Who is tracking me and how do I stop it?

fmaster

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
18
This maybe the wrong forum for this so please move it if that is the case, I just posted in there because it is a security related topic.

I have been researching atom based systems on newegg over the weekend. Then I go to one of my favorite basketball websites which has no relation to newegg or computer hardware and all of the adds on the page are for atom based mobos and some of those adds were even from newegg?

How do I stop this from happening? How do I prevent websites from tracking me from site to site?

Thanks.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
17,986
Firefox 4 that is coming out has a feature built in that tells websites not to track the user. You can download the latest beta now and see if it works for you. You could also try going into your privacy settings and disable cookies or at least third party cookies. You'll need to keep session cookies on though.
 

fmaster

n00b
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
18
Firefox 4 that is coming out has a feature built in that tells websites not to track the user. You can download the latest beta now and see if it works for you. You could also try going into your privacy settings and disable cookies or at least third party cookies. You'll need to keep session cookies on though.
Okay thanks, I will disable third party cookies.

I will have to try ff4 is this privacy feature automatic or do I enable it ?

Thanks for the answer.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
17,986
From what I've seen it's enabled by default. There's just check box in the options to toggle it.
 

Brak710

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
1,424
You're not being tracked by the website, you're being tracked by the ad serving company. They serve the ads on both websites you went to, and targeted you based on that.

$50 says they also use IPs and browser information to also target you. Good luck hiding from that without something like Adblock.
 

Protoform-X

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Messages
1,203
It's an automated system tracking you based on files it found on your computer called cookies. There's no security concern involved with the situation you've described. Whip out the tin hat, snort cocaine, and peak out the window if you have to, but ultimately it wont do you any good.
 

Madnes5

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 7, 2000
Messages
2,358
To the OP. I suggest you read Wikiepedia's page on cookies. It should give you a better understanding of how _most_ advertising companies are targeting ads. You can also look into disabling third party cookies in your browser (which may break some stuff). If you're using firefox you may want to look into the ad block plus addon and possibly noscript.
 

hawk82

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
1,471
This. A good addon for Firefox is called BetterPrivacy which automates removal. You can also see what sites drop flash-based cookie files. It's pretty amazing how many will get dropped by visiting a single site. Flash-based cookies are what cookies used to be in the late 1990s. Rather intrusive, unregulated, and hard to remove if you don't know where to look (or use an addon as mentioned) to protect yourself.

More info on the betterprivacy site.
 

stiltner

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 16, 2000
Messages
10,623
Google: Hostsman

1.) Download that
2.) Install that
3.) Redirect ad hosting sites to 127.0.0.1
4.) F them in the hole
5.) Profit
6.) Waste less bandwidth and see less garbage thanks to me
 

Madnes5

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 7, 2000
Messages
2,358
That's strange, I didn't think ISP's keeping logs was nonsense...
Do you really want to argue semantics? Sure ISPs keep logs. Doesn't mean they can see everything you do. For example, data passed over SSL. You claiming that "Your ISP and every website you visit knows where you're going and what you're doing" is bullshit because it's simply not true. ISPs have the capability of seeing a lot of things. Websites are mostly limited to seeing their domain only. Some stuff can be inferred across domains because a lot of website use the same advertising companies.

Scaring someone by making broad sweeping statements and spreading FUD is annoying. If you're going to help, go for it. If you're going to provide useless answers which only make the situation worse, I'm going to call you on it.
 

obrith

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
267
Do you really want to argue semantics? Sure ISPs keep logs. Doesn't mean they can see everything you do. For example, data passed over SSL. You claiming that "Your ISP and every website you visit knows where you're going and what you're doing" is bullshit because it's simply not true. ISPs have the capability of seeing a lot of things. Websites are mostly limited to seeing their domain only. Some stuff can be inferred across domains because a lot of website use the same advertising companies.

Scaring someone by making broad sweeping statements and spreading FUD is annoying. If you're going to help, go for it. If you're going to provide useless answers which only make the situation worse, I'm going to call you on it.
Unfortunately you are entirely mistaken Madnes5. It is absolutely true that most (medium to large) websites are using advertisers and/or third party services to track you across ALL websites on said networks. (blocking) Cookies is rapidly becoming less useful and even running ad-block programs is not going to prevent all tactics of tracking you. They use various techniques and the new extensions that "tell" them not to track you are not going to work on less scrupulous tracking companies.

I just went to an open table discussion with many people in the data mining industry and all of them agree the only current reasonable way to limit your exposure to such tracking is to use a good proxy host. Basically, the more users whos data is aggregated across a smaller tracking surface (presumably many users are using such proxy hosts) the less useful the tracked data becomes.
 

ghost6303

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
2,291
Do you really want to argue semantics? Sure ISPs keep logs. Doesn't mean they can see everything you do.
so its perfectly fine for the government to keep an album of naked pictures of you as long as its locked away in a filing cabinet that no one bothers to look at? they keep logs. if anyone wanted to see those logs, yes they could see *almost* everything you do. you are correct, they cant see inside a SSL connection for example. but 97% of web traffic is unencrypted, plain text.

you cant directly recreate someones whole online profile from a simple ISP's log, but when you add that ISP data into some software that looks at the rest of your online presence, you can do just that. remember when AOL released that database of supposedly "anonymised" search requests? there are still ways you can still use it to track specific users and find them in real life even.
 

Madnes5

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 7, 2000
Messages
2,358
Unfortunately you are entirely mistaken Madnes5.
No, I'm not mistaken. And, I know exactly what I'm talking about.

It is absolutely true that most (medium to large) websites are using advertisers and/or third party services to track you across ALL websites on said networks.
Um, yes. Exactly what I said in the last sentence of the first paragraph in the reply you quoted.

(blocking) Cookies is rapidly becoming less useful and even running ad-block programs is not going to prevent all tactics of tracking you. They use various techniques and the new extensions that "tell" them not to track you are not going to work on less scrupulous tracking companies.
You can't easily protect against someone who doesn't play by the accepted rules, or general mores of society. My recommendation was based on general best practices that will handle most situations the OP would encounter. I'm not just going to tell the OP to piss off and that it's pointless to do anything because theoretically it's possible in small edge cases that they could still be tracked. I'm going to actually try to help them with reasonable info.
 

dashpuppy

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
6,163
Do you really want to argue semantics? Sure ISPs keep logs. Doesn't mean they can see everything you do. For example, data passed over SSL. You claiming that "Your ISP and every website you visit knows where you're going and what you're doing" is bullshit because it's simply not true. ISPs have the capability of seeing a lot of things. Websites are mostly limited to seeing their domain only. Some stuff can be inferred across domains because a lot of website use the same advertising companies.

Scaring someone by making broad sweeping statements and spreading FUD is annoying. If you're going to help, go for it. If you're going to provide useless answers which only make the situation worse, I'm going to call you on it.
Doesn't untangle block this, when i was behind my unit, i did't get add's or popups or spyware etc etc, but now that im not behind it i get adds etc etc.

You know when you go to some sites they give you those call girls click here for your home town etc etc, well behind untangle / other firewalls they never poped up and if they did, they didn't tell me where i was so they could connect me with a local.

I've tried it with and with out a firewall on the same page, the popups and adds are different with and with out the firewalls blocking these features.

Thoughts ?

J'
 

KOOLTIME

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
113
"stiltner Google: Hostsman

1.) Download that
2.) Install that
3.) Redirect ad hosting sites to 127.0.0.1
4.) F them in the hole
5.) Profit
6.) Waste less bandwidth and see less garbage thanks to me"


Does this actually work, id love something like this, if it was legit and wouldn't cause issues.

I understand companies need make money to give out free info by advertising, same as radio/tv works. But them forcing their crap into computer's unwanted spam and pop ups is BS. Least on a tv or radio got option to change channel if we dont like it> But problem is most ad companies are scrupulous bastards and hide that sh-t all over your computer without you knowing about it, and wrecking things for you. Cant simply change channels once they juiced your system with their crap unknowingly. Thats the real issue with these places, is they screw people without consent. Not simply some ad on a web page to be seen when visiting a site, they bury crap in your computer so your getting their spam even after your long gone off that web site.

As the original poster stated if anyone has working deal for stopping these ad spammers storing stuff on your computer im all for that, please post details. Thnx
 

Flank3r

n00b
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
60
"stiltner Google: Hostsman

1.) Download that
2.) Install that
3.) Redirect ad hosting sites to 127.0.0.1
4.) F them in the hole
5.) Profit
6.) Waste less bandwidth and see less garbage thanks to me"


Does this actually work, id love something like this, if it was legit and wouldn't cause issues.
Thnx
Yes this works great.
 
Last edited:

stiltner

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 16, 2000
Messages
10,623
Does this actually work, id love something like this, if it was legit and wouldn't cause issues.
I'll respond back. Yes, it does work. That software is also good at locking your hosts file as a lot of malware likes to inject and change the hosts file.

Now that my ISP has data caps, I'm not comfortable having to pay for unnecessary bandwidth uses. Loading those ads, while miniscule on the individual front, is a noted addition in the long haul.

You can verify that by using DUMeter, download the same 3-5 pages off any major "news" website and then do it w/o. You'll see a difference in overall bandwidth used. Its not much, few hundred k here and there. But it does matter. Not to mention, as they get compromised, it only puts you at more risk due to their lack of security.

Trust me, its one of those must have applications for me. It just works, incredibly well, and its text editor simple to work with.
 
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