March 2018 Newsletter
Internet Security - Web Usage
This newsletter started after I read an interesting article on how to track cell phone users by their location and send targeted sales messages to their phone. As I started writing this newsletter, the topic expanded too much for one month and I will cover smart phone tracking next month.
You may have noticed after visiting one website, you will see ads related to that website as you move around. This tracking is done through third-party cookies. One of the worst offenders is Facebook tracking you across many sites.
Here is my approach to general Internet tracking and privacy.
- I use Facebook to track several local groups I play with and several hobby topics. I keep Facebook on a personal (non-business) computer and in a Firefox private mode. That limits Facebook's ability to track me across computers and websites.
- I use Firefox as my primary browser and incorporate many security add-ons. I have the following Privacy & Security Settings in Firefox
- Tracking Protection - On
- Accept third party cookies - Keep until I close Firefox
- Clear History when Firefox closes - includes history, cookies and cache
- I have the following add-ons in Firefox
- Cookie AutoDelete - Control your cookies! When a tab closes, any cookies not being used are automatically deleted. Whitelist the ones you trust while deleting the rest.
- Clear Flash Cookies
- Disconnect - Make the web faster, more private, and more secure.Visualize and block the otherwise invisible websites that track your search and browsing history.
- Social Disconnect Plus - Social Disconnect Plus is a Firefox addon that removes all sorts of Social Media content on webpages (i.e. the Facebook like button and other widgets).
- uBlock Origin - An efficient blocker: easy on memory and CPU footprint, and yet can load and enforce thousands more filters than other popular blockers out there.
Am I paranoid? No, just cautious on the trail I leave. I do close Firefox daily to clear the cookies.
[Added 3/2018 - with all the Facebook publicity on security - there is a new add-on in Firefox called Facebook Container]
I use Edge/Internet Explorer for websites where I want to keep the cookie - banking and Amazon as examples. I use Chrome for personal activities such as a personal email account and hobby sites such as several ham radio sites I use daily.
Feedback, comments and suggestions always appreciated.
Publisher - 4specs