Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ads are following me online. Make them stop!

"Help! Ads are following me online! How can I stop them?" I hear your cry of frustration, and I understand how you feel. I, too, have been stalked by ads. The most recent example: In the course of updating my Excel manual, I went over to the website to research how much Excel costs. The next thing I know, I'm being followed all over the Web by ads for Microsoft Office and Excel, like Tom Cruise in Minority Report. But there's a way to disable the ads. Here's how:

If you see an ad that is following you, look in the upper right corner of the banner for a small triangle that says "Ad Choices" or something similar:

Ads are following me

Click the triangle. If the ad is part of the Criteo network, you'll see a page that shows you why you are being followed ("These are the last products that you viewed on Microsoft Store US's website") and what products are being offered as a result. Scroll down to the heading that says, "You prefer to disable all personalized banners displayed by Criteo?" and click the link that says "To completely disable Criteo's retargeting service, click here." I've circled it below:

You will no longer be stalked by the ads!

Note that this only works for Criteo's service. If an advertisement is following you and it is served by another company, there may be another process involved ... or they may not be a way to escape.


  1. Why do you think the box on the left is empty? It is supposed to show which product(s) you looked at on Microsoft's site so that you can see the relationship between those products and the products shown in Criteo's retargeting ad.

  2. This article is weak, passive and pointless. I want to know how they are able to track me and how I can block them out without having to use their cookies

    1. Anonymous: Try AdBlock or AdBlock plus. It's a browser extension that blocks ads.

      Good luck,

      Ian Lamont


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