The short answer is obvious. No. The longer answer is less obvious but if you’re somewhat curious and have a smidgeon of a geek gene hiding in your brain, there are ways to track some of those who follow you online, but it’s just easier to ignore them all and find a way to stay online without being tracked.
Wait. Are not browsers equipped with a Private mode these days? Yes, most have a setting called Private something or other. Don’t be fooled. There isn’t much that is private even when you use Private mode. Even Safari.
In the Safari File Menu you’ll see New Private Window as an option. What does that do? Not much. Private Browsing does not record webpages in History, does not save webpages to the Cache, and does not display AutoFill information. That’s good if you don’t want someone else rummaging through your browser’s history, but it won’t stop anyone from tracking you online.
How can you see who watches you while you’re online?
In most cases, you cannot. Rest assured that your internet service provider captures the location history of every website you visit, every file you download, and pretty much any additional traffic to your Mac, iPhone, or iPad while you use the internet.
If you’re browsing the interwebs you can be assured that Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other advertisers are tracking your movements and collecting data even if you’re not using the Axis of Trackers. They can do such surreptitious tracking via your IP address, and through cookies your browser gets stuck with from various websites.
About a month ago I wrote How To Stop The Scourge Of Online Trackers with a few tips to help avoid trackers. Those steps are valid but require effort to implement and ongoing consideration, and even then only reduce the behind-the-scenes tracking efforts, and may not eliminate them entirely.
I hate to say it, but it seems we here in the good old U.S. of A. have become citizens of a surveillance state. While the government may not have the capability or technological capacity to track all of its citizens, it doesn’t have to. Google, Facebook, Amazon, your ISP, your cellphone carrier, and other entities are doing the deed for the government.
Any time Uncle Sam wants to know something, all it needs to do is ask. The aforementioned tracker collectors will bend over and cough up whatever they have to offer.
No, you cannot see everyone who watches you online, but rest assured they’re out there, incessantly tracking your every move for gain and profit.