A couple weeks ago, someone online posted a comment saying you can stay “safe and secure” online due to using the web browser’s incognito mode.
Is this true. Does incognito mode really prevent someone from ever tracking you online?
Short answer: no
People believe the myth that the incognito mode – on your web browser – will keep you safe and private. However this is not the case.
Incognito mode only does the following:
- prevents web history from being logged locally
- prevents download history from being logged locally
- prevents cookies & cache data from being stored locally
In other words, incognito mode will prevent someone from spying on you, just by opening the web browser and viewing the web history and downloads.
Now what does incognito mode not protect against?
- Malware on the system — Any malware on the system will be totally unaffected by your use of incognito mode.
- IT department — Your IT department will still be able to track your Internet usage on their network. This is especially true if you use their local DNS resolvers. They will know what websites you visit, regardless of your use of incognito mode.
- Internet Service Provider — Unless you make use of a VPN service, your ISP will definitely know where you go online, regardless of your use of incognito mode.
- Government surveillance — Of course, incognito mode will be of no use to you here. Also, even using a VPN will not help much if you are being targeted by a government.
Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Security, Software, VPN
Many people use web browser add-ons (such as Ad-blockers) for their everyday browsing. What most people are unaware of is that many of these add-ons have permissions that allow the add-on to view the content of the web pages the user is viewing.
The problem? If someone has installed a malicious add-on, their web browsing data (e.g. browsing history, password credentials, what they type into a website, etc.) would have been sent to the add-on’s creator. Now I am not implying that every single web browser add-on does this, but there is a very high potential that this can happen.
Would only using open-source browser add-ons be a safe option? Well open-source add-ons would definitely lower the chance that someone would get away with spying on you. However open-source projects do not have a spotless security track record either. There is still some risk.
Even Mozilla themselves warn about this problem with web browser add-ons (also called extensions).
Here is an example of what I am talking about (https://www.zdnet.com/article/mozilla-removes-avast-and-avg-extensions-from-add-on-portal-over-snooping-claims/).
Posted in Android, Computers, General, Internet and Servers, Security, Software
I have noticed, off and on, people on discussion boards (e.g. forums, comment sections) seem to have an abrasive, if not downright toxic (hostile) attitude towards people. I know, this is not surprising. There always have been people that have acted this way on the Internet.
However, why do people act this way? While I do not pretend to be a psychologist, I have some ideas of why people engage in this kind of behavior online (or offline).
(Please take note, everything I say are my own opinions.)
Some people are clinically depressed. They do not necessarily mean to cause anyone problems, but they just see their life as one big mess. They in turn let their feelings about themselves (and their life) bleed into their online conversations with others.
- Life Stress
Stress can be the cause of someone being frequently irritated. For example, some guy on a truck/SUV forum has just lost his job and is in danger of losing his really nice truck. He makes large monthly payments each month. He is also struggling to pay his rent. With these life problems, I would not be surprised if he were to get fussy with others online.
Many times people being hostile online is due to arrogance. They believe their opinion is the only correct one, and that no one else can be right.
If they happen to be right, they become even more smug and arrogant. If they happen to be wrong, they will never admit it and unfortunately, most of the time, never change their ways. Either way, not a pretty sight.
This happens a lot on comment sections of websites. There is always someone that wants to ask “smart” questions to other people.
However when the person they asked the “smart” question to is able to answer their question, they typically either insist on a stupid “comment war” that leads nowhere, or they sneak out like a thief in the night, never bothering to give a reply for courtesy.
Someone being insecure (not being sure/confident of themselves) can drive someone to get frequently defensive (usually without justification). They also show signs of paranoia and maybe even arrogance, since someone telling them they are wrong causes them to become even more insecure.
This one is similar to arrogance. Someone being prideful online is not hard to spot. Usually it is recognized by the “tone” of someone’s message.
For example, someone who has lots of money (e.g. a rich businessman) writes an online article. He says that he is of the opinion “poor” people either cannot or have a very small chance of becoming rich like himself.
Now most people would read his article that think “Wow! That guy is a jerk.” Well they would be right. A prideful online post, as mentioned before, is not hard to spot.
I believe people who post similar to my example above, are insecure, and need to put other people down to feel better about themselves. In my experience, they will even act as if they are being sincere, when they are not.
Also, their entire post does not have to be putting someone down. Just one or two sentences will give away the author’s true intentions.
As everyone knows, there are people out there who cannot rest until they have caused someone trouble. The Bible talks about these kind of people (Proverbs 4:14-16 *). When it comes to online conversations, they will give pointless talk with little to no technical arguments, wasting everyone’s time in the process.
They also semi-frequently say something like “I’m done with you.” and stop responding, as if you were the one being ridiculous. However, they are just projecting their own ridiculousness onto you, in an effort to coverup the fact they are the troll (troublemaker).
I am sure there are people out there paid to troll comments sections. Unfortunately, while you can suspect someone of being a paid troll, you cannot easily – if at all – prove it.
Basically trolls are losers who have nothing better to do than act childish to random strangers on an online comments board / forum.
* Proverbs 4:14-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.
Posted in Christian, Computers, General, Internet and Servers