The Ugly Side of Online Advertising

Online advertisers use cookies. Simpy said, these are data sent when you access websites. These cookies are stored on your device through Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or whatever browser you’re using. They were primarily created as a mechanism that websites can utilize to retain information that are arbitrary such as your name, address, and such kind of information. Cookies also allow websites to track your browsing activity.

For advertisers, the usage of cookies is very essential because it allows them to have an overview of what you are into at a point of time based on the websites that you have browsed and terms that you have searched on the Internet. Remember that time when you were looking up the phone number of your Internet Service Provider and got ads from the same ISP when you switched back to check your social media page? Do you also remember when you were trying to scout for a hotel nearby and when you visited another website, the header showed an advertisement for hotels? The culprit behind that were your browser cookies.

Although online advertising is not much of a concern for adults, it can have negative effects to kids. The forms of online advertising that are targeted towards youngsters are advergaming, branded websites, social media marketing and banner ads.

Now, you may ask: how can online advertising  negatively affect my child? Well, repeated exposure to online advertisements encourages kids to persistently ask for a certain product from their parents regardless if they need it or not. Say for example, they initially looked up a certain gaming device on the Internet, there’s a possibility that they’ll get ads for the same product  even after switching to other websites through the aid of Internet cookies. Being exposed to the ad repeatedly, the kid is most likely to demand that product from his parents. It gets worse when the parent refuses to buy the product and the child is already hooked up to it, thanks to online advertising.

You can protect your child from online advertisers by manually changing some settings on your browser. Business Insider gives a step-by-step instruction on how to do it on any browser. You can also opt to install an adblock extension. Below are some of the most popular ones that can be used for each corresponding browser.

  • Internet Explorer – Adblock Plus
  • Chromium (Google Chrome) – AdBlock, Adblock Plus, uBlock
  • IceCat (Firefox, Iceweasel), Gnuzilla(SeaMonkey) – Adblock Plus, Adblock Edge, uBlock
  • Safari – AdBlock, Adblock Plus, uBlock

The world wide web can be both useful and detrimental. As a parent, it pays to protect your child by being cautious and by tracking what they’re up to in the Internet.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey thank you for this guide. I have wondered how to the personalized ads because frankly the whole internet tracking your every move freaks me out lol. So thank you I’m stoked to be able to make some positive changes to help me out. You rock!


    1. Hey, Sady! I’m glad you found this post useful. It used to freak me out too, so we’re on the same boat. 😁


  2. This is some great information! Even as an adult those cookies still creep me out. I think what’s worse is when you are talking about something and a couple seconds later it is on your feed! I can only imagine how dangerous that could be for a little one.


  3. Chemady says:

    This sounds amazing. I will keep this in mind. Parents/Guardians just have to learn how to secure the kids from cyberspace.

    Liked by 1 person

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