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Track the trackers with Ghostery for Firefox


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#1 CoolCatBad

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:05 PM

http://www.ghostery.com/?src=ff

Ghostery is a Firefox extension that shows which sneaky web bugs and trackers are hiding in every website you visit.

Also gives you the option to block any or all of these critters.

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#2 Bambo

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:42 AM

Not sure I approve of new blocking feature. I thought idea was to get wiser on how websites work not block them. Same with Adblock Plus, if all internet goes through that and blacklists you dont know internet for real, good or bad? Horrible sites with horrible web designs, like putting Google ads inside forum posts!!!!, dumb marketing ideas get thumbs up because you dont see them. Perhaps stops reactions, like complaining or otherwise punish SEO stupidity.

#3 Andrew

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:46 AM

Web bugs are evil and should be shot. They serve no purpose other than tracking users' movements online. They are a privacy threat and therefore not in the same category as legit advertising, which are ethically defensible in most cases.

The argument that addons like Adblock Plus may be ethically questionable for depriving site owners of revenue is at least a defensible position; there may be merit to it. Though I feel that the argument that users have the right to determine what comes down their network tube and into their internet box may be the stronger of the two.

#4 Bambo

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:14 AM

Which web bugs are a privacy threat? You do know you are talking about Google Analytics stuff right? Tracking is done all over the place - this forum included. You have access to the big control panel? Then you know how much time Ive spend and where, my IP, my ISP, OS, resolution, plugins and more. The very core of internet pages, small or big. Game is lost long ago and most of what used to be considered "privacy threat" is merely data used in SEO optimization which does include simply making better pages! - and partly why so many sites suck. You afraid of a cookie? Last man standing perhaps. But most have no clue why it is done and how. What makes Ghostery useful, like Firebug and similar tools. There certainly are TOS to consider when usings tracking but most could not care less. Im pretty sure GA require a note saying it is in use - cant remember seeing it anywhere. All goes today.

I was not taking side with SEO freaks - more like the opposite. Adblocking end up making user ignore problem which is insane webdesign more than ads. Why I for some months have stopped blocking. When used to clean pages you really do notice how crappy it is when you see the real internet. Some sites have "suffered" from less frequent visits, many blogs are gone from browsers history. I think it is better to face reality than blocking. Most pages way slower also, that is a nice side-effect to adblocking, biggest boost for speed ever.

You are a moderator on a forum full of Google ads! those ads site admin have little control over because of the mighty powers from Google ad-machinery, you are right in the middle of this, hello and welcome to 2009. You think they have random content or are placed randomly. Look at the heatmap :thumbsup: Your position on evil vs. good is hopeless, just saying. Sometimes you got to eat a pill to get well or making a site run. What bothers me 100% is not number of ads but the fact siteadmins dont control content, Google is partly sideadmin of this forum! More relevant to think about that a tracking cookie perhaps? They are irrelevant to real issues.

There are alternatives to GA,MS, Yahoo btw - check Piwik http://piwik.org/ However any advice you will get about setting up a blog, a business, anything online really will be about Google Analytics. You are dumb if you dont. How it is. Im a google fanboy for sure but when it seems there is no choice but to go Google I dont know. "Make money with your blog" suggestions is really where it starts. Too many think the same or dont think at all. Ive helped a few with setting up sites and they use Piwik so opensource evil, heh.

Edited by Bambo, 03 September 2009 - 07:40 AM.


#5 Bambo

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 08:33 AM

Btw, http://browserspy.dk/ this type of info is what you deliver on every page on the internet. If it is used or not is another question. Those site with GA, heatmaps and such will know navigation details as well. This is just the basics. Cookies, webbugs is a minor result of this and personal privacy should not be mixed up with the privacy of your internet connection, computer - or you cant go online :thumbsup:

Some tracking is not traceable and does not necessarily output a cookie so you can feel safe blocking. ISP, hosts have own tools. You are owned if you like it or not so what to do?

Edited by Bambo, 03 September 2009 - 08:38 AM.


#6 Bambo

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:09 PM

You mean Ghostery give Firefox problems when you open more tabs? Well try disable it. Some sites hide Ghostery, can be done with simple css - just proving to me that blackhat SEO and other tossers have questionable motives of providing "free" service. Sign of color for sure. Dont know if weird scripts are messing up Ghostery, possible. Should then only be some pages not a general problem. Ive used Ghostery since it came out, has run perfectly so unaware of bugs.

#7 Andrew

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 12:11 PM

Which web bugs are a privacy threat? You do know you are talking about Google Analytics stuff right? Tracking is done all over the place - this forum included. You have access to the big control panel? Then you know how much time Ive spend and where, my IP, my ISP, OS, resolution, plugins and more. The very core of internet pages, small or big. Game is lost long ago and most of what used to be considered "privacy threat" is merely data used in SEO optimization which does include simply making better pages! - and partly why so many sites suck. You afraid of a cookie? Last man standing perhaps. But most have no clue why it is done and how. What makes Ghostery useful, like Firebug and similar tools. There certainly are TOS to consider when usings tracking but most could not care less. Im pretty sure GA require a note saying it is in use - cant remember seeing it anywhere. All goes today.

NoScript FTW! :thumbsup:
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You are a moderator on a forum full of Google ads!

only for unregistered guests, I believe.

Your position on evil vs. good is hopeless, just saying. Sometimes you got to eat a pill to get well or making a site run.

I disagree most strenuously.

#8 Bambo

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:16 PM

Well you can face reality or feel comfortable blocking cookies and tiny scripts :thumbsup: Data-mining and manipulation and all that follows does not go away because of that effort. I see it says Facebook in your signature, hmmmm and you say tracking is pure evil? It is ok, resistance is futile, you are in it up to your knees whether you like it or not, but feeeeling safe is all that matters. Then a defined "threat" is nice since it can be dealt with = you feel better. And so here are these little tools. But no chance to avoid "evil" as you are online. No way to be holy and if you think you fight back by blocking you are wrong. If anything you are dressing up a pig - or undressing. Exactly why Adblock tools are there, to make internet convenient, but also all your "fight" for good vs. evil is about. You still participate and is part of the chain.

I doubt Bleepingcomputer use Google ads to annoy people. They are here for a reason. If they dumped those because not wanting to promote unknown security products alternative would be? Ads are for costs I assume. Getting in bed with Norton and others with big ass banners? Probably. That might not go done too well, so why I said that about the pill. I would guess how the powers of this site look at it too. Not exactly creative but how to make things run today. Everyone does it. Not sure I agree but understand argument when there are actual costs involved. I would probably prefer ad-deals/contracts and go BAH to those having a problem with "associations" or what complaints would be. That about siteadmins letting Google control content just cant be explained in a comforting way, but also the pill.

#9 CoolCatBad

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:36 AM

I am not saying they are evil, or malware, just that I like to be informed as to what is going on when navigating the WWW.

And I think most people would be better served by informing themselves.

#10 Bambo

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:42 AM

Exactly, a screaming demand for that. Majority have no clue. I was just trying to say that blocking webbugs is like top of the iceberg. Stuff that is being tried and done on social sites for example is much worse. Most on internet lives off datamining/manipulation. If you check out Browserspy page that is not from Google, typically what every host provides, in some form or another. What ISP do you will not be told, or you can believe what they say or not :thumbsup: What is "cool" or not regarding to this is pretty much a closed debate, normal people just eat it up. I can remember there were quite some noise when Google text-ads began their crusade, today all goes and all try to make a buck. Fixing that with blocking and thinking then all is fine I dont understand.

Social networking and all that goes on behind the scene there is something else. There you are more than IP number. I read about Facebook presenting "packages" of users to businesses - result of datamining. Whole idea of Facebook! Used for this, used for that but whole idea. Others do the same of course. That can freak me out because then we are talking privacy and not just IP numbers and screen resolutions saved by silly NoScript. I dont have a Facebook account, or not a real one anyway. Impact of being a number in Google Analytics or any other service of that kind is way overrated. That old school privacy, if ever worth anything, was lost long ago. Google is actually pretty hysteric about this. Their butt is covered, read their TOS and whole GA monster is documented in details. Well drop that, check out Google insights, Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends, Google in general. Tons more, SEO tools comes in many shapes, all more or less a result of GA. Tied together and all about traffic and clicks. Tabloid internet :flowers:

EDIT: Copyrighted image removed per forum rules. ~ Animal




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