Today I was shopping for a New Years journal on my desktop and apparently other family members' devices started showing up ads for the same. I feel this could be because we are all on the same wifi. We do not share any email or social media accounts. I am confused about how to prevent this from happening in the future.

Will installing a VPN or AdGuard premium on my computer help with this?

  • Let me guess: you're on Comcast? – schroeder Dec 28 '19 at 17:26
  • Schroeder, What makes you think he's using Comcast? – mti2935 Dec 28 '19 at 23:05
  • I had the same problem...when shopping for my future wife's engagement ring. I was looking on my phone, in private browsing mode, not connected to wifi. We share a phone account and she got the ads. Thanks T-mobile and Brilliant Earth. Way to ruin the surprise. – Bakon Jarser Jan 8 at 1:14

It really depends on how the advertising server are serving the adverts - it could be based on IP tracking, in which case the only way to avoid it would be to use a separate connection, in this case meaning a VPN, Tor, a mobile hotspot etc. If other devices are using the same account, such as the same Google, Facebook, or Microsoft account, then that would provide another method for determining devices are the same person, but you say that isn't the case. There is also the possibility that you have installed adware inadvertently which has infected other devices on your network, but if they are different OSes and everything is up to date this is probably least likely.

There is also the possibility that it's a coincidence. You all live in the same area, may have similar interests, and it is the new year, so showing new year journals might not mean anything. When it comes to birthdays/holidays though you may want to utilise VPN and private browsing.

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