web analytics

Oh, I don’t like that…

Eh, I just did a Google search on my sad old machine upstairs and for the very first time, at the bottom of the search screen, it said something like “based on your search history, your location is THE LITTLE TEENY VILLAGE POPULATED MOSTLY BY SHEEP THAT YOU ACTUALLY LIVE IN(!!!)“. Substitute the real village name for the phrase in italics, obvsly.

Usually, the closest it gets is a largish town at least twenty miles away. When I use Opera, with its built-in VPN, it defaults to Amsterdam (which sometimes plays havoc with authentication).

I was sure I turned off location services on all my devices, but they have a bad habit of turning themselves back on after just about any software update. So the question is, who ratted me out — my phone? My Kindle? One of my three tablets? My desktop machine? The wheezy old thumper upstairs?

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be Uncle B’s machine. Dude is crazy paranoid.

So…what are you doing to keep Google out of your panties? Are you using a VPN? Are you paying for it? I…really don’t like this.


Comment from Knitebane
Time: April 18, 2018, 9:40 pm

Well, you could, you know stop using a search engine that spies on you.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 18, 2018, 10:01 pm

Good point. I use Startpage – seems as good as Google but without the espionage.

Trouble is, once you switch an Android device on, you’re back in the hands of the bastards.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: April 18, 2018, 10:17 pm

My damn Android tablet knows which part of the house I’m sitting in…they’ll never take me alive =:O …I also got an Android phone for xmas…I had to go for a blood test and the Google thing told me when the place was busiest, the typical length of time people are there, etc…just from watching the duration people with Android phones going in and out of the place.

If we can prove all this can be used to re-elect Trump, they’ll come down on Google like a ton of bricks :+)

I signed up for Private Internet Access VPN so I can get American Netflix…doesn’t always work though. They have twice the stuff we have here in Canada.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 18, 2018, 10:57 pm

Why not just sic your friggin’ hedgehogs on ’em:
That should be enough to scare off the SJWs…

Comment from Armybrat
Time: April 18, 2018, 11:29 pm

The time to be worried about all of this was 10+ years ago. I long ago came to grips with this….about the time I switched from Blackberry to IPhone. I switched because I wanted apps. Apps make living in the city civilized. But I knew then that I gave up privacy for convenience. I also shop mostly with plastic, either on-line or local. I’ve been fingerprinted and mugshoted to excercise my 2nd amendment rights and to make my coming and going around the world and at home more palatable. At this point, I’m sure my government and any willing hackers know when I fart and how it smells. And if you think you’re any less “visible” than me, well…

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 18, 2018, 11:32 pm

One of the many things that piss me off about the internet is that they are constantly changing their rules. I dont want to have to be always checking to see how they are screwing me. One thing I do to thwart them is to give false info. It seems to beat submitting no info or refusing access.

Comment from Bob
Time: April 19, 2018, 12:04 am

I use several browsers for different dedicated purposes. Several of them never touch a search engine.
For the most part, I avoid searching for incriminating or embarrassing information.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: April 19, 2018, 12:21 am

ya, I had removed firefox from this desktop when it started acting strangly. Now Google is acting up, so I reinstalled firefox and it remembered all the stuff from the before it was removed time.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 19, 2018, 12:37 am

@Uncle Badger – So you’re crazy paranoid? I salute you, sir!

Do you have any particularly useful tips and hints you can tell us about without compromising your stuff?

A few years ago I looked into a few secure linux distros but got distracted and never finished the project. Anybody here have experience?

What I’d like to have, ultimately, is a standard insecure Windows machine using standard insecure software so that I have a presence that looks normal (because it will be), but also a second machine for communications and queries I don’t want associated with that “normal” machine usage.

p.s. I currently use Win 7 and Opera with VPN mostly on, and duckduckgo for searches.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 19, 2018, 12:40 am

@stoatie – My guess regarding your location detection is that Google has a geotagged map of the world’s internet structure and that your traffic goes through a device it knows is either in or handles the traffic from your teeny village.

Comment from Mack
Time: April 19, 2018, 2:10 am

Don’t use any Google products, including Android. Get a Windows Tablet and run Linux on it if you must have a tablet. I use an old BlackBerry. No Google anything in this house. They’re beyond invasive.

Comment from BJM
Time: April 19, 2018, 2:26 am

A VPN to mask your IP can be useful if you aren’t leaking data via DNS.

Armybrat hits the nail on the head…it’s your offline activities; interaction/permits with govt entities, mortgage, banking, credit cards, land line, cell phone, car reg/insurance, etc that ID’s you.

BTW-Masking your IP and paying for bandwidth/access with plastic is totes counterproductive. The cable providers & telcos are the worst data whores of the bunch.

Oh and just as in the old saw about people being paranoid about online shopping and allowing a waiter to go in the back room with their credit card…do you know how your VPN secures their files? Not logs, but business files and records?

After the dot com bubble burst there were dumpsters full of customer files all over the Bay Area.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: April 19, 2018, 11:24 am

The guys what controls the routers has always got ya by the short and curlies. And with the new storage tech and processors ‘they’ don’t have to be very selective these days about what they sweep. I think this pad has more onboard storage than the first company I worked for had in their tape vault and drives. Imagine what YOUR tax dollars are buying for ‘them’ to use. The machine Microsoft just killed had terabytes of storage (mostly a wasteland of empty space unless you like music and saved games). They don’t seem to be able to stop maniacs like Las Vegas and Florida though.
You, on the other hand…well the overflight mapping drones saw that bird bath and shed you built and the mayor wants his money.
And now even if you stay offline and use cash there’s a camera everywhere you go and facial rec software.
So welcome to the new age of traffic cam, license plate reading, cellphone snoop, search engine pc data gathering legal eavesdropping.
The worst part is the cluelessness innocence of your fellow citizens rushing to provide their life stories to Guv and Google every minute of the day.

Pissed off ranting off.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 19, 2018, 1:55 pm

I keep telling people to use DuckDuckGo or Ixquick instead of Goggle, to skip using Goggle mail, and to use the Brave browser instead of Khrome. They dun’t lissen.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 19, 2018, 2:43 pm

Over here across the pond, I use DuckDuckgo it states that it does not track you. my three Computer Nerd Nephews all use it in conjunction with Firefox ans say this give them the best protection. Oh, I will not carry a smart phone, flipflop for me.

Comment from OldFert
Time: April 19, 2018, 3:41 pm

When I’m on my computer at home, hooked up to Infinity/Comcast cable for Internet, it identifies my location moderately accurately, even with location data turned off.

When I use my cell as a hotspot, it identifies me as being somewhere around Dallas-Ft Worth, Texas (only about 1500 miles away).

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: April 19, 2018, 4:55 pm

And, as security experts keep pointing out on Facebook, it’s not just the searches you initiate that make your data vulnerable: if the “hint” you choose from the drop-down list when setting up an account somewhere is “what was your mother’s maiden name,” and you actually provide an honest answer … you better never, ever, say anything online that has anything to do with your mother, because clues can be strung together.
I’m sure this story is not unique among the group that follows you: I once identified the home of another member of a local online discussion group, despite his having used an avatar and user name that didn’t link back to him in any way, because of three or four random comments he made at different times in different discussions. Yeah, OK, it helped that he actually lived down the block from me, so that the references connected up to something I already knew. But I’ve actually had a similar experience with another online acquaintance (except, in the latter case, it happened as I was researching a phrase they had used, and when I realized where my results were leading I terminated the search before it had clearly identified the person–because I do try to respect others’ privacy). Thing is, no matter how paranoid you are, if you go online at all you have to assume someone can connect everything you ever do there back to you, if they put their mind to it.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: April 19, 2018, 5:47 pm

Have any of you internet denizens used SPEEDIFY to improve your WiFi reception?
What other wireless, month-to-month, no term, no contract, no agreement WiFi services are there? I would like NOT to give any more simoleons to C..c..t.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 19, 2018, 9:19 pm

If Uncle Al ain’t correct, you might want to take a closer look at them “sheep” in the nearby pasture. Some of them might be wolves in sheep suits…

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 19, 2018, 11:47 pm

I’ve embraced the google culture. I’m all in…have at my data you fucking vultures. Once or twice a week I do searches on things I have no interest in just to see how the ads change. It was the fur hat dealio that made me cave. After Stoaty’s post about fur hats, everywhere I went had fur hat links. Fuck it.

Comment from greg
Time: April 21, 2018, 3:10 am

When Firefox railroaded Brenden Eich, I dumped them for Pale Moon (works much like earlier versions of FF). They dumped Google search for Duckduckgo, though you can use Google if you really want to. The NoScript extension is wonderful for keeping annoyances to a minimum.
When using the internet at work, I made sure to never look at anything IT couldn’t watch over my shoulder–because they can. There are things I won’t discuss in email or on a phone, period.
And I won’t touch Facebook or Twitter with a 10mb pole.

Comment from BJM
Time: April 21, 2018, 6:01 pm

I’m with Pupster…I just go for it.

Dylan once sang “…but to live outside the law you must be honest”.

As if.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny