Friday, May 04, 2018

Article: Staying Hidden Online

I ordinarily do not post links to articles, but today I would like to commend one to your attention from  Staying Hidden Online.

Honestly, I am probably pretty late to this party. I am not, on the whole, very tech savvy and have probably managed to litter the landscape over the years with bits and pieces of me. I have been slowly trying to undo the damage in the last year or so, but the recent social climate is such that it is too much of a chance to take anymore.

The thing that managed to put me close to the edge was Amazon and their ads.  All of a sudden before I knew it, things I have had to research at work starting showing up on my personal accounts as suggestions for me to be.  I did not cross the streams between work and home - how did this happen? Someone was obviously working overtime to gather data on me and what I was up to.

But the thing that has put me over the edge was reading a report that FaceBook had tested an function whereby others can vote on whether or not your posting is "appropriate".  Suddenly, the mob now determines what is acceptable.  And if they see you there, they will start to run you down everywhere else you are on the InterWeb.

Not that they seem to make it easy, it seems.  Trying using a non-common web browser and all you get is "We do not recognize this log on".  Every time.  The Very Large Internet Companies very much prefer you use their tools, not others.

I am sure on the whole this will not make a great deal of difference in the long run - but at least, in my own mind, I am doing what I can to prevent the commercialization and probable eventual demonization


Rain said...

I think if you want to be more hidden online, it's a good idea. It's everyone's comfort level that's important. I personally used to be very anonymous, but as time goes by, I don't mind as much sharing my life with people who I like as online friends. I don't go near facebook though.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I think it is how you share your life. Blogs make it a lot easier (in my book) as you can be as anonymous or as public as you want to be. Social media is harder, as it is of benefit to keep my parents and in-laws in touch with the girls.

But I really do not like the thought of being tracked. I would hate it in real life; I like it no better in virtual form.

Leigh said...

Excellent post. This is a concern for me too. I thought it somewhat alarming when Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook collects information on non-Facebookians for "security purposes." Even worse, no one on the congressional committee batted an eye at that! I'd be interested in what steps you are taking to protect as much of your privacy as you can. One thing I like about the newest Firefox browser is the "containers" add-on. It enables users to sent up separate containers for various types of internet use. Then it keeps cookies separate based on containers, so that if Amazon, Google, and Facebook are only opened in their respective containers, they can't read cookies stored in other containers. Even so, I frequently delete cookies. I like DuckDuckGo as a search engine because they don't record anyone's searches. I also like their "privacy essentials" browser add-on, which blocks trackers.

Rain said...

Yeah...being tracked, it is kind of creepy. And you're right about the blogs, even though I'm quite open, I'm much more anonymous than if I had an account on facebook. What I don't get is that people post EVERYTHING about their lives on social media...from where they live to where they are vacationing and how long their homes will be's nuts.

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Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, the fact that any company feels like it has to track us for "security" is a bit worrisome.

I am not a great technical person by any means. I have been using Ghostery for years and have on the whole been pleased with it - although it does not seem to catch as much as I would have like. I just recently added Disconnect to my Opera broswer, which supposedly kills passive trackers from websites. I have flirted with using Tor as a browser but it is just too slow on my machine to make it worthwhile.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Maybe it is just a tendency of blogs versus social media Rain. In blogs, we have fixed points that we can share and we can share as much or as little as we want. With social media, there are so many extras (locations that "check you in" unknowingly or other people's photos that involve you) that you can have a profile of who you are and where you go and what you do built pretty easily by a stranger.

Leigh said...

I tried to install Tor but couldn't get it configured to work for my OS (Xubuntu). I've just updated that, so perhaps I should try again. I really like Opera, but Ubuntu's software repository didn't keep the version updated so I had problems. I do like this new Firefox and have just learned how to use temporary containers. Each website opens in it's own private container and cookies are deleted when the tab is closed.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Anonymous - Thanks for stopping by. You would do worse than to follow some of the links to the side to find folks better than I at writing.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Tor - or apparently it is Firefox Now - has been difficult for me to use. Thanks for the heads up on Temporary Containers - sadly, this is not an add-on for Opera. Something to keep in mind.