Mozilla's New Lightbeam Software Will Allow You to See Who's Watching You on the Internet

   Unless you have a degree in web technology and the know-how to peruse lines of code and raw data, it's difficult for the average person to tell who's watching them. You know you're being watched pretty much every where you go and data is being gathered, but until now there's been no easy way to tell exactly who it is that's doing the watching.

   That all changes today, with the release of Mozilla's new Lightbeam add-on for Firefox. 

   Shown above, Lightbeam gives you a quick and easy way to view exactly where your browsing information is being disseminated to. You can filter the information to show information for the most recent site, the last 10 sites visited, daily or weekly information. You get a real-time visualization of what third-parties are active on the sites you're connecting to, which in turn allows you to see who may be gathering your browsing data.

   If you thought a web connection was simply a connection between your computer and another web server, prepare to be shocked. Some websites have hundreds of connections to third-parties, many of which are allowed to track visitors to the site. Lightbeam allows the average user to get a pretty good idea of which companies are doing the tracking.

   The program just released today, but so far seems to be pretty stable. You can download it here:

   It's only for Firefox. If you don't use Firefox, it might be worth downloading the browser software and this add-on, just so you can see how much tracking is going on behind the scenes.