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Old 02-17-2018, 03:20 PM
Onmastikon Onmastikon is offline
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Default Can I stop my computer from sharing this info?

Realize this is a naive question, but I am pretty computer illiterate (too old).
Certain programs obviously spy on me and send information about me to whoever it is that buys that. Examples:
- I search for "baby carriage" on amazon, and promptly get advertisements for baby carriages on websites that have ads. Obvious.
- I type "baby carriage" in an Email using a gmail.com account, and promptly get advertisements for baby carriages on websites that have ads. OK so google is evil, I get it now.
Is there any way to turn this off or at least minimize it (aside from not using gmail, google, amazon, etc.)?
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:16 PM
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Tycho Tycho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onmastikon View Post
Realize this is a naive question, but I am pretty computer illiterate (too old).
Certain programs obviously spy on me and send information about me to whoever it is that buys that. Examples:
- I search for "baby carriage" on amazon, and promptly get advertisements for baby carriages on websites that have ads. Obvious.
- I type "baby carriage" in an Email using a gmail.com account, and promptly get advertisements for baby carriages on websites that have ads. OK so google is evil, I get it now.
Is there any way to turn this off or at least minimize it (aside from not using gmail, google, amazon, etc.)?
I know of no way to turn it off. I've already started migrating my important stuff to ProtonMail and left my Gmail for collecting spam.

Welcome to the Internet. Use adblockers and stuff. I recommend Ublock Origin for a start. What browser do you use? Would definitely not recommend using Chrome, I use Opera and Palemoon (though I'm migrating my stuff from Palemoon because PM is being deprecated I think). Opera has a built-in VPN that masks your IP which is nice for keeping people from tracking your location.

Last edited by Tycho; 02-17-2018 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:50 PM
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mamba mamba is offline
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There is no way short of not using Google, Amazon and pretty much most major sites.

Assuming you are not just talking about cookies, which are stored locally and you can clear in the browser settings, there is very little you can do. As you send what you entered directly to them, so they can present you with the results, there is no way for you to prevent them from getting what you entered.

Well, maybe with the exception of using something like Tor as it essentially disconnects you from the site you visit by inserting several intermediaries. Never used this though.
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:53 PM
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Tor sucks. Better to just get a trustworthy VPN if you need that much obfuscation (which you probably don't unless you're doing something illegal, and if you're doing that Tor is a great way to get in a huge amount of trouble because it IS compromised).

On the Internet, YOU are the product and you are being shopped around to a lot of people at any one time depending on where you go.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:30 PM
Onmastikon Onmastikon is offline
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OK thanks much, that makes sense.
I use Firefox, I suppose that doesn't make a difference as long as I use google, and I guess I will get a different mail carrier, since gmail is google too. I think reading my mail is a bit too much for my tastes.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Onmastikon View Post
OK thanks much, that makes sense.
I use Firefox, I suppose that doesn't make a difference as long as I use google, and I guess I will get a different mail carrier, since gmail is google too. I think reading my mail is a bit too much for my tastes.
Advice for search engines: DuckDuckGo is decent. Other alternatives exist, such as Startpage, which will let you use Google without them being able to track you.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:15 AM
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such as Startpage,
Thank you for that....guess who has a new default search engine... damn happy
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:23 AM
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Had someone tell me I was being paranoid once. All I can say is that I assure you that paranoia is absolutely justified when dealing with the Internet and companies like Google.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:25 AM
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Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't watching you
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:50 PM
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Avyctes Avyctes is offline
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You can (and probably should) use browser extensions to, at least partially, hide you from all the stuff that's tracking you. A good adblocker is a start, be sure to have it use some privacy lists that specifically go after all the tracking scripts. I use an extension that auto deletes all my cookies except the ones I whitelist. I also use ghostery, an extension that blocks everything that tries to track me (much of it overlaps with my adblocker, but that doesn't hurt).

Otherwise, don't use google, don't use facebook if possible (might be hard, I know). Those two are the kings of tracking. "Don't be evil" was at one point an unofficial google motto. Not so much these days...

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Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't watching you
On the internet, you can be sure that everyone is watching you. All the time.
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