• Spying or helpful? You decide.

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    PRIVACY By Susan Bradley Years ago, my girlfriend had her first baby. Suddenly, I found myself sitting in front of my computer, searching only for bab
    [See the full post at: Spying or helpful? You decide.]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2605982


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    • #2606012

      Feel free to hear other opinions, but I would not be concerned about cookies or history items appearing in Edge or IE, or them needing to be closed or appearing to be running.  Edge (by default) will always run in the background to make it faster to start etc, and certain activities in Windows generate history items in Edge/IE (opening files or URL shortcuts).

      If you are not seeing anything even more unusual with your computer, I would just check the logs of Defender or your antivirus to see if it found anything.  If you are especially worried or have seen unusual behavior, first I would do a Malwarebytes free scan.  If it finds anything significant, I would post on reputable forums asking about that, such as Bleepingcomputer.

    • #2606022

      I fully agree with the direction to not use a free VPN.  That one is very much in the realm of “if you’re not paying, you’re the product, not the customer”, and what the provider of a free VPN gets out of providing something without charge is unfettered access to your data.  In fact, because you consider your stuff to be sufficiently sensitive to use a VPN, it’s giving the provider pre-filtered data, where the signal-to-noise ratio is considerably higher.

      The one exception I’ve found on free VPN is with Proton — they do have a free tier of service, but there’s no advertising connected to it.  For small tasks, it’s usable, and IMO and what they get out of free is positioning themselves so that users will go to them when they need higher functionality.

      I’m not advertising for Proton, and rarely use a VPN, but on the occasions I may need it, I do have a Proton account.

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    • #2606108

      I am glad to say that I have never experienced anything like your tale of the emails about your friend’s child. I’d be livid, both at the site and at myself for allowing it to happen.

      I use an addon to delete cookies for a given site when I close the tab, and to remove them all if I close the browser. I do reject third party cookies, but I have found that rejecting first party cookies just breaks too many sites. Better to let it set them and then delete them when I am finished with that site. It means that most of my browsing is done not signed in, so even if a site knows my email address, it does not necessarily connect that address to the user browsing things. I sign in when I am about to make a purchase, then when I am done, close the tab.

      I don’t want any companies knowing anything about any of my devices until I tell them. If you want to send a crash report, ask me; I probably will allow it. If I encounter bugs that don’t result in a crash report, I will often report them manually. If a given software publisher wants anonymous usage data, ask me and I may opt-in. I have done so in the past; I used to allow Firefox to send data, for example. Now I use Waterfox, which has no telemetry even on an opt-in basis, so the question is moot.

      If any given software attempts to go over my head and simply takes the liberty to send data without permission, there is no chance I would allow that. I will do everything I can to block or prevent that data from being transmitted. That is one of several interrelated reasons I am a former Windows user rather than a current one.

      I would be horrified if my phone began alerting me to things related to my location while traveling. Seeing any ad at all is bad enough, but “push” ads are beyond the pale. If I want to know about stuff near me when I am traveling, I know how to find it! I don’t need it to find me.

      It is not necessary to have a whole separate browser for the purpose of bypassing the adblocker. You can use safe mode in Firefox (and Waterfox), or just switch to another browser profile. I have another profile set up specifically for this, and I can switch to it by entering about:profiles and then opening the new profile in a new browser window, without disturbing the stuff I have in the regular profile.

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    • #2606111

      I am glad to say that I have never experienced anything like your tale of the emails about your friend’s child

      Me too.

    • #2606566

      My ESET Security Suite offers a – Bank Payment & Protection – module which when clk’d allows Sites within it to enjoy the greater protection as below. I wonder IF some of your Security apps haven’t evolved similar Protection, and I offer this ESET description just for evaluation as to How Helpful you read it to be. A setting can make all your Browsers operate within it IF they Are Supported by BPP.
      [ ESET Bank & Payment Protection (BPP) : BBP can best be described as “hardening” your browser (if BPP compatible/ FF – Edge are) against malware attacks; especially those employed by banking trojans and the like. If you observe a BPP session running in Process Explorer, you will see your browser running as a child process under Eset’s kernel process, ekrn.exe. You will also see eOPPFrame.exe running as a child process that additionally assists with detection of any browser tampering. Finally, Eset injects a .dll into the browser that will scramble all your keystrokes so you’re protected against both browser based and global keyloggers.

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