Author Topic: Do you minimize data mining and tracking? Do you manage your online identity?  (Read 3425 times)


  • Guest
I'm curious about the future of privacy and hoping to get some thoughts from others who are more in tune with tech and online platforms. I regularly use gmail, chrome, google voice, and facebook, which are all tracking my searches/sites visited/calls/friends/etc. Online privacy seems to be a moot point for now, but I'm wondering if there are any concerns about data mining. Are there good ways to minimize your digital footprint, and should one be actively doing that?  Do you manage your online identity?


  • Walrus Stache
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Google owns me. :/


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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theres an extension called ghostery on google chrome that allows you to turn off ads and advertising companies that snoop on your web searches. I have that placed and any major website i go to i kindly turnoff the advertising ones. I just dont like the fact that ads pop up based on my web searches


  • Stubble
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This book is supposed to have some interesting insights and tips. I reserved it from the library.
The author, Marc Goodman, also has a TED talk.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I use a combination of Ghostery in Chrome, the hosts file in Windows, and SquidGuard on the network. It makes me feel better, but in reality it doesn't stop much. Google still knows everything about me because they read all my emails, have my calendar, keep my contacts, backup my photos, hear all my voicemails, read my messages, and record my location. Facebook knows a crap ton about me through my friends and their posts. Amazon knows every item I've ever looked at even if I didn't purchase it. My own local government now posts all kinds of information about me, my property, and my taxes online for anyone to harvest. All that information is sold in bulk to other companies so I can get spam emails and direct marketing mailers.

And none of this includes all the information about me that seems to get "lost" quite from the VA, the IRS, my employer, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar companies.

It seems futile to even try...but at the same time Google/Facebook/Amazon provide me much better service because they know so much about me.

1st world problems I guess!


  • Handlebar Stache
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I use privacy badger in Chrome and Firefox.   I'm noticing less targeted advertising.   The private browsing windows help as well.   I have a minimal footprint on social networks.

I also routinely connect through an encrypted VPN to give the 5 I folks some more data to try and analyze.

I still have to get off of gmail.   Purchased the domain name last year, just need time to setup our own e-mail servers.

None of this is bulletproof, but every little bit helps. 


  • Walrus Stache
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Privacy Badger looks like a good tool. Thanks.

Cookies, including flash, don't persist; hosts files; and several email accounts from different providers. Sometimes I'll use an anonymizer. Oh, also, javascript is blocked as default.

And, when possible, emails are encrypted. This obviously isn't done when emailing my parents, etc.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 10:05:20 PM by bacchi »


  • Pencil Stache
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I'm in IT and I don't worry about it.  Privacy doesn't exist anymore, because even if you stay off the grid, people will post stuff about you / email you / etc.  A lot of government info is now online to reduce the costs of maintaining / offering paper records and some clerk to access them.  Seeing ads is a necessary evil for Google to provide all of its awesome "free" services, so I'd rather see targeted ones than random crap.

The hackers are so many steps ahead of the good guys it's pretty much futile.  If companies with a vested interest in keeping your data private and billions of dollars of resources at their disposal to that end still get routinely hacked, I'm pretty sure any consumer-grade browser plugin is essentially worthless.


  • Magnum Stache
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I don't care. I'm not going to buy the stuff advertised anyways.


  • Bristles
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Yup! Google owns me also! With modern times, we sort of have to put a little more trust into these companies. Also, seeing that Google has fought the Feds over a ton of things, I trust them even more to keep me safe.