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minimising data harvest

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Joined: 02 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 18 9:12 pm    Post subject: minimising data harvest Reply with quote

this quote from a bil comment seems to cover some of the basics of how to avoid quite a few easily avoided issues

" gadjobeen
19m ago
0 1

People have been too 'free' with their personal data online for far too long. For some reason, an online presence isn't treated as your own identity. It is and you're giving your identity away to strangers. FREELY????

I have a relatively boring and uneventful life, so why anybody would be interested in anything I do, is beyond me, but one thing that is vital in a free society is THE RIGHT OF PRIVACY.

Google have always been a suspect company at best. Like the child catcher in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', the offer of free goodies, in Google's case, Search Engine, eMail, Office type apps, cloud storage etc. or as the child catcher would call these 'services', "lollipops children, come and get your lollipops", is there for all to see, before the cage traps the unsuspecting child (end user). "Google: Do no evil". Yeah right.

Those freebies, were always at a cost, only it wasn't one the majority of people understood as currency: their browsing, communication, search etc. habits. These companies know more about you than your love ones do. They probably know more about you than you know about yourself.

It may be too late for some, but there is a way to take back your identity, or create a new one where tracking and logging your activities are harder or more 'bland' at best.

Instead of using the main search engines, like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. Switch to Duck Duck Go. They don't track your searches. Ever.

Instead of using Edge, IE, Chrome etc. Download Opera browser, available on Mac, PC, Linux, computers or the mobile version for iOS or Android. The desktop versions of the Opera browser, includes a built in VPN (Virtual Private Network) client. I've been using Opera browser for literally over a decade (through very early Linux versions) and it does contain some really nice touches. Battery saver mode is brilliant on laptops (as it cuts out a lot of resource hungry crud from each site) and it has improved significantly over the years. The latest version is fast, reliable and once you get used to the way they do things, is a joy to use (activate mouse gestures for fast switching back or flipping forward on Web pages).

While Opera may not offer the best VPN services, it is a FREE service and one that is currently unlimited, helping to maintain your privacy while you browse. It can slow down your browsing, as all traffic runs through their non assigned I.P connections (which mask your activities), but is generally no different to browsing under non secure methods.

Adding plug-ins to a browser can help as well. Adding AdBlock, Ghostery, Traffic Light by BitDefender, Blur by Abine amongst many others, help to stop tracking cookies from mining your data as you browse and in Traffic Lights case, warns you of suspect web address URLs.

Now, some of the more suspicious out there will ask, "why do you need to use these measures if you have nothing to hide". The answer is simple. I have my identity to protect, so that nobody else can steal it and gain accounts, funds, credit etc. in my name.

Taking a few sensible precautions with your identity online, is the least any sane person should do.

If you use Facebook, Instagram or whatever, keep your account private and allow access to immediate family only. The first thing to do is go into Privacy Settings and make sure everything you don't want collected or shared, is turned off (or On depending on the option given).

There are other browsers out there like Cliqz, which doesn't allow plug-ins because some developers of plug-ins collect your data too, so they have al altogether different take on search and browsing. Cliqz, recently purchased Ghostery, which is built in to their browser. I've tried it out and it is surprisingly good. But Cliqz, currently doesn't offer a VPN service like Opera does.

Google, through it's search offerings or through Chrome, the most used browser in the world, has the entire access to the internet under their control. Think about that.

Everything you browse through Chrome, is via Google.
Everything you search through Google on Chrome, is via Google.

Take back some control and exert some independence. Choose a different browser, like Opera and then choose a different Search Engine, like DuckDuckGo. You do need to manually switch on the VPN in Opera's Settings (Privacy) and choose which Search Engine you wish to use as standard Settings (browser). Once done, you're starting your online freedom.

Now nobody will steal your data and make money out of it, without your permission. If everybody did this, data collection would be much harder.

You would be really annoyed if your mail arrived very morning and had been opened by the Royal Mail, who copied what was inside and stored it on their records for eternity, wouldn't you?

Online is no different.

It is time to waken up people. Your online presence, is your identity. Take some action and protect it. "


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40937
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 18 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ps ghostery is a nice toolbar option as you can customise if you do need an intrusive option or indeed block all manifestations of vermin in all places

Downsizer Moderator

Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 27301
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 18 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice on a very complex issue.
You can delve deeper, but then you are talking long essays and not forum posts!


Joined: 27 Jul 2009
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Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 18 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that DPack an interesting read.


Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 11405

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 18 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is interesting isn't it. I need to have a think.

wellington womble

Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 15051
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 18 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too. I’m amazed at how much info people share online. And I’m considered odd for not.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 40937
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 18 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

data capture is even more extensive than the small parts listed here.

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