Do Not Track or DNT is a web browser setting that requests websites or web applications disable their tracking of the user. When DNT is enabled in your web browser, the web browser signals all websites that you visit, and the third-party services that they are using, that you do not want to be tracked. Here is an explanation of how DNT works, and how to turn it on in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Internet Explorer:
How does Do Not Track (DNT) work?
DNT is a setting in your web browser, that sends a header field to all websites and web apps that you use, with one of the following values:
- 0 – It states that the user consents to be tracked for the purposes explained.
- 1 – It states that the user does not want to be tracked.
- Null – The user has not set the value for tracking. The user has no preference on whether he or she should be tracked.
There is no standard for how web companies, websites, and web services interpret and use DNT. Ad networks may refrain from tracking you for advertising purposes, and stop personalizing the ads they display in your web browser. Websites may limit the information they collect about your browsing activity on their pages. On the other hand, laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and AB 370 in California provide the legal framework to ensure the respect of this browser preference.
For example, our website, when it encounters a DNT value of 1 coming from the browser of our visitors, collects less information about that visit. A significant change is that we do not record the keywords that you used in Google search to reach one of our tutorials. When DNT is turned on, we know less about how you reach our website, and how you use it.
The Do Not Track (DNT) setting has been available in all web browsers, starting in 2010. The first web browser to implement this feature was Mozilla Firefox, followed shortly by Internet Explorer, and other web browsers.
How to enable Do Not Track (DNT) in Google Chrome
In Google Chrome, press the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button on the top right corner. It looks like three dots arranged vertically. In the menu that opens, click or tap Settings.
Scroll down and click or tap Advanced, at the bottom of the list with settings.
Scroll down to “Privacy and security.” Activate the “Send a Do Not Track request with your browsing traffic” switch.
You are informed about what it means to enable Do Not Track (DNT). Click or tap Confirm, and you are done.
Close the Settings tab and, from now on, Google Chrome sends a DNT signal to all the websites and web apps that you visit.
How to activate Do Not Track (DNT) in Mozilla Firefox
In Mozilla Firefox, press the Open Menu button in the top-right corner. It looks like three parallel lines. Then, choose Options.
In the Options tab, click or tap “Privacy & Security” on the left. On the right, scroll down to “Content Blocking.” There look for a line that says: “Send websites a Do Not Track signal that you don’t want to be tracked.” Beneath it, choose Always.
Close the Options tab, and Mozilla Firefox now sends the DNT signal.
How to turn on Do Not Track (DNT) in Microsoft Edge
Open Microsoft Edge and click or tap the “Settings and more” button from the top right. Alternatively, you can press ALT+X on your keyboard. In the menu that opens, go to Settings.
In the Settings pane, click or tap “Privacy and security” in the left column. Scroll down to “Privacy” and look for the “Send Do Not Track requests” switch. Activate it.
Click anywhere outside the Settings pane, and you are done. Microsoft Edge now sends the DNT signal.
How to enable Do Not Track (DNT) in Opera
In Opera, click or tap the “Customize and control Opera” button on the top-left corner that looks like the letter O. In the menu that opens, click or tap Settings.
In the Settings tab, choose Advanced in the column on the left. From the new options that appear underneath, choose “Privacy & security.” Then, on the right, in the Privacy and security section, activate the switch that says “Send a Do Not Track request with your browsing traffic.”
You are informed about what it means to enable Do Not Track (DNT). Click or tap Confirm.
Close Settings and Opera now sends a DNT signal to the websites that you visit.
How to activate Do Not Track (DNT) in Internet Explorer
In Internet Explorer, click or tap the Tools button in the top-right corner (the little gear). You can also use the ALT+X keyboard shortcut. Then, click Safety, followed by “Turn on Do Not Track requests.”
You are informed that you need to restart Internet Explorer, to finish turning on this feature. Click “Turn on” and then close Internet Explorer.
The next time you use Internet Explorer, it sends the DNT signal.
What is your reason for enabling Do Not Track (DNT)?
While enabling DNT may help in making your browsing history a bit more private, it does not mean that all websites, ad networks, and third-party services stop tracking you. Some of them ignore your DNT setting and track you the same as they track others. Before closing this tutorial, please leave a comment below with your reason for turning on DNT and what your experience was after doing that.