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  • Firewalls don’t stop dragons

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Firewalls don’t stop dragons

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      • #2381899
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        Are you familiar with the podcast “Firewalls don’t stop dragons”? This week’s episode is about online advertising and about how you are the product. E
        [See the full post at: Firewalls don’t stop dragons]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2381915
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Unfortunately, there is no way, at least that I have found in a hurry, to speed up, or cut short the long and tiresome patter of the host, or anchor, or whatever, that precedes the talk by the guest speaker, to get directly and without further delay to the meat of this podcast. So I wonder if the guest got to say something about using ad blockers, because I have mine on at all times and never, ever see an ad. If, as it is implied in the summary copied by Susan in her blog, seeing an ad equals being robbed of personal information, so some rich people can get even richer by selling that information to the higher bidder, then how about someone like me who blocks all ads? Am I also getting robbed by way of blocked ads? This is no rhetorical question: I would really like to know the answer.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2381965
          Bob1515
          AskWoody Lounger

          Am I also getting robbed by way of blocked ads?

           

          Ad blockers don’t stop the profitable, massive spying that goes on, especially by google. It is everywhere. Register to vote? google is spying. Donate to a candidate? Discuss private medical matters in a forum? It all goes into the dossier google keeps on everybody. 99.9% of web “masters” are ignorant and don’t care. They will gladly sell out your privacy, even for the benefit (really a frippery) of using a custom font.

          Can you stop it? Yes, it’s google propaganda that you can’t stop it. A first step is just to install the addon named uBlock Origin set it to ‘advanced’,  and then you can see it everywhere and block most. After that it does take more than a little time. Regard it as a hobby.

        • #2382021
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          If you download the podcast you can speed it up in a media player.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2381946
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        because I have mine on at all times and never, ever see an ad.

        Me as well. Never see ads.
        I still after so many years can’t understands how any one that pays for ads (Internet, TV, newspapers, billboards, buses..) makes money.

        • #2381950
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Probably a lot of money spent in ads is wasted, but that does not mean that there is no point in advertising one’s products: people are more likely to buy something they have heard of before than something they have never heard of. Then there are certain kinds of ads, such as those for real state on sale, that people looking for a house to buy will read carefully, because they give descriptions of what the houses are like, their locations, some idea of the asking prices, and how to arrange to go and see them.

          None of that means that one should not block ads at Web sites,

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2381957
            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            OscarCP. I do a online search, then read reviews, then go to the source/Amazon/eBay/local store to buy the product. Never due to ads which I don’t see or skip (TV..)

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2382159
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Alex writes: “I do a online search, then read reviews, then go to the source/Amazon/eBay/local store to buy the product. Never due to ads which I don’t see or skip (TV..)

              So do I, pretty much, but I am not everybody, or most people, just me, myself and I. Business owners and those who are invested in their businesses: for example the people that work there, maybe because they like it, but in any case to earn a living, are not interested in me in particular. If they have a decent product and I have it recommended repeatedly by different people, be it in the flesh or by writing articles in publications, digital or printed on paper, dedicated to reviewing and advising where and how to buy the best kind of what I am looking for, that’s fine with the business owners and their workers, all so very happy to sell me their what. Advertising is one way to get customers, building and keeping a good reputation is another. They are not exclusive of each other.

              All this, of course, is about ordinary business owners of ordinary businesses: grocers’, clothing stores, butcher shops, pubs, computer repair shops, restaurants, bookstores, car repair garages, pharmacies, interior decoration, gardening and landscaping companies, and so on and so forth, and not about certain kind of supposedly big-time genius billionaire entrepreneurs who depend significantly on the use of surreptitiously spying and tracking ads to amass enough information from enough people to sell it at a profit big enough to fund their various quests for world domination.

              Also I am not buying a house.

              Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

              MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
              Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
              Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2381956
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        For example.. Look at games on mobile phones today. Apple and Android/Google, both with the same principle.

        As an “older” person, who knows and played older games (even on a “portable devices”), the game was about having fun. Today game is “for free”, but the ammount of ads is simply unbearable, until you purchase the “premium version”. The game itself is less about having fun, its more about you being the “money-generator”. Games today are based on the same engine, just different pictures in it. Also very often the game trailer does look completely different from the game itselft.

        Pay for VIP, or see 50 ads in a hour, that generates money for the developper.

        Thank you Susan, for bringing this podcast to us, it contains interesting facts. Adblock is musthave for me.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

        PRUSA i3 MK3S+

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2381966
        Bob1515
        AskWoody Lounger

        Speak of the devil, the people who produce the firewallsdontstopdragons site have arranged to let google know every visitor.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2381985
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Why do you think so? The linked website is tracker-free. No google there.

          0trackers

          One found on the index page. Thats because of the Twiiter plugin embedded on the webpage.

          1tracket

          I recommend to use DuckDuckGo essentials to block trackers on all websites. Works flawlessly for me 👍

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel. Reason: additional info
          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2381994
            Bob1515
            AskWoody Lounger

            doriel, those tracker-finding sites are not exhaustive. The podcast connects to fonts.googleapis.com. Spying google does not provide free custom fonts because they are generous and they just want to make the internet look pretty. That is a tracker, it tells google who you are and what page you are on and when. Now that some privacy browsers automatically block google’s analytics and tags, the fonts serve as a sneaky end around. So when using e.g. Brave, google still tracks you on a very large percentage of websites via the fonts. Brave knows that, but Brave’s users mostly don’t.

            firewallsdontstopdragons is using WordPress. The WP theme designers love to put in google fonts at every single opportunity, they admire google and will sell out your privacy to them more eagerly than the webmasters. (They also put the fonts on the admin pages, so that tells google who the blog writers and admins are even if they use aliases for authorship.)

            Maybe Susan has enough clout to get the podcast to use the plugin that removes google fonts from WP themes. It’s a start.

             

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2382007
              doriel
              AskWoody Lounger

              Of course, if you use some pre-programmed CMS like wordpress is, of course there is some API in order to use plugins, widgets, fonts and other things, that are ready to use. It depends what plugin do put into your CMS.

              firewallsdontstopdragons is using the WP indeed. I can see the admin login page 🙂 🙂 default login adress is not changed, so the security is not so good on their webpage, I admit. Now silence, doriel! In order to keep their webpage safe 😉

              wpadmin

              But my opinion is, that nobody forces you to use the internet, if you are not satisfied with the security and anonymity. You can make your browsing secure and anonymous as much as possible (I see that you do and I appreciate that), but you cant blame others for using tools, that are available.

              PS – I think someone with your knowledge knows, how difficult is to create PHP or js webpage from scratch. Its very very complicated, very few people can do it, that why people use CMS and APIs – to make things work together.

              EIDT – Id like to blur the append to FQDN in order to not reveal the login page, but Im not able to do that anymore, cant delete the attachment, could some admin do that for me please?

              Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

              PRUSA i3 MK3S+

              • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel.
              • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel. Reason: hacking method not told
              • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel. Reason: editor please
              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2382042
                Bob1515
                AskWoody Lounger

                I understand you, doriel. But I’d say that this is a special case, since both the podcaster and the guest proclaim to be pro-privacy and anti-BigTech, whilst both employ google spyware on every site they have. To me, that makes them seem insincere or incompetent. AFAIK, they can keep the WP, but simply use a plugin to remove the fonts.

                 

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2382060
                Susan Bradley
                Manager

                I’ve found a plug into hide the use of the fonts, but not block them.  I’d rather be transparent and honest about their use.  Still investigating.

                Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          • #2382081
            SallyBrown
            AskWoody Plus

            It’s WordPress, plus look here:

            About Me

            Affiliate links, badges from all the data brokers.  “…if I ever get some real traffic, maybe it will help to pay some of the bills.”  He may not make much or the others but they’re still connected.  Nice of him to say so.  Kinda the point of Susan posting about this.

            I’ve been using heavy ad blocking and anti-tracking measures in browsers, the OS email and all programs for years and hardly ever see ads but am not going to disable all that stuff (it would take a while) to see what’s happening.

            • #2382082
              SallyBrown
              AskWoody Plus

              Wow, that was just supposed to be a link to the About Me page, how that posted here IDK, (WordPress maybe?) the tinkertoys look suspicious.

              Sorry.

              🙂

              • #2382148
                Susan Bradley
                Manager

                Don’t apologize, wordpress optimizes wordpress and sucks in a big blob.  You didn’t do it, the site does it.

                Susan Bradley Patch Lady

              • #2382163
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                There is a tool in the grey bar just above where on types one’s comment, second from the right, that to me look like a skewed hamburger. If you click on that it will open a long and skinny box where your cursor last was. Paste the link there and click “Apply” on the dark square at the right end of the long and skinny box. That inserts the link there, so it will look like a simple line of text after you submit your comment, not as a big clickable picture, as happened with SallyBrown’s.

                Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

                MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
                Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
                Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

      • #2381967
        Bob1515
        AskWoody Lounger

        Two self proclaimed privacy advocates in the US Senate are Rand Paul and Ron Wyden. Both have their official websites loaded with google spyware. Naturally, they didn’t do it personally; but there is no way to get them aware or to get it changed.

         

        Btw, genuine thanks to Susan for st least trying to get people aware. Maybe she can try to get this very askwoody site to be a google free zone.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2381982
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          I have. The site doesn’t use google trackers.  I will be tracking patching issues with Chromebooks going forward so it won’t be a completely google free zone.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2381992
            Bob1515
            AskWoody Lounger

            Susan, thanks for replying. But everything that google provides as a “helpful, free service to the world” is a tracker. Every connection made to google gives them your IP, browser (user-agent string), and so on which lets them in most cases easily infer who the user is. The referer (misspelled by some engineer long ago, and it stuck) request header tells them what page the visitor is on.

            This page connects to ajax.googleapis.com and google.com. There are also prefetch tags on those.

            Please just right-click and view source, then you can search and find those connections without installing uBlock Origin.

            • #2382015
              Susan Bradley
              Manager

              I’ve removed the YOP poll plug in as that was one.  I will have to investigate if I can get rid of the fonts.  There comes a point in time that I’ve tried as much as I’ve humanly can to remove all of everyone’s complaints but the site has to function.  This may be one of them as it appears it’s in the bbpress code.

              Susan Bradley Patch Lady

              2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2382025
                Susan Bradley
                Manager

                P.S. I’ll need to see if this impacts the site speed.

                But on a personal level you can do this:

                How to disable DNS prefetching?

                For Chrome browser, click on Menu > Settings and scroll down and select Advanced option. Scroll down to the “Privacy and Security” and toggle the “Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly” option to disable or enable DNS Prefetch.

                In Firefox, type “about:config” in the browser address bar. Search for “network.prefetch-next” and double click it to set it to false. Setting it to false would disable DNS prefetch

                Susan Bradley Patch Lady

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2382102
                SallyBrown
                AskWoody Plus

                There are more for FF

                browser.urlbar.speculativeConnect.enabled    False

                network.http.speculative-parallel-limit   0   (that’s a zero)

                network.dns.disablePrefetch   true

                network.predictor.enable-prefetch  false (false is default in ESR, not sure about fast release version)

                There are all the new tab page and urlbar preferences, too.

                Arkenfox on github is the queen of FF about:config for privacy settings.  Make a profile backup before experimenting, you WILL wreck it at first.

                https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js/blob/master/user.js

                Read this and change the settings one by one to really understand what’s happening.  Makes browsing really fast and clean. Can only do a small portion of this to Chromia.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2382026
                Bob1515
                AskWoody Lounger

                Thanks for being responsive, Susan. You’re a champ. Over the years, I have written to more than a few privacy sites (and lawyers) about their google spyware, none ever responded; though after a few years most have it removed finally. That included e.g. BigBrotherWatch in UK.

                I have the spyware font/js here blocked, and the page seems to work fine, which is this line in the source:

                [<span class="start-tag">script</span> <span class="attribute-name">type</span>='text/javascript' <span class="attribute-name">src</span>='https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/webfont/1.6.26/webfont.js?ver=2.2.38.1' <span class="attribute-name">id</span>='mo-google-webfont-js'][/<span class="end-tag">script</span>]
                
                Though I have no idea how to block it at your end.
                
                
        • #2382113
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Bob1515: I don’t know what is Wyden’s profession (besides being a politician) but I would hazard the guess that he is a lawyer; I believe that Rand Paul is a physician.

          Whether I am right or not about either of them, their Web sites being loaded with spyware and other beautiful things is what we get in this country when the US Congress decides, as it did some years back in order to save money, to kill off its own research organizations — and when most politicians in power, regardless of party, are either lawyers or physicians of one sort or another. And when some have done little actual professional work or even have had a regular job that was not in politics.

          Something that is not exclusive to the USA, by the way.

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2381990
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        Two self proclaimed privacy advocates in the US Senate are Rand Paul and Ron Wyden. Both have their official websites loaded with google spyware.

        I am pretty sure the Dr took the Hypo-critic Oath so what would you expect?
        But seriously NPR has upon occasion done shows on privacy but it never appears to have affected their web site. I am sure one can find examples like this all over the web.

        Now about the ads, I have no problems with a couple of low bandwidth ads. Trying to suck back information from viewers is another thing.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #2382039
          Bob1515
          AskWoody Lounger

          I deliberately chose both an R and a D to be politically neutral. This is one topic that both sides can hopefully be united on.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2382085
          SallyBrown
          AskWoody Plus

          Ads, until they get so numerous you can’t tell them from content (browsing on a phone, e.g.) aren’t much of an annoyance to me except they’re a lot more than ads and only the first level of the geometric, or whatever it is, progression with each succeeding level.

      • #2381995
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I don’t listen to podcasts.  I’ve never been interested.

        I never see ads.  The blockers I use with Firefox take care of that.  My tracking cookie blockers work quite well.  In addition, I also have formed the habit of never going from one site to another.  To leave a site I click on my homepage icon and go to DuckDuckGo.  From there I go to the next site I want to visit.

        I do use YouTube frequently, but my ad blockers have been completely successful in blocking the ads YouTube/Google presents, and the only ads I see on YouTube are the ads recorded in the video by the creator for their sponsor, such as the ads in LTT videos.

        I don’t get targeted ads, I only get tracked as far as DuckDuckGo.  My search results are not based on my search history.  I’m on facebook, but I have it in a container, and I don’t see any ads in my facebook feed.

        My own website is self-supported; no ads and no tracking cookies, and it is anonymized, as well.  I don’t get tracked through my web hosting company, either.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #2382115
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          While I am not in Facebook (or in any other social network) and do not have a Web site of my own, I do the other things bbarren mentions above. They are both easy and pain-free, once one gets used to them, which in my case took very little time.

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

      • #2381997
        Bob1515
        AskWoody Lounger

        How to spot google spyware (and I’m not using ‘spyware’ in the antiquated, narrow definition):

        1. simplest is to right-click a page and view source, then Ctrl+f to search google, gstatic, doubeclick
        2. easiest once installed, use the browser addon uBlock Origin (not plain uBlock), and set to advanced. uBO also blocks, not just shows.
        3. use the browsers Developer Tools / Network tab. That’s better with FF, worse with Chromium browsers because they show only “provisional” headers.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382003
        RetiredGeek
        AskWoody MVP

        From ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ “Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free”

        Rule #1: There is NO such thing as a Free Lunch! Or anything else for that matter, somebody pays somewhere along the way.

        Rule#2: Advertising is just the first version spam. Put it out often enough to enough people and you’ll get enough bites to pay the freight.

        HTH 😎

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!

        RG

        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382031
        anonymous
        Guest

        I would think that it would behoove a nation’s federal legislature or parliament to enact legislation that by law requires every maker of an internet browser, that makes itself available to internet users in said nation, to provide an interactive prompt every time a user launches the browser giving the user the option to disable all tracking and ads during their browser session. If the user chose to disable all tracking, ads, and data collection immediately upon launching the browser application, that choice would only remain applicable until the browser application was closed. There could be two choices in a pop-up prompting window: block or skip. Anyone uninterested in making the choice would just click on “skip.” The addition of the prompting option could be incorporated into any of the frequent (at least monthly) browser updates.  Governments could thereby establish a legal right of their citizens to choose not to be tracked, invaded and robbed of their data.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2382117
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Anonymous: “Governments could thereby establish a legal right of their citizens to choose not to be tracked, invaded and robbed of their data.

          And how about choosing “block” being mandatory, and even automatic, unless they have a special waiver, for those in government organizations or their contractors when, while at work, they try to use a browser to open a link to a Web site not in an official list of “allowed” sites?

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

          • #2382123
            anonymous
            Guest

            I must confess that both of the employers that I worked for during most of my working life, one was one of America’s largest state university systems and the other a large supermarket chain (a combined 30 years between the two employers), both had closed intranet systems that prevented users from accessing the outside public internet. Their intranet systems only allowed the user to access what was readily available via their internal network, which in the case of the university system also included the other colleges and universities and system administration in that state, as well as the state government, itself. For the supermarket chain, their intranet only provided access to other corporate offices, such as other store locations and the corporate headquarters. I have often wondered why more businesses, state and local governments, and other targets of hackers aren’t walled off from the outside public internet like that, too. Maybe my experience was too long ago to be applicable in today’s business world. But with both of those employers, I would have had to use my own personal laptop computer with my own separate internet connection (not the company’s internet) to get on the public internet; and no company computer or device would have permitted any connection between my laptop and one of their devices.

             

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2382288
            DriftyDonN
            AskWoody Plus

            How would you then handle the sites that will not allow entry until adblockers etc are turned off??

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2382297
              krism
              AskWoody Plus

              I almost always do NOT proceed. Maybe 0.1% I will continue on. The www is so wide and(for me) google is so good, that if that site wants my info, I simply go elsewhere.

              I have noticed a new proliferation of these pop up boxes at the bottom asking me to tailor my cookie preferences for their site. Again, I ignore those requests. If I can’t read the site, then I will go elsewhere. There are just too many sources of info available to us. No need to cater to the ones that want my info.

              - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

            • #2382298
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              DriftyDonN: “How would you then handle the sites that will not allow entry until adblockers etc are turned off??

              (1) Mostly by getting out of there in a hurry.

              (2) Unless it seems they have something I really need to see. In such a case: With great care. I’ll probably get out and then delete cookies, if the site looks sketchy. That is going to have some repercussions, but better that than something much worse.

              Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

              MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
              Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
              Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2382525
                DriftyDonN
                AskWoody Plus

                I agree… Also HTTPS only is another sticking point on some of the most amazing sites.

            • #2382309
              Ascaris
              AskWoody MVP

              I just go in anyway. I haven’t found one yet that will defeat Reek’s Anti-Adblock Killer, even as old and out of date as it is said to be. It’s a combination of a script for *monkey (Greasemonkey, Violentmonkey, Tampermonkey) and an adblocking list subscription for the adblocker of your choice. I’ve seen people say it’s no good because it’s old and unmaintained, but when I have had a site pull that stuff, it’s gotten rid of it.

              If that did not work, I would try other things to get rid of the ads without triggering the script that puts up the adwall (on some sites, it’s as easy as not allowing a script from a third party), and if all of that failed, I’d go elsewhere.

              Adblocking is more than annoyance removal… it’s also an important privacy and security tool, as there’s almost no such thing as web ads without trackers these days, and the ad networks have been used to distribute malware before. If the site wants to host non-third-party ads without trackers or analytics scripts, I’d consider dropping the adblocker, but the odds are I would not have to, as ads that are hosted by the actual domain in question wouldn’t be recognized by the ad blocker as ads.

              Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
              Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
              Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2382310
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Ascaris, I just installed in my Mac first Tampermonkey followed by Anti-Add Blocker in FireFox, so it got automatically installed in Waterfox Current, my default browser, that is also part of the Mozilla project.

                All I have to do now is to find a site that demands one turns off the adblocker (Adblock Plus, in my case), to see if this really works.

                But there is one other thing that would be nice to punch through: the demands of some sites that one lets them install their cookies in the browser. Since the only cookies my browsers are set to reject are 3rd party ones, are then those cookies one is supposed to let those sites install really not of those sites and their demands, therefore, a sneaky way to get someone else’s cookies installed under false pretenses?

                Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

                MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
                Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
                Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

              • #2382318
                Bob1515
                AskWoody Lounger

                Oscar said, “are then those cookies one is supposed to let those sites install really not of those sites and their demands, therefore, a sneaky way to get someone else’s cookies installed under false pretenses?”

                IIRC, google uses that trick for their utm (google-analytics) cookies. But if you have g-a blocked, then that’s not a problem. (Somebody else had mentioned that google also puts the utm code in the ‘GET data’ – the query string after the /?) And there are other such schemes where 3rd-party things you don’t want are installed as 1st-party.

                Even more so, several years ago, FireFox came with google’s ‘pref’ cookie pre-installed. FF said that was an accident. Also, you couldn’t delete that pref cookie. FF said that was an accident, too.

                FF has received billions of dollars from google over the years. Not an exaggeration. There was one multi-year deal for $3 billions, for FF to have google as default search. I will use FF, but not trust them. Their privacy campaign is a marketing gimmick, not a belief. Same as for Brave, which is an ad-selling browser not a privacy browser.

            • #2382320
              Bob1515
              AskWoody Lounger

              “How would you then handle the sites that will not allow entry until adblockers etc are turned off??”

              For an often visited site like weather, I’d tinker with uBlock Origin (a self-described “broad spectrum blocker” not just ad blocker; and it’s a rare example of a truly good natured non-profit effort. Some ad blockers are for profit).

              But for a one off, I’d switch to using the Epic browser, which self clears all data on shutdown and also has a builtin proxy.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2382308
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          I think that would be dreadful.

          I have my privacy settings the way I want them. I don’t want to be queried each time I start the browser about this.

          As bad as it currently is, one way to make sure it gets worse is to get government involved.

          The EU’s rule about cookies requiring permission has resulted in every site in the world now pestering me with a “we use cookies; if you proceed, it means you’re ok with it” message. I KNOW you use cookies. They all do. I don’t need to be told that every time I visit every site (any cookies it may set to record my preference get removed, as do all of the other cookies). So now I need a browser extension to remove the cookie warnings, and it has to be constantly updated as cookie warnings on different sites change form. Some sites refuse to work because the addon has hidden the cookie warning… apparently it’s waiting for some kind of a response.

          Has that annoyance come with any improvement in privacy at all? I don’t think so.

          For the typical, non-techie user who may not have understood beforehand that nearly every site sets a cookie, now they know that there’s an annoying popup on every new site they visit. They’ve quickly learned to hit the X on the cookie warning on each new site to get rid of it and get back to using the web, no different than dismissing an advertising popup that is doing the same thing (getting in the way of what they’ve come to the site to do). They’ve probably forgotten what these little popups say, as the habit is to just dismiss it without ever reading it, just like they ignore security popups and just hit “allow” to get the annoyance out of the way, without ever wondering why the annoyance is there or what it might mean. For sites they have visited before, they’ve forgotten there was ever a popup about cookies in the first place. Out of sight, out of mind.

          Despite having approved cookies all those times, they still have no idea what a cookie is or why they should care, but the requirement the EU imposed has certainly made the web more annoying (and I don’t even live in Europe).

           

          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          Dell G3 15/3579, i7-8750H/16GB, KDE Neon
          Asus P8P67 Deluxe, i5-2500k/16GB, KDE Neon

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2382319
            Bob1515
            AskWoody Lounger

            “As bad as it currently is, one way to make sure it gets worse is to get government involved.”

            That’s an LOL, and true. However, I certainly do like it when BigTech gets hammered with big fines. Such as done by France’s CNIL. Just make the fines bigger and better. Another plus would be when it is possible to successfully sue BigTech and make money – then the sharks (lawyers) would be circling endlessly. The sharks don’t have to be good people, just effective.

      • #2382045
        Lars220
        AskWoody Plus

        There is an interesting and fairly recent article about cookies and tracking over at the Markup org website, where their motto is: ‘Big Tech Is Watching You. We’re Watching Big Tech.’  The article: Is the Cookie Web Tracker Dying? By Colin Lecher – July 30, 2021 states: “The internet’s original data collection tool is still ubiquitous, even as the web moves away from it”

        “For now, however, cookies are still nearly ubiquitous. When The Markup scanned more than 80,000 popular websites using our web privacy inspection tool Blacklight, we found that 87 percent loaded cookies from third parties or from tracking network requests.”

        The Markup org hosts A Real-Time Website Privacy Inspector By Surya Mattu named Blacklight, where you can “Enter the address of any website, and Blacklight will scan it and reveal the specific user-tracking technologies on the site—and who’s getting your data.” One of my favorite sites to visit for amateur astronomy is EarthSky org, which has a lot of Ad Trackers and Third Party Cookies. I use multiple extensions to block these, but I thought some may find it interesting to see the results of Blacklight for EarthSky org:
        https://themarkup.org/blacklight?url=earthsky.org
        I can not remember who said that if we use the internet our privacy is gone, but we still do our best to try and be private, thanks to all who help out here at AskWoody.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2382047
          anonymous
          Guest

          Wow, that’s an eye opener, for sure. Thanks for the link. I used it to look up weather.com and got another surprise: they use canvas fingerprinting to evade third party cookie blocking.

           

          • #2382089
            SallyBrown
            AskWoody Plus

            FWIW, the NOAA radar maps work pretty well now.  I don’t use the site you mentioned much at all these days.  They ate WU, which basically became a tracking site, then quit loading well if at all.  Go IBM!

            There’s a topic here somewhere on the NOAA maps.

            Rant:  I have an outdoor weather station that measures everything you’d want and uses its own radio to send the data to an indoor display.  Any idea how hard it is to find one that doesn’t require a phone?

            End of rant. 🙂

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382054
        anonymous
        Guest

        There are UTM codes that get add to link that describe the site you are coming from, what advertising campaign the advertiser is using, etc. Google Analytics does make use them and others, it is uncertain whether these UTM codes are combined with other methods of collecting data.

        UTM codes are common on Facebook and embedded in some other websites to track your navigation to use a service provided by the owner.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382067
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        Mod move if necessary. don’t know where to put this. @sb posted an article

        Wondering how much it helps to be running an ad blocker (uBlock Origin on FF at the moment)?

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2382096
        SallyBrown
        AskWoody Plus

        Well, no firewalls don’t unless you make them block dragons and all the beasts dragons parasitize (good luck!)

        Tracking has to be considered rationally.  I’ve heard some very irate voices complaining that sites know who you are via. whatever IP address your router/ISP sends with a request.  Well, yeah, sites have to know to whom the data is to be returned or you’re just yelling at the wind!

        I rarely see ads on computers or phones and never knowingly click on ads.  If the aduniverse is going to try and take my data anyway using underhanded means regardless of my wishes, then it becomes a game I’ll gladly play by bocking as much of their middle school tricks as possible.

        “Hey, you started it!”

      • #2382118
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        Something that is not exclusive to the USA, by the way.

        Oh so the rest of the world is lucky too.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2382137
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve been using uBlock Origin for around 5 years on Firefox and am very happy with it.  It does more than just block ads and I feel more secure with it.  I use Firefox exclusively now and got rid of Adblock and replaced it with uBlock Origin.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2382138
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          I m using both Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin and have not noticed any adds sneaking in when using my main browsers: Waterfox “Current” (default) ,with both addons enabled and, now and then Chrome, always with Adblock enabled.

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Intego AV and Malwarebytes.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2382258
          rontpxz81
          AskWoody Plus

          uBlock Origin works well for me on Firefox.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382156
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        There are UTM codes that get add to link that describe the site you are coming from, what advertising campaign the advertiser is using, etc. Google Analytics does make use them and others

        Asking again how the tracking effects me ? I don’t see how it does.

        • #2382379
          anonymous
          Guest

          How can this effect you? When the are sometimes used without stripping them away you could happily feeding Google and other competitors more information.

          Any domain name in the first part of the link discloses where traffic is going to, utm_source is a reference to where traffic comes from (i.e. Facebook).

          The keywords appended to the utm_medium and utm_campaign tags describe how and why you are having visitors come to your site.

          Google Analytics and any other site using them will parse the whole link to generate data for tracking purposes. When you access any site the server will likely be configured to collect enough information about your visit, they do not need any more especially if the http origin and referral headers are being used during page navigation.

      • #2382170
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Personal experience: occasional YouTube popup (even with a background script in ublockO), nothing else using a highly tweaked/ customised Firefox ESR blocking/faking fingerprinters for fonts, audio, bluetooth, microphone etc.
        Firewall, WPD works well on windows (with additional accumulated over time blocks set in place)

        | Quality over Quantity |
      • #2382260
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        Ah, my little post was moved! Good!  Now I can ask:

        Does simply using an ad blocker in my browser allow me to be free of concern ref SB’s good post? (assuming something like uBlock Origin and FF)(there are a few “good” ad blockers out there and a few good browsers.)(imho 😀 )

        EDIT: no, I will rant on this. People need to take full responsibility for clicking on a link that does them in. After all, you can just hover and see right where it is going! If you can’t trust yourself, unplug that RJ45!

        EDIT: also note that I always assume that the CIA and NSA, and doubtless much other alphabet soup, knows precisely everything I do, and I am okay with that. I have always assumed that. I compute accordingly. I have never had a virus or been hacked. (though I did once have avast or some AV go completely ape on my computer trying to tell me that everything on my computer, including my very existence, needed to be isolated and removed. Oh and then there was the time I installed norton long long ago and when I rebooted it showed me a picture of a bomb – you know, one of those round things with a lit fuse… But no real ones.

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2382388
          WSPhilGreg
          AskWoody Lounger

          In short–No!

          One thing I’ve noticed in this thread is the lack of discussions about layered security. Blocking cookies and scripts and tracking  are only part of the battle for privacy and security..

          Tightening down the browser is only one step. I use AdBlock Origin as well Ghostery in FF. But, before that I have No Script, PC Matic for blocking critters, Outpost Firewall,and, Nord VPN w/CyberSec.

          Been online since 92 and I’ve never had a single problme outside of silly errors when I first started

          • #2382422
            Microfix
            AskWoody MVP

            Been online since 92 and I’ve never had a single problme outside of silly errors when I first started

            Commonly known as typos 🙂
            Modem/router security should also be mentioned and audited by the end-user.
            See Michael432’s site

            | Quality over Quantity |
        • #2382615
          Bob1515
          AskWoody Lounger

          “Does simply using an ad blocker in my browser allow me to be free of concern…”

          With uBO set to block 3rd party scripts and frames by default, that adds some security. Only rarely do I have to manually allow 3rd party scripts on any particular site. Allowing 3rd party frames is almost never needed.

          • #2382680
            krism
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks. No idea what uBO is though I tried another script blocker and had to take action on virtually every site I access so I took it off. Maybe didn’t know how to simplify it.

            - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

            • #2382686
              PKCano
              Manager

              uBO = uBlock Origin

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2382689
                krism
                AskWoody Plus

                OH! So where is the option to block 3rd party scripts? (I have just been using the default , not changing anything.) Thanks.

                EDIT: okay, I see I have to find a site that HAS 3rd party scripts and click on the red thing. But I checked a bunch of sites and couldn’t find any. I wonder if FF is blocking them, or maybe uBO is already blocking them by default.

                ?

                - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

              • #2382704
                Bob1515
                AskWoody Lounger

                First, set it to advanced (click the icon then the gears). Then whenever you click the uBO icon in the browser top bar, you’ll see everything.

                Btw, if you install uBO in Brave, you will see that Brave allows the google spyware known as custom fonts.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2382711
                krism
                AskWoody Plus

                AH! Got it! Thanks!!! Easy!!!bear

                EDIT: oops, eby uses 3rd party scripts to display my orders so I had to turn it off. Does that mean I have turned it off for all?

                - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

              • #2382723
                krism
                AskWoody Plus

                or, how do I then enable it, say, only on ebay? Thanks.

                - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

              • #2382801
                krism
                AskWoody Plus

                - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2382301
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Does simply using an ad blocker in my browser allow me to be free of concern

        No. We have had plenty of no click holes in browsers etc (remember Flash player?} and there are likely to be more.

        Run a good anti virus product – MS Windows Defender is good.
        Backup regularly.
        Watch out for odd things happening on your PC.

        cheers, Paul

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2382344
          krism
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks. Yep, the obvious! I have used WD for years with no problems. Be well!

          - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2382444
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        There’s another good point. ( @Microfix ) If you are all that concerned, put a router between you and your modem, or use a gateway (modem+router), and use the router’s firewall in addition to what windows gives you. At the moment I am using an Arris gateway and I also have just retired an Arris modem/Arris 1.7G router. High speed solutions are out there.

        Also, use Gibson Research grc.com “shields up” to test your computer. Then you will know more of what you need to fix.

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

        • #2382573
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I would like to ask a question:
          Is GNU/Linux really safer than Windows? Obviously there is less malware for GNU/Linux, because the majority runs Windows.
          I am quite disciplined user and I had only one real virus during my experience. It came on the floppy disk with UGH! game.
          Since that day, only malware detected sometimes, but no viruses. Windows Defender is good IMHO.
          Since the day I started use Linux, no virus, no malware, no adware neither. Does Using the GNU/Linux minimize the risk of getting stalked, or data stolen? Or iOS pherhaps?

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

          • #2382674
            krism
            AskWoody Plus

            imho, NO. The foolishness and problems come simply with what you access with your browser. It is an operator problem, NOT an opsys prob. I use WD on 21H1 and essentially nothing on Mint(I use their built in firewall at “home,on,allow,deny default settings)(there is nothing in the log and 9 items in Report). I use FF with uBlock Origin or AdBlock Plus so I never see 99.999% of the stuff that is getting folks into trouble. FF also has a built in thing that asks me if I REALLY want to access this site that is supposedly bad (I usually do temporary if I know the site is good.)

            At this instant I am on Mint 99% of the time. But things always change! 🙂

            - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382578
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Does Using the GNU/Linux minimize the risk of getting stalked, or data stolen?

        No. Linux has close to none malware but Linux severs (and PCs) are hacked constantly (see attached)

        iOS has been targeted with NSO’s Pegasus but for a private user is is very secure with buit-in anti-stalking and privacy features.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382706
        Bob1515
        AskWoody Lounger

        Most everybody has heard the story of two people walking in the woods, when they see a bear. The 1st runs away at top speed. The 2nd calls out, “You fool, you can’t run faster than a bear.” The 1st yells back, “I only have to run faster than you!”

        To me, that’s a good way to look at personal internet privacy. 🙂

        • #2382717
          krism
          AskWoody Plus

          While the story is perhaps amusing on a bear level, on a internet security level, even if I do many things that a person who foolishly clicked on a link and got ransomware, did NOT do,

          I STILL could by caught, by that same link, if I am not very careful!!!

          - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

          • #2382720
            Bob1515
            AskWoody Lounger

            Ahh, but that’s security, whilst I was speaking of privacy. We can adjust the bear story to your example by saying that the person runs toward the bear   🙂

            • #2382724
              krism
              AskWoody Plus

              only way to run away from a bear is to turn off your computer. Very few knowingly run towards a bear.

              - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

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