companies. They both place opt-out cookies that signal to advertisers that you want to opt-out of receiving target advertising (it's like the "Do Not Call" list for targeted advertising).
DNTMe is our most recent product. The interface is cleaner and easier to navigate, and it’s less obtrusive because it only appears when you proactively click it.
TACO and PrivacySuite have more features, but they also require more configuration. Some people prefer having control over all these things. DNTMe comes with the default already set for people who want something automatically configured.
Please be aware that you cannot use these two products together at the same time. If you install one on top of the other, the first add-on will be replaced. You can always go back to the first one by reinstalling again.
- 16. I can’t download the file to my computer - help!
We’re sorry for the frustration. Please try downloading from the appropriate direct link for your browser below:
IE 64 bit: http://donottrackplus.com/download/dntp-giveaway-ie64.exe
If you continue having difficulty downloading a file, you may have another security or antivirus program installed that prevents the download from completing. Please try temporarily disabling these programs or creating an exception in their settings.
- 17. How do I find which version of DNTMe I have?
1. Go to "Tools" >> "Add-ons" >> "Extensions"
2. Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
1. Go to "Preferences" >> "Extensions"
2. Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
1. Click “Start” in Windows
2. Click “Control Panel” >> “Add or Remove Programs”
3. Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
1. Go to "Preferences" >> "Extensions"
2. Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
- 18. Does DNTMe slow down my browser performance and speed?
DNTMe can slow page load slightly because it has to check the requests being made. However, it also speeds up the page load because your browser doesn't have to load all of the extra scripts and tracking images. Our tests have shown that these effects balance out and produce a net gain in browser speed.
That said, your browser’s performance does depend heavily on the websites you visit, the other software you have installed, and what kind of computer you have.
- 19. How do you remove 'blocked trackers' once DNTMe has found them?
Unlike cookies, tracking companies are not stored on your computer, which means they cannot be removed. They exist on the Internet, so you can only block them, not remove them. DNTMe blocks them by default.
- 20. I'm using Internet Explorer and the icon is not appearing in the tool bar area
- Put your mouse arrow over the toolbar area near your printer or mail icon, but not on top of them, then right click. When a window appears with a list (menu, favorites bar, menu compatibility bar, etc), scroll your arrow down to customize.
- When the next window appears click onto, add or remove commands.
- When the Customize Toolbar Box appears you will see 2 selections: "Available Tool Bar Buttons" on the left and "Current Tool bar buttons" on the right.
- In the "Available toolbar buttons" box, you'll see the DNTMe Padlock Logo and company name, "Do Not Track Plus Abine."
- Click onto it and when it highlights click the Add to current toolbar buttons.
- Close the window. This will then put the DNTMe Padlock symbol and icon on the toolbar with your homepage, mail, and printer icons (a house, and envelop, and a printer respectively).
- When you click onto it the Do Not Track info window will appear as a full window with all details visible.
- 21. How do I uninstall DNTMe?
Visit http://abine.com/dntuninstall.php or follow the directions below.Firefox:
- Go to "Tools" >> "Add-ons" >> "Extensions"
- Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
- Click either "Remove" or "Uninstall"
- Restart Firefox
- Go to "Preferences" >> "Extensions"
- Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
- Click "Uninstall"
- Restart Safari
- Go to "Preferences" >> "Extensions"
- Find DNTMe on the Extensions list
- Click "Remove"
- Restart Chrome
- Close Internet Explorer completely
- Click “Start” in Windows
- Click “Control Panel” >> “Add or Remove Programs”
- Find DNTMe on the programs list
- Click “Uninstall”
- 1. Is DNTMe open source? Can I view the code?
DNTMe is not open source, but we'd be happy to show you the code under certain copyright and non-disclosure terms. Just email email@example.com with your request.
- 2. What’s up with the licensing? I thought this was free!
Don’t worry: DNTMe will never expire and will always be free. We introduced a licensing system in one of our older versions so that we can offer future premium upgrades. If you’re still seeing messages about licensing, please upgrade to the latest version of DNTMe.
- 3. How do I make DNTMe compatible with ZoneAlarm?
This link to ZoneAlarm’s top ten user questions might help: http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/support/top-ten.htm
- 4. Can I use DNTMe in Chrome’s Incognito mode or IE’s InPrivate Browsing mode?
Yes. Please follow these instructions:
By default, all extensions are disabled when using an incognito window in Chrome. To enable DNTMe for incognito:
1. Open the Extensions panel in settings: chrome://settings/extensions
2. Choose the triangle next to Do Not Track Plus to bring up the advanced options
3. Click the check box next to "Allow in incognito".
For IE, please see instructions online here:
- 5. I love DNTMe. How can I help Abine continue the fight for online privacy?
We’re working hard to fight for online privacy rights, and would love help in getting the word out. People often look to user ratings when deciding whether to try software, and a good score goes a long way. We'd appreciate if you could take a moment to leave us a review on one of our browser stores, with the BBB, CNET and anywhere else you can think of.
For Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/epanfjkfahimkgomnigadpkobaefekcd
For Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/donottrackplus/?src=search
Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/boston/business-reviews/internet-services/abine-inc-in-boston-ma-127863
- I have a question not addressed in this FAQ. How can I get in touch?