Are there gremlins in my computer? (1 Viewer)

Eljefegeneo

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My wife has been after me to get a new bridge for our Koi pond/stream and today I ordered one from Wayfair. About an hour later she told me that she found a bridge that would fit nicely and I should order it. It appeared as an unsolicited ad on her Face Book feed. It was the same exact bridge that I ordered.

Now I know that if I search for something, the gremlins in my computer will remember that and somehow feed the ad people hiding in my hard drive. But seriously, do these gremlins extend their nasty eyes over our local net? What is going on here?

I remember an episode from the TV series, "Parks and Rec", where the character Ron Swanson asks his assistant why certain ads are appearing on his computer. When she explains why this happens, the next scene shows him dumping his computer in the trash bin.

Are we really opening up ourselves to this unwanted spying?
 

moke123

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Are we really opening up ourselves to this unwanted spying?
When the FCC changed the rules your ISP and Phone Carrier are now allowed to sell your information. Used to be if you visited a website you were tracked. Now your ISP knows everything you do through their pipes. You phone company even knows what aisle your standing in at Walmart and when.

We pay a big price for that final mile.
 

Galaxiom

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Google etc know more about you than you do.
 

CJ_London

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it happens with me and my wife as well
 

Minty

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Secure, anonymising VPN will help but adds complications.

The most annoying one is the Bay of E - You buy something and then are bombarded with ads for the thing you have already purchased.
Just don't! I've already bloody bought it! Bugger off! :mad::mad::rolleyes:
 

Isaac

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Privacy laws are needed. We have a ton of regulations, but they have more to do with letting a consumer "know" what is being done, which is very complicated to actually go through with and when you get the information it is vague and over-arching and what good is it to just know?
I think we need laws that simply say "you can't do this-or-that. period"

I've gotten so used to it that when I see ads that DON'T reflect my personal interests (like feminine products or something), I'm a bit surprised. LOL
 

AccessBlaster

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You are a repackaged commodity to be bought and sold over and over. Did you think the free yahoo account was free?
 

moke123

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As someone who often needs to locate people you'd be really shocked by whats out there.

You've all seen ads by data companies like checkmate,etc. who run background checks for a couple bucks. They're the amateurs.

The big co.'s who charge hundreds to thousands a month to account holders are the pros . These are the ones unavailable to average citizens. They aggregate data from credit reports, driving licenses, car registrations, property records, professional licenses, voter records, fishing & hunting licenses, gas and electric providers, courts, the internet, cell carriers, insurance co's, and every other obscure source you can think of. They not only list your current address but every address you've been associated with for 20 or so years. They also list everyone who has lived at those addresses and all their licenses, registrations, and past addresses, etc. You can usually drill down about 3 levels removed.

Privacy is certainly a thing of the past.
 

Isaac

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One source that I used a LOT during a certain employment back in the 90's and early 2000's was Accurint. You could do just about anything imaginable. I could put in a name and a city and narrow it down to the correct person - including their DOB, full SSN, 20 relatives and home address in 60 seconds.

It was amazing how a person who wouldn't return your phone call in 5 years, but then got a message from their uncle, would return it within the hour. Legislation slowly but surely put a damper on that, though.

Boy, a lot of people got fired in that job for looking up celebrities. I never did, but I got the impression that they're smart--all their home address type data points just trace back to the addresses of layers upon layers of lawyers!

I've used LexisNexis and Monica for legal research, but I think LN has a lot of other commercial products out there too.
 

moke123

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One source that I used a LOT during a certain employment back in the 90's and early 2000's was Accurint. You could do just about anything imaginable. I could put in a name and a city and narrow it down to the correct person - including their DOB, full SSN, 20 relatives and home address in 60 seconds.

It was amazing how a person who wouldn't return your phone call in 5 years, but then got a message from their uncle, would return it within the hour. Legislation slowly but surely put a damper on that, though.

Boy, a lot of people got fired in that job for looking up celebrities. I never did, but I got the impression that they're smart--all their home address type data points just trace back to the addresses of layers upon layers of lawyers!

I've used LexisNexis and Monica for legal research, but I think LN has a lot of other commercial products out there too.
I've used them all. Some are better than others but even those are limited for most users. I'm lucky enough to enjoy the top tier permissions so...:devilish:
 

Eljefegeneo

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A follow up on my previous rant. So, I have been listening to the audio version of the Shardlake books, a series of historical mysteries by C. J. Sansom, which, by the way I highly recommend especially in the audio version. They are set in the time of Henry VIII, one of the Brits more infamous Kings. The other day on my Iphone while using the Google App up comes an item that asks me to select my favorite (favourite) wife of Henry VIII. Yes, listen to the books on an app on this phone. So, now they know not only what I search for, but to what books I am listening? This is crazy.
 

FrankRuperto

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For 2.99USD per month you can subscribe to Firefox Private Network: https://fpn.firefox.com/

The FPN browser extension creates an encrypted tunnel proxy between an FF browser and a cloud-hosted network. While you browse the web, your browsing data flows from Firefox directly through this secure socket connection. This means your ISP, network manager, or eavesdroppers cannot see your browsing. Since your web traffic is proxied before it reaches the web, your location and IP address are also masked so that online trackers have a harder time following you as you browse.

I thought this extra security and extra stop at the hosted service would slow down speed, but it has actually increased performance.

As added security, I use a separate PC for surfing the web with nothing else on it except the OS and the FF browser with the FPN extension.
 
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AccessBlaster

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The first link in the chain is your ISP, before your computer, before your browser before your VPN the ISP is the first thing in the line. You are trying to mask something you have given permission to track you.
 

FrankRuperto

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The extension installed on my FF browser encrypts everything before it goes out through my ISP's modem and its received by my proxy which forwards it to its final destination. Likewise, everything that comes into my FF browser first stops at my proxy, gets encrypted and is forwarded to my FF broswer which decrypts it. It's just like a VPN for the browser, so I don't understand what you mean by
You are trying to mask something you have given permission to track you.
The only thing my ISP knows is that all my encrypted traffic is going to the proxy, and everything I receive is comming encrypted from the proxy, but the ISP doesn't know where its ultimately going to, or comming from, nor its content.
 
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AccessBlaster

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Don't get me wrong I use Firefox's Tor browser with Linux but, I have no illusions of complete anonymity. Below is a review of FPN by restore privacy.com in 2019
  • Browser-only encryption: Only traffic through the Firefox browser is getting encrypted. All traffic outside of your Firefox browser remains exposed.
  • Cloudflare: All traffic is being routed through Cloudflare, which has partnered with Mozilla to offer this service.
  • US jurisdiction: Being based in the US, Cloudflare, Mozilla, and your data are all subject to US laws and data requests. This makes Cloudflare a target for US authorities demanding access to data, along with gag orders forbidding disclosure – like we’ve seen before with Lavabit and Riseup.
  • Data collection (logs): When your traffic passes through Cloudflare servers, Cloudflare will be logging your IP address and the sites you visit. Mozilla is also recording technical, interaction, and registration data.
  • No location selection: Unlike other browser-based proxies, Firefox Private Network (VPN) does not offer any location selection.
Firefox Private Network may be a good choice for some people, such as those wanting a basic level of security on public WiFi. For anyone seeking higher levels of security and anonymity, there are some better options to consider that we’ll discuss below.


FPN review here
 

FrankRuperto

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There's no such thing as total anonymity, and those are all correct statements in the review which are acceptable to me. I only have the FF browser installed on this PC I exclusively use for surfing the web, so the only thing my ISP knows is that I am always interacting with Cloudflare. However, if you buy something online, most merchants sell your personal data and what you bought to third-parties and you will receive related emails and text messages. Likewise, banks sell your data when you buy stuff with your cards, so there's really no escaping it unless you personally pay with cash, and don't use a rewards card.
 

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