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Uncommon sense will increase your privacy
common sense will just make you common.

By Bone Digger, February 2000


Well, oh my... another great anonymity buff (von wegen 'humble tips') steps out of the shadows of the web... Let's hope you will be real seekers and will not forget that you should use all the power you are gathering in order to change and ameliorate the awful frills and commercial oriented world we are compelled to live in.


Uncommon sense will increase your privacy; common sense will just make you common

I would also suggest that one use Eraser & overwrite files 100 times. You may overwrite the contents of your cookies, history and temporary Internet files by Erasing those folders. The index.dat files will not be eliminated however. The folders will simply regenerate as empty folders.

You could use 'Swap File Overwriter' which uses 'Scorch' as the engine to overwrite data in the Swap file. It works by shutting Windows down and overwriting the file with pseudo-random data in DOS. Scorch's default for overwriting is two times. This default can and should be changed to the maximum seven times.

Filnames are not erased when Eraser overwrites the contents of a folder, but they are when empty space is Erased. So every once in a while empty space & cluster tips can be overwritten a few times with pseudo-random data.

When I surf I use Proxomitron and rotate among three or four browsers (There are security problems associated with all of them, Opera included). However I always change my USER_AGENT to a value indicating a different browser than the one I am actually using. I also give a false Operating System. I also give a different language by changing country symbol value in both the USER_AGENT fields and ACCEPT_LANGUAGE headers.

I usually block all cookies especially if I am using IE5 with everything turned off. (Actually right now I turn cookies on a bit as I am collecting Double Click cookies for future analysis.) Opera does not allow selective removal of cookies so I keep a clean copy of the cookie.dat (made when first installed) on reserve and replace Opera's active cookie.dat if I have decided to let in a cookie during a session.

I always use a proxy and test it to make sure my IP# does not show BEFORE I use it. I may decide to choose a proxy that does not cache.

I set my Virus Scan software so that it scans for harmful applets and the like. In addition to its obvious external use I use a firewall to monitor & make sure my internal shareware & paid for software does not call home.

My computer does not know who I am. Nothing is registered and my real name & personal details are not stored in the registry or elsewhere. My ISP does not know me. Sure they get paid. My account is legit, however my name & details are generic. Unfortunately at present my unlisted phone number that I connect with is in my name but this will soon change.

I use no free email that redirects through HTTPS. If I am redirected I am fortunate enough to have someone who has provided me with a filter for this protocol. I use no free email that requires cookies or javascript. Hotmail & many other free email rewrite the links that are present in email so that if clicked you are tracked. So obviously I don't use email that rewrites my email in this fashion.

I believe encryption is over rated for most every day use. I really have nothing that I need to encrypt on my hard drive. However if necessary encrypting a file on removable medium is the preferred method. Use of Hushmail and encrypted email may actually draw attention to one's self. PGP in today's incarnation may be compromised by Federal agencies anyway.

I usually block the domain of all types of ad companies including double click with my filtering software and leave the hosts file alone. Using the hosts file leaves an ugly hole where the banner would show up. A similar method to the hosts file can be employed if you run Apache server with Proxy On in the configuration file and block by hostname. Sometimes I get real paranoid ad block all GIFs that have a 1x1 pixel size. But this method often just screws up tables as this type of GIF is often used as a place holder.

The thought of relying on some company’s privacy policy to protect my privacy makes me cringe. There are times when this is necessary. As an example I have written to Acxiom (one of the largest maintainers of marketing & profiling data and asked to opt-out. Strange that Opt Out was also Acxiom’s terminology for asking to be removed from their lists. At any rate Double Click simply places a cookie in your cookie file with the id field of the cookie as OPT_OUT. If you remove this cookie they will again insert cookies with a value in the id filed.

~S~ Bone Digger

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