PC Doctor July 26, 2013

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Dear PC Doctor,

I use Gmail as my primary email address account. It works very well for me but something recently has put me on edge.  I've noticed that there are ads on the side of my inbox and they seem to be tracking what is being said in emails that I receive.  Is it possible to turn this off?

          Thanks, Mary


Dear Mary,

To hopefully put your mind at ease a bit: the ads in Gmail are completely automated and generated solely from keywords found in your emails.  None of that information is actually seen by anyone and it's completely contained to your Google Account.

However, I understand your hesitancy to see these ads in your inbox—where things should always be private!  There's a few add-ons/extensions for your web browser that you can install to help with the battle against ads specifically in your inbox and on the web in general.

DoNotTrackMe is an extension that is available for both Chrome and Firefox web browsers.  It eliminates the ability for social networks and ad systems to access your internet cookies in order to target ads at you.  It's pretty interesting since it allows you to view what and how each site tries to track you and also gives you the ability to turn cookies on by a case-by-case basis.  This will prevent Gmail from tracking your cookies and keywords.

Ad-blocker for Gmail is another extension for Chrome and Firefox that will block the ads in your Gmail inbox.  It does its job very well.  After installing, all ads were removed including ones that target the keywords in your email.


          Good luck! PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!