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Just How Much Of My Browsing And Settings Are Visible To Websites?


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3 replies to this topic

#1 gungebucket

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 04:03 AM

Hi folks.

Not sure if this is the right section for my question, so feel free to move my post if necessary.

I've been using tabbed browsing on my home PC, since XP v7 came out, rather than opening fresh windows. But have started to wonder about the overall privacy of the two options.
Just how much of my browsing and computer set up becoms available to websites as I visit, then browse away?
If I open a new tab is it visible? Is a fresh window visible? Is a separately opened browser visible? I might as well ask, is a Firefox browser detected by an Int Exp browser and vice versa?

This question was kind of prompted when an ebay seller I had been watching joined a web forum I was on, after I opened ebay on a new tab. He was ok, and has offered us all discounts, so it's not all bad. :thumbsup:

I have my security set for easier surfing in Int Exp and session cookies on Firefox, I also run Zonealarm, AVG virus, spyware and rootkit.

Thanks in advance for any info. I think a lot of people will be interested in this.

Edited by gungebucket, 31 July 2007 - 04:04 AM.

AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 45600+. 300gig H/D. 2 gig DDr RAM. Vista Home fully updated. Firefox. AVG Free. Zonealarm.
Look, I'm quite capable of fouling up my computer without your help. Thank you very much! :-D

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#2 jgweed

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:06 AM

When any browser sends a page request to a server, it includes its IP address, the
type of browser you are using, and the operating system of your computer. This information is needed for communication purposes. Opening a page in a window or a tab causes a page request.
Additional information may be collected by the server. This is generally information internal to the server (the sequence, for example, of the pages visited), but may also include the URL from which you came.

Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 31 July 2007 - 09:25 AM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 gungebucket

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 03:51 AM

Thanks for confirming that John.
Though I was already aware of the majority of it.
But does my first tab see me opening another tab as a page request, and how many tabs might be detected by the first or second etc.? After all, it's not as if I'm browsing away from the first one, because it's still open.
I guessed that a website would list my visits to it's own pages, and will also see where I came from when I first entered. That is the stuff that makes surfing quicker for us, and more viable for the site we're looking at. But does it see the url I go to when I leave, and how many clicks away will it stop seeing me.
Or if I'm already using Int Ex, will it detect me starting up a new or alternative browser on my desktop? As, once again, I'm not browsing away from the first one.

Maybe it's just ye goode olde web security paranoia, but some people are convinced that Microsoft build deeply hidden info transmitting mechanisms into their software as a matter of course. Did I call it spyware? Well I'm sure it's all agreed when we argee to all those privacy terms that we never read. :thumbsup:

Edited by gungebucket, 02 August 2007 - 04:06 AM.

AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 45600+. 300gig H/D. 2 gig DDr RAM. Vista Home fully updated. Firefox. AVG Free. Zonealarm.
Look, I'm quite capable of fouling up my computer without your help. Thank you very much! :-D

#4 jgweed

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:09 PM

Each tab request to a different site is a separate request, and the bare information I mentioned would be supplied.
However, most sites will set a "temporary" cookie that allows it to follow your movement within the site itself; if a cookie is set, the subsequent pages you open with a tab presumably can be "tracked."
If you are worried about cookies, and use Firefox, you can set it to ask about each cookie as it comes up when surfing, and tell it to keep the cookie only for the session.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.




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