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 Post subject: Internet anonymity
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:46 am 
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Not sure if this is the correct forum but I have a question about internet explorer anonymity. I use IE as my browser and I clear the cache and cookies after every use yet when I visit many sites the advertising is all personalized (these are random sites not ones I have accounts with). While I don't need true anonymity, I don't like this personalized spying.
My questions are, from where are these pop ups and advertisers pulling my information? (usually my name and city) 2nd, How do I stop it? (I thought I was stopping it by clearing the cache & cookies!)
I have Spybot and Zonealarm Suite installed and neither detects any problems.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:51 am 
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This belongs in the Internet Truckstop. I'll alert the mods and have them move it over.

You could try using Google's new browser: Chrome

When you want to cover your tracks, just use the Incognito Mode and your problem will disappear.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Thanks Jip for moving.

I can tell you how it does that. Everytime you visit a website the server collects information you never see or know about for that matter. Information like your browser type and also your IP address. Once it has that IP address it can use it in a number of ways. It can narrow your ISP right down to a locality. Your Internet Service Provider issues you an IP address unique to you. That ISP works from a block of assigned IP addresses.

Lets look at an example:

http://www.bearblain.com/visiting_from.htm

Go ahead and click the link. All it will tell you is the IP address you are visiting from. However with just that tid bit the code on the server could be taylored to show you advertising based on your area. The server doesn't know you personally or where your exact location is but it knows your geographical area.

Blowing away cookies won't do anything. The only solution is as was mentioned using a Proxy server and even then behind the scenes code will know you are using a proxy. Anyway that is how it is done and not much can easily be done to combat it.

Ron


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:53 am 
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Reloadron wrote:
Thanks Jip for moving.

I can tell you how it does that. Everytime you visit a website the server collects information you never see or know about for that matter. Information like your browser type and also your IP address. Once it has that IP address it can use it in a number of ways. It can narrow your ISP right down to a locality. Your Internet Service Provider issues you an IP address unique to you. That ISP works from a block of assigned IP addresses.

Lets look at an example:

http://www.bearblain.com/visiting_from.htm

Go ahead and click the link. All it will tell you is the IP address you are visiting from. However with just that tid bit the code on the server could be taylored to show you advertising based on your area. The server doesn't know you personally or where your exact location is but it knows your geographical area.

Blowing away cookies won't do anything. The only solution is as was mentioned using a Proxy server and even then behind the scenes code will know you are using a proxy. Anyway that is how it is done and not much can easily be done to combat it.

Ron


would i be mistaken in thinking that the ads that are using the OP's name are just reading whatever the windows user name happens to be?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:40 pm 
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I am not sure as to the name down to a personal level. Location, type of browser and stuff like that is easy to harvest. I am not sure as to the name thing. However, if that were the case and I was curious I would just set up another account on the machine and see what happens.

Ron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am 
8086
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Very informative, Thanks guys!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:10 pm 
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firefox 3.1 beta has a private browsing mode. also i would with every browser u use turn off browsing history, auto password, and clear history cookies temp files upon close. anything that the browser says that "remember" in front of it say no.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Naw-yi wrote:
firefox 3.1 beta has a private browsing mode. also i would with every browser u use turn off browsing history, auto password, and clear history cookies temp files upon close. anything that the browser says that "remember" in front of it say no.


First, we generally don't dig up threads over a month old. However, since this information deals with the subject let's look at it.

The features in Firefox you mention have nothing to do with server side. They are only local machine. Meaning if you don't want someone logging onto your local machine and seeing where you have been (History) or any cookies they are useful. That has nothing to do with the information a server collects when a browser hits it.

Try a visit HERE.

Matters not what browser you will see a small part of the information the server collects, including the IP address. That is how websites "know" your general location.

Ron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:32 pm 
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Reloadron wrote:
Naw-yi wrote:
firefox 3.1 beta has a private browsing mode. also i would with every browser u use turn off browsing history, auto password, and clear history cookies temp files upon close. anything that the browser says that "remember" in front of it say no.


First, we generally don't dig up threads over a month old. However, since this information deals with the subject let's look at it.

The features in Firefox you mention have nothing to do with server side. They are only local machine. Meaning if you don't want someone logging onto your local machine and seeing where you have been (History) or any cookies they are useful. That has nothing to do with the information a server collects when a browser hits it.

Try a visit [url=http://www.theblain.com/forms/who_are_you.aspx]HERE.
[/url]

Matters not what browser you will see a small part of the information the server collects, including the IP address. That is how websites "know" your general location.

Ron
so my suggestions on keeping his browser more secure and to suggest firefox privacy mode so he could browser with little attention, this was all wrong? why didnt u point out jipstyle for this same suggestions? and since the post was not locked and still on the 1st page i replied,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:11 am 
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Naw-yi wrote:
Quote:
so my suggestions on keeping his browser more secure and to suggest firefox privacy mode so he could browser with little attention, this was all wrong? why didnt u point out jipstyle for this same suggestions? and since the post was not locked and still on the 1st page i replied,


I didn't notice Jip's suggestions so my bad on that. :oops:

Generally threads that are over 30 days old are not automatically locked. Most of the time they simply die. The reasoning is that additional good material can come along.

Your contribution as well as Jip's contribution were both good contributions. However, what I was trying to answer for the original post was why sometimes when we visit a website things like advertising seem so well taylored to us. It's like they know you.

What you saw in my link was actually a very tiny piece of the data a server collects from a visiting browser. Your IP is important because that can generally get a location to within 25 miles or less.

If you run a Google of "Request.ServerVariables" you will find information like:
THIS

The best option then becomes to use a proxy server. However, even then a server identify that it is being hit with a proxy.

All of this really isn't a big deal but sort of explains the initial question.

Your suggestions as well as Jip's are both good and valid as to the local machine. They are good web surfing practices.

Ron


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