Archive for the tracking Category

Firefox Browser security add-ons

Posted in browser, firefox, tracking with tags , , on 2016/02/20 by CoryTek

To go hand in hand with privacy and security, I made a separate post regarding browser security.

Since I started using a computer (PC), I have used these browsers – Internet Explorer; Firefox; Google Chrome; Netscape; Opera.

Google Chrome was my browser of choice for a long time, however being more concerned about online privacy, a couple of years ago I switched to Firefox browser (by Mozilla).

Mozilla wants you to know that Firefox browser is more concerned about your privacy.

Firefox at default settings is a secure browser. However, I use a few add-ons for extra security. With these browser extras the trackers are blocked, ads are last year, and cookies are swept away.

Avast Online Security
Avast Browser Security and Web Reputation Plugin – offering protection against known phishing and malware sites, improving your browsing overall browsing experience with crowd sourced web reputation rating.
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Better Privacy serves to protect against special longterm cookies, a new generation of ‘Super-Cookie’, which silently conquered the Internet.
This new cookie generation offers unlimited user tracking to industry and market research. Concerning privacy Flash-cookies are most critical.
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Websites have increasingly begun to rely much more on large third-parties for content delivery. Canceling requests for ads or trackers is usually without issue, however blocking actual content, not unexpectedly, breaks pages. The aim of this add-on is to cut-out the middleman by providing lightning speed delivery of local (bundled) files to improve online privacy.
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Disable WebRTC
WebRTC is a communication protocol that relies on JavaScript that can leak your actual IP address from behind your VPN, by default. This addon fixes that, making VPNs more effective.
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Make the web faster, more private, and more secure.
Disconnect lets you visualize and block the otherwise invisible websites that track your search and browsing history.
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HTTPS Everywhere
HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.
A collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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Just a note: this extension could be a bit more advanced for some computer users.
NoScript gives extra protection for Firefox: NoScript allows JavaScript, Java (and other plugins) only for trusted domains of your choice (e.g. your home-banking web site).
This whitelist based pre-emptive blocking approach prevents exploitation of security vulnerabilities (known and even unknown!) with no loss of functionality.
Experts will agree: Firefox is really safer with NoScript. This tool gives you with the best available protection on the web.
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Privacy Badger
This is a project by the Electronic Foundation Frontier.
Privacy Badgers blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.
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When you search online, the search engines keep track of search terms, and essentially profile you by what you search for.
Can you stop that? Yes, don’t use a computer – this would be a bit of a challenge. Or, what you can do, is confuse the search engines, with a bit of misdirection. Rather than give the search engines what you are searching for, you give the search engines terms you are not searching for.
TrackMeNot confuses the search engines with garbage search phrases. Therefore, the search engines have no idea what you are searching for. Essentially, you are hiding in plain view.
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WOT (Web of Trust)
Web of Trust (aka WOT) is a known worldwide website reputation and rating service that helps you make informed decisions about whether to trust a website or not when you are searching, shopping or surfing online. WOT increases your personal online security and web safety. Web Of Trust is based on the Crowdsourcing Approach.
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Online Tracking

Posted in news, security, technology, tracking with tags , , on 2016/01/26 by CoryTek

For years, I have been an advocate for online privacy. In fact, I have known about communications being monitored since the early 1980’s – years before the World Wide Web was created.

Tracking communications is not anything new – this has been done since the pony express, telegraph and carrier pigeon.

When it comes to privacy and security when browsing the internet, you would be surprised how much tracks you when surfing the world wide web.

The analogy I use is, imagine you are walking down the street – would you constantly be yelling, “hey, I’m over here! okay, I’m over here now! hey, I’m walking into this store!” No, you would not.

Does someone walk up to you, and say, “hey, I saw you in another store four blocks ago looking at shoes. We have fabulous shoes on sale right now.”

Would someone walk up to you, and say, “hey, I saw you at the flight centre this morning. Oh boy, do I have a deal on airline tickets for you.”
Imagine a person was paid a penny each time they did that.

You walk down the street tending to your business, and expect everything else to keep out of your business. As long as you are not breaking any local laws, what you do when out in the public is no one’s business.

This is my argument then – the internet should be the same way. Where I go online, what pages I visit, is no one’s business.

So why does the internet think it is their business to track my personal online business?

On the other hand, you might say, “I have nothing to hide. I don’t care what tracks me.” Okay, sure, be comfortable with that belief. But let me put this thought out there – have you ever heard of The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It is a concept that shows we are not more than six connections separated from anyone else.

With that in mind, are you aware of all the online data that is being scooped up by the truck load. Do you think humans look at that data? No. That data is analyzed by computer algorithms.

Does an algorithm care who you are? No. But, an algorithm makes connections when analyzing data looking for a mass murderer. Remember that six degrees of separation?

Still don’t believe me?

How about this – algorithms track words. For example, you are talking with a friend, and remark that you are now the president of your local Toastmasters. Oh, and last week, your son’s baseball team bombed. Tracking algorithms are programmed to flag particular words. Even though you used ‘president’ and ‘bomb’ in two seperate sentences not connected, an algorithm does not see that. A human would know the difference. But we rely on computer programs to analyze data faster than any person can.

So guess what, you may be flagged by some computer algorithm, your friend, and maybe four other people. Oh, and you probably posted this on Facebook. Now there is a face to the name. Better yet, you have tagged your friends in your photos. Great. The biometric trackers must love you.

By the way, did you ask to tag people in your photos? Would you give out someone’s phone number without asking them? Mmhm…

You are helping the tracking algorithms make the connections.

How many million people are on Facebook now? And what about that six degrees of separation again?

In the movie Eagle Eye, a computer intelligence tracked everyone in the U.S.A., determined threat levels, and even calculated when a crime might happen and by whom. There is such a program, similar to the movie, that analyzes data, and gives each bit of data a threat point. It is called BEWARE, and was recently presented in California. Is this program new? Not at all. But what this program does is something to be very concerned about.

License plate readers track your driving route. Where is that data stored? How long is that data stored? What data can be derived from your driving habits?

The world is tracking everything about you, and computer algorithms are calculating data about you.