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Tools against internet advertising and tracking

Surfing the Internet has long been a tough business. The days when the worldwide computer network - today known as the Internet - exclusively served to exchange information and scientific documents is over.
Today, money is made with user profiles. That it concerns us all and also those who mean "Oh, I have nothing to hide. That does not affect me! ", This article should show, just as much as you can do against tracking.

Advertising on the websites visited is annoying and disturbs the actual information. So far, the Firefox add-on "AdBlock Plus" helps here, which is now a market power. But meanwhile you can not see the whole website anymore. Because each browser also transmits further data (including operating system, browser type, monitor resolution, installed add-ons, etc.) to the web server with the visited website. So it's easy to place branching decisions in the site programming that will block the page if "AdBlock Plus" is installed.
That's one thing, the other is the fact that those  responsible for AddBlock now allow one or the other advertising for a fee. This is reprehensible, because promised is indeed ad-free sites with this blocker advertising and in addition deserves a third party even with the advertising, even becomes a monopolist in this matter.

What is so reprehensible about advertising?

Actually nothing, because our market economy needs advertising, except that it is annoying.

The whole thing is dangerous only by the tracking and by false sheep, which should be referred to here as advertising fakes.
First to the latter. The website visitors can not even notice that behind a serious advertising banner for example, a well-known car brand, a program is hidden, with the banner or even call the actual website on the local PC, smartphone, laptop or tablet Installed. What can happen then should not be content at this point.
This is a serious threat to anyone surfing the Internet, no matter how important individuals are.

The other danger is tracking. Again, there are a number of people who consider this negligible because they have nothing to hide. But that's not correct.

Only recently has a good buddy, who always negotiates low-cost flights to Kenya for third parties, found that the same flight is very cheap, and then, within minutes, it suddenly becomes expensive. And all the portals he uses. Even the original result is not the same if he wants to book it now.

Why is that?

Our browsers allow cookies. These are small files with the visited URL and website-specific code. But that's enough already, that tracking the track of the Internet surfers can be tracked on the Internet. There are no personal data known, but the tracking systems on the individual web servers recognize when what was how long and how often visited. So it can very quickly be ascertained that the surfer is an Apple fan in search of a current MacBook or as in the case of my buddy is someone who is just after very cheap flights to Kenya. The result will be, that of course it does not show the cheap prices, which are meant for all undecided, but the products are displayed at higher prices.

What can you do about it?

First and foremost, we only use real free open source browsers, such as Firefox, because they are not commercial in nature, as is the case with Google's Chrome browser or Apple's Safari.

Then you can install "Tools/Addons" in Firefox "uBlock Origin", "Privacy Badger" and "Ligthbeam".
uBlock Origin is an ad blocker under the GPLv3, which, unlike AddBlock Plus, does not let any ads through and is pure open source software. Most of all, it is not well known that very few websites recognize that their advertising is being blocked.

With Privacy Badger, you install a tool that is able to block the invisible trackers mentioned above. Special added value here is the fact that this blocker learns automatically and thus recognizes more and more tracking attempts and thus can block.

How branched the tracking can be, shows the AddOn  „LightBeam“. Each open site is represented here as a circle plus any existing tracking tools that are represented as triangles. It becomes critical when other websites use exactly the same tracking tool that other sites already use. Because then, above all, cookies are used to exchange surfing habits. This is represented by the common triangles in the common network.

So if you always want him or her to receive information unaffected by previous website visits, then a tracking blocker will install itself.


Even better, however, is to surf with the Tor-Browser. Here, the use of an appropriate Tor network and a security-modified Firefox browser guarantees that the websites accessed will get pseudo information about the operating system, browser version, add-ons and monitor resolution. In addition, this web browser guarantees that not the calling IP address is known, but the request ultimately comes mostly from a different state than where the own web browser. In addition, this identity can be refreshed manually during a session and thus changed.

But even the Firefox browser can, as described here protect accordingly against unwanted tracking and more data control.


Lastly, a reminder to all. In the use does not count the attitude "I have nothing to hide anyway. I'm surfing so uninterestingly that it's not at all noticeable." etc., but that one is actually online. Tracking becomes dangerous for everyone as a result of my buddy's observation above, and especially for the community as a whole. All of us have experienced Trump over the past 4 years and what has been massively manipulated at Brexit with apps. Because many have been traced, so many have seen then manipulated information, with the results that today we have a dangerous joke in power and in the UK society has split dangerously into two diametrical camps.