The Forestry Forum

Forum Help => Technical Support Topics => Topic started by: Gary_C on December 16, 2017, 12:35:58 AM

Title: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: Gary_C on December 16, 2017, 12:35:58 AM
I know for sure it's not me. Don't know if it's Google, Microsoft, Dell or some one else but not me.  With all the popups, notifications, alerts, and updates there is always something going on. I try to resist the updates but they are persistent to the point of being annoying and I know I'm not going to like the changes.

Right now it's especially bad. I asked my wife what she wanted for Christmas and one of the things she thought of was a new electric fry pan. So I looked them up online and now every time I go online (and every time she goes online) we are bombarded with ads for electric fry pans.

This tracking stuff is getting very annoying. Is there any way to stop all these updates and tracking?
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: DDW_OR on December 16, 2017, 04:26:37 AM
for surfing the web i use Firefox.

i am the sole user of my computer and have two accounts
first is the Administrator, that is ONLY used for installing or changing software.
the User account is what i use for my day to day.

Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: Ianab on December 16, 2017, 04:44:47 AM
The adverts?

No, they are outside the bounds of your computer. They know you have searched "Frypans", and gone to a specific web site from that search.

So knowing that, what adverts would you send to that PC? Well if you were really smart you might send adverts for fishing lures or Tartare sauce... But the AI isn't quite that smart yet.

Now it's possible to run a computer with 100% "Open Source" software. Linux / Firefox / Chromium / Libre Office etc. That's not controlled by any corporation as such.

But you can't control the way that web pages (out of your control) track and send you adverts.
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: Roxie on December 16, 2017, 06:42:11 AM
I also use Firefox as my browser, their ad blocking is wonderful.  If I go to a page that asks me to turn off my ad blocker, I just smile and backstroke to a page that won't hassle me. 

I also changed my search engine from Google to duckduckgo.com, because no one should track you like Google brags about doing. 

There is a setting on my computer that updates only when you permit it.  I still get notices that updates are available, but this prevents them from just grabbing your computer and having their way with it. 
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: sprucebunny on December 16, 2017, 07:13:05 AM
I use Ghostery to block ads and like Roxie, if a website is pushy, there are lots of others.

I use Startpage search that doesn't record your IP address.
I have an Apple computer which is a less 'controlled' platform.

The trackers are so stupid. They have no idea if I bought something. I'm over the 'electric frypan' or whatever and have no need for more ads.
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: PA_Walnut on December 16, 2017, 07:53:06 AM
Most search engines use (and sell) tracking data and Facebook is also using pixel-tracking to utilize and monetize your browsing also.
Don't be surprised some day when there's a directory accessible online that reports all of your site visit data.

PIA is a great option. (Private Internet Access). It's an anonymous VPN service that encrypts your connection and provides you with an anonymous IP address. Excellent service for a great price.

Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: 50 Acre Jim on December 16, 2017, 08:03:09 AM
This tracking stuff is getting very annoying. Is there any way to stop all these updates and tracking?
Gary_C, aside from all the above you can also use the TOR browser   This is directly from their website. 
Quote
The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

The upside is your searches and browser is protected from all the stuff you are describing.  The downside is it's a little slow.  But given how it works, that is to be expected.  I prefer the slowdown over being tracked. 
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: BradMarks on December 18, 2017, 02:19:46 PM
And not just your laptop or desktop.  How about your smart phone.  That GPS feature isn't just for you, just recently (of course with an update - otherwise phone would be useless) started getting my photos put into "albums" with geographic headers.  Even photos from years ago. Not my doing. Big Brother (or Sis) knows where, what,  almost how and probably why :o 
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: PA_Walnut on December 21, 2017, 04:28:39 AM
Geotagging on phone pics has been going on for a while. It's metadata contained in the EXIF portion of the file, along with time/date stamps, camera info like lens, exposure, etc.

 It can be turned off in settings. The file can also have this data removed/altered by little apps that can see and modify this info.

Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: MbfVA on January 02, 2018, 05:56:57 PM
 I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news, but you can't use mapping and directions if you turn off location  entirely
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: MbfVA on January 02, 2018, 05:59:55 PM
 I am working on a plan to make our domain, ordinary.com, into a safe place of sorts,  more details as I get them worked out with some smarter people than I am.

To give you an example, how would you like to have an email address where the email provider will not search your email for information about you to use for marketing purposes?

 I have been thinking of ways to promote ordinary.com for a long time,  once we get something going with it besides our restaurant (whose website we will move).  It should be fun.
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: 50 Acre Jim on January 02, 2018, 07:36:24 PM
To give you an example, how would you like to have an email address where the email provider will not search your email for information about you to use for marketing purposes?
Seems reasonable.  Kind of like unseen.is. 
Title: Re: Who Controls Your Computer?
Post by: MbfVA on January 02, 2018, 11:17:25 PM
It seems to be much harder to control intrusions on our small "devices" as opposed to laptops and desktops. There is no Little Snitch version for phones that I know of, for example.

I suggest clearing cookies and other retained memory items regularly on each & all of your browsers.  It won't cure all, but it will cut down on the effectiveness of the snooping.

You heard my prediction here first: There will be a @MeToo style rebellion about privacy & Big data snooping before long.  And in my opinion, equally overdue.

The head of the FCC has shown that private citizen issues, privacy, net neutrality, etc, are not his big concern.