Popular anti-virus vendor AVG is now offering a privacy filter to all of its customers, which will be able to monitor and block ad networks and websites that covertly harvest browsing data.

The plug-in, called DoNotTrack, will be freely available to all of AVG’s customers in the latest Service Pack, including those using just the basic free antivirus software.

Once installed, users will be able to monitor what data has been collected about them. With this information, they will then be able to give or deny access to networks and websites on an individual basis.

This will allow users complete control over what sites have access to and the data they can use about them.

Though there will be some consumers that will prevent access to the majority of sites, it is thought that very few will go this far.

Most of the data that is collected is nothing more than basic web analytics, which simply monitors customer interaction with their brand and allows content managers to appropriate decisions.

However, AVG wants its users to be able to see just how widespread information collection is, particularly in regard to social media networks. With many online games so popular on the platforms, many users are not always aware regarding the prevalence of data connection whilst they play.

Announcing the news, the firm’s chief technology officer, al Ben-Itzhak said:

“When you visit a site a lot of data is being collected about you… Our goal is to make you aware of what is being collected.”