Sunday, December 20, 2015

How to go Incognito from ISP and websites ?

Incognito mode or private mode in browsers is extensively used for various reasons. Core value it brings is non-persistence of your browsing history.  Your browser starts with clean slate and leaves no traces on laptop/device which is great for privacy.
 Just to refresh what you get from Incoginto -
  1.  Browser starts with clean slate - No cookies or older traces of visiting any sites or login info 
  2. Leave no traces of visiting any site
  3. Cleanup any cookies when you close down browser 
All-in-all a great tool for privacy. 
Using just Incognito mode is NOT the total solution for privacy. You need to go beyond that.
Your browser clearly calls out two warnings 
  1. Your Internet service provider (ISP) can see what you do online
  2. Websites you visit knows where you come from - your physical location is known 


Possible solution ?  Use VPN / Tor / Tor-Router

Use VPN 

 Virtual Private Network(VPN) is known way to protect yourself from ISP. It creates a tunnel between your computer and a server and all data from machine gets encrypted.  You ISP cannot see what you browse or download.

There are lots of VPN service provider with various internal options to choose from.  Most of VPN vendors come with handy app/program to install on your laptop and use login credentials to go incognito. 

Advantage of using VPN:
  1. Great for travel purposes. If you connect to public Wi-Fi then VPN is perfect
  2. Multiple servers world wide to connect and choose your exit point. Most VPN vendors have distributed network of servers around the globe for you
Disadvantage of using VPN:
  1. Its a paid service
  2. You need to configure it on every device on which you need privacy
  3. Your data now can be snooped by VPN vendors.


Use Tor  browser -

Tor browser has been getting popular for privacy and its been used by 2 million plus people around the globe.  Its a package that you need to download and run from your laptop which comes with its own browser (Firefox tuned for privacy).
Once you use Tor browser, all network-data from browser gets encrypted and traversed between random servers around the globe. Your ISP cannot see which sites you visit, neither websites know where you come from. Read more on Tor here - http://TorProject.com
Advantages of Tor Browser:
  1. Its a free service
  2. Your data gets encrypted with tree layered encryption 
  3. Data travels between random volunteered servers and thus great level of privacy
Disadvantages of Tor Browser
  1. Tor slows down your network as it routes your network traffic from multiple servers before it hits the website.
  2. Tor browser is platform specific - available for Mac / Linux / Windows / Android  and you need to install it on every device. 


Use Tor Router - 

A new generation of routers are seen in recent years that integrates Tor in Wi-Fi router. You connect any device to this Wi-Fi router and your privacy is ON.  No installation required on any device.  Your network-data from any device and any app gets routed from Tor Network.  ISPs can't see which websites you browse, neither websites know your location.
There are three companies(in my knowledge) in this space - "Privacy On Top",  "Anonabox" and "InvizBox"

Note that you need to still use Incognito mode when you use Tor Router. You now get benefit of protecting your entire network data from ISP and also all advantage of local Incognito mode.
Advantages of Tor Router- 
  1. Network Data from all devices and app gets encrypted and routed via multiple servers.
  2. No installation of any app on any device
  3. Centralized privacy for all your home device
Disadvantages of Tor Router
  1. You need to buy Tor Router - Its a one time purchase though
  2. Tor slows down your network as data is routed from multiple servers around world.
Hope you found this article useful. Please share and comment on it.  Would love to hear more options in case if I missed anything.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2000+ Companies track you online with 26 types of trackers

Yes, that’s true! you read it right. More than 2000+ companies around the world are built for tracking you in 26 different ways to sell you personalized content/ads, emails, or target you for online scams like phishing.
Almost every website you visit uses services from these 2000+ companies.  Over the time huge amount of info about you is getting collected, shared and sold. You are the product and websites wants to know everything about you to sell something.
Your public IP address, operating system, browser, screen size of device and cookies are all known to websites, however companies go far beyond and trace you with next level of intelligence built into their systems.
Here are the 25 types of website trackers that tracks your every move online.

Serious Privacy Trackers

1. Device Fingerprinting - These apps can identify and Id a user across multiple devices
2. Visitor De-Anonymization -These apps are actively engaged in identifying a particular browser session to be actual user using that browser
3. Behaviour Tracking - These apps engage in tracking your behaviour or deriving your behavioural traits through traffic examination
4. History Sniffing  - These entries are known to "Sniff" your browsing history, meaning, they check which sites you've visited in the past
There are 54+ companies around world geared to monitor you very closely. They know you better than your spouse.

Analytics Trackers


5. Analytics
 - Tracks your visits, revisits, page navigation within site, duration and device details
6. Local Analytics - These trackers are usually operated as self-hosted solutions by the first party web sites
7. E-mail Analytics - Apps that collect information on how well an email campaign is working
There are around 144+ companies in addition to google that provides analytic solutions that websites can integrate to watch your move across their websites.

Advertisement Trackers

8. Affiliate Marketing - Advertising generated by these apps is known as affiliate marketing
9. Popunders & Popups - A type of self-explanatory advertising that these apps engage in

10. In-Text Ads -
  A tag for advertising companies that like to provide annoying ads in-text via deceptive hyperlinks

11. Interstitials - An incredibly annoying advertising technique that forces a user to see an ad that appears between certain content or before they could access some content.
12. Lead Management - These apps are designed to generate new potential business clientele by connecting outgoing consumer advertising with the responses to that advertising

13. Overlays - Another annoying advertising technique that involves content overlays that have to be closed prior to seeing content. 

14. Pornvertising - This is a collection of advertisers that most often appear on pornographic sites

15. Segment Data - These apps are involved in deriving segmentation data through the tracking
There are around 136 companies that provides personalized ads that websites can integrate to generate revenue for them.

 

Standard website plugins trackers

16. Website Chat - These apps are generally used to provide ability for site operator to chat with visitors
17. Feedback - These companies offer widgets and other tools that help operators gather and respond to feedback
18. Polls - These companies offer widgets that are used in asking site visitors simple questions and aggregating results in a poll result

19. Social - All kinds of social sharing widgets that are easily recognizable

20. Commenting systems - These apps are commonly used to provide the web site with some kinds of commenting functionality

21. Audio / Video Player  - Self explanatory

Search Tracker

22. Search - These apps are involved in providing off-site search, so if search functionality is broken these are the entries to look at

Website Management Trackers


23. A/B Testing 
- Tracking apps that provide A/B testing scaffolds for web-sites

24. Font Systems - That affect how your fonts are rendered on the web sites
25. Tag Manager -  THis is a collection of apps that provide third party tag management

26. Site Optimization
 - These apps provide various means to optimize visited websites
Data source : Ghostery extension for chrome
Every top website you visit integrates with average 5 different tracking companies out of 2000, so as to target your identity and improve marketability. Source here.
Install Ghostery extension from here and visit top websites. You should be able to see a number on the Ghostery app. Screenshot showing 13 trackers on cnn.com 

Below screenshot showing 2000+ trackers and categories.

 

How can you prevent tracking & improve privacy ?

  1. Install Ghostery chrome extension and block all trackers from here. FireFox extension here.
  2. Use Incognito / Private browsing mode while you do shopping, research, or do casual browsing. Start with clean slate and prevent your browsing patterns been read by websites.
  3. Tor Browser - Use Tor browser is browser to hide your identity from websites. 
  4. Tor Router - User Tor Router provides online anonymity and privacy - better solution than Tor browser. It encrypts all data so that ISP can’t see. You physical address gets hidden from websites can thus blocking targeted ads. Visit -http://PrivacyOnTop.com . Privacy On Top is custom Wi-Fi router with Tor installation built for privacy and security.
Data source Ghostery extension for chrome
Author
Mangesh Bhamre

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Safe on Net


As a parent, you want to keep your child safe always. It’s natural to be concerned about internet usage because we’ve all come across content no youngster should see.

But that should not hold you back from allowing your child to access the web in a safe and secure way. Some 98% of young people use the internet, and just under half of these use it every day to make friends, play games, download music and do their homework.

But, unfortunately, and often times inadvertently, kids are stumbling upon unsuitable internet content.

Parents have many questions: How do I stop my child from accessing bad internet sites? What do I do if I find my child is looking at pornographic material? Is the internet good or bad for my child?

Some scary facts

1. 42.1% of kids admit they have seen online porn. One in 16 have been exposed to hardcore pornography.
2. One in 12 have exchanged messages with sexual content to other people, while one in 25 have sent graphic photos of themselves.
3. 25% of children get away with pretending to be older to get an account online.
4. One in 20 children admitted arranging a secret meeting with someone they met online.
5. Almost three in 10 parents (29%) let their kids use the internet without any restrictions or supervision.

Parental Controls made simple

Let’s face it… life gets busy. You can‘t always be there to monitor everything your children see online. But from within the walls of your own home, online pornography and illicit content threatens their innocence. It’s far more dangerous than you may believe, and it’s always just a few clicks away.

Safe On Net Wi-Fi router - With Parental Controls

Safe On Net is a Wi-Fi router that provides parental control to connected devices
  1. It is pre-configured to block adult content
  2. Forces safe search on google and image search
  3. Forces Safety on YouTube
  4. Protect every device in your home, instantly
  5. Blocks pornographic content, proxies and anonymizer
  6. Easy to setup. Just connect network devices to Kids Safe Wi-Fi and protection is ON.

Please join our beta program to get the software product free - Fill in the survey & join https://goo.gl/qWkoKK

One Less Thing To Worry About

Life brings plenty of worries, but protecting your children online doesn’t have to be one of them. Now you have an easy way to block pornography and illicit content throughout your entire home with one simple solution.

Safe On Net - A product designed by parents, for parents.






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