VPN

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Bkite, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Bkite

    Bkite PawPaw x 3

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    So, I have never professed to be anything other than pretty ignorant when it comes to online safety and such.
    I purchased a VPN subscription the other day.
    Prior to the purchase, any time I browsed an item, particularly if I made a purchase, ads would show up everywhere from Breitbart site to Facebook to here.
    Since purchasing the VPN, that has ceased. At least until today. Low and behold, I purchased a deathwish coffee mug and what appears in the side bar advertisements on this forum? Yeap.
    Must be someone monitoring stuff here at a higher level than elsewhere. Really doesn't surprise me given the nature of the the site.
    Irritating at a minimum. Something far different at worst./
     
  2. Hombre

    Hombre PITA

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    The way I see it:

    A VPN doesn't protect you from a site you are visiting. It only gives you a secure "pipeline" to / from that site.

    Meaning, a VPN does nothing at all to prevent Schmacebook (I mean Faceplant), or the evil behemoth blood-sucking parasite Google from crawling up "your ass" and mining your data. It just prevents anything else from cutting in / intercepting.

    And, this site does not exist based on principle, like I imagine it did when the original owner had it. Back then, the owner probably just tried to cover costs by having advertising. The purpose of this site now, is to make money, plain and simple. And Carbon Media doesn't pay much attention to it, because it is not a big money-maker for them. They pay a whole lot of attention to GlockTalk, which they also own, because that site makes them a ton of money. (just my opinion)

    Greed makes the word go 'round, and is at the root of most things.
     

  3. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    You are being monitored by many third parties on every site you go to. Some more than others. This site has a very small number of third parties looking at you. As I type this there are six which is very low. When I switch tabs to Fox News there are 30. On Glock Talk there are right now 16. I also have never seen an ad on this site, but then I use Adblock Plus and a real computer. You can get extensions that will block most of the tracking, but be aware some functionally of a given web site may be impacted. Firefox works well for me.
     
  4. Bkite

    Bkite PawPaw x 3

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    Would that "extension" which you reference be a "browser extension" as offered by the VPN? Are those things worth a modest charge if asked?
     
  5. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    The ones I use are offered through Firefox and free. As far as I know most all browser extensions are free. I've never use a VPN. I do use tor a lot.
     
    Bkite likes this.
  6. smn

    smn Active Member

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    I use Adblock+ and something to turn on/off javascript and use Firefox for 99.44% of my web use. Also, with the Adblock+ you can enable several blocklists and turn off a lot of the invasive tracking. As for a VPN don't use a free one (you are the product). My VPN of choice is Private Internet Access and NordVPN. I also can VPN to home using my pfSense router and OpenVPN on my phone/laptop. When traveling or at an airport or anywhere that offers free wifi I use the VPN. Pay for the subscription - it's a no brainer.

    I haven't seen ads on this site or any other in years. A properly configured blocklist+adblock+ and VPN can really help save your eyesight when it comes to ads.

    I also highly recommend a password safe like LastPass or similar. The number of passwords we have to use and change on an irregular basis greatly outnumber the number of post-it notes I want hanging around my office.
     
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  7. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    What about phones. I have AdBlock on my Sanyo but it does not do much.

    Nemo
     
  8. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    Is it Plus?
     
  9. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    Not purchased.

    Nemo
     
  10. smn

    smn Active Member

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    See this site for adding filter lists to your browser: https://easylist.to/

    I use several of those mentioned and they do quite well.
     
  11. dhaller

    dhaller Active Member

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    I've been using the Brave browser, an open-source browser based on Chromium built built for privacy and security. It blocks trackers, ads, cross-site cookies, fingerprinting (based on my current security settings). It also gives reports on what it's blocking (right now, there are 8 trackers on this page.)

    I see no ads on this page currently.

    My "basic privacy" setup is that I have a separate user account on my computer (I use a MacBook Pro, currently) - it's called "browsing" - and I typically run Brave or (if I'm feeling edgy) Tor. I ONLY use this account for browsing (or wasting my valuable time on forums, like now); I never, never ever shop, do banking, or anything *personal* (like Facebook, emailing folks, etc) on it.

    Brave is much, much more user friendly than Tor; the one irritation with Brave is that it constantly has a new version available - typical for secure browsers - but of course that's dictated by the frequency with which bad actors are trying to slip something by it.

    2-cent version: don't bother with "privacy" plug-ins for non-private browser; just use a privacy-oriented browser.

    Link: https://brave.com

    DH

    (I have an "advanced privacy" set up as well, a "burner" notebook running Whonix OS, and I always have a thumb drive loaded with Tails attached to my keychain, in case I need to use someone else's computer.)
     
  12. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    AH, a tail. Is that similar to a dongle?

    Nemo
     
  13. dhaller

    dhaller Active Member

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    No, a TAILS thumb drive is an actual computer that plugs into a USB port. It's not a mere dongle.

    TAILS (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is a Debian-based security & encryption focused OS. It's pretty hardcore privacy (Edward Snowden has recommended it, though I think he himself uses Qubes OS).

    You use it by booting a PC from the thumb drive (sometimes you need to reconfigure your BIOS for this), and then it's just the thumb drive computer using your keyboard and screen as peripherals. TAILS saves no settings whatsoever, and you can't save files to it (though you can set up an encrypted section of the tumblebug drive to store files, which is not recommended), so every time you boot up, it's a "new" OS (inconvenient, but that's what "amnesic" refers to).

    The idea is that if the thumb drive falls into the hands of law enforcement, MOSSAD, SPECTRE agents, or whatever, they got nothin'.

    TAILS does come with Tor preloaded and a few other things (an Electrum wallet for crypto transactions, things like that), and it has no graphics whatsoever (blue screen, white letters). It feels like using a computer in the 80s.

    There are folks selling USB drives pre-loaded with TAILS, but you never, ever want to buy those. You download it yourself - making sure it's a *verified* download - and then keep it up to date (since it's continuously under assault by cybercriminals, intelligence agencies, etc.)

    DH

    ps. If you're good with Linux, Qubes is a good secure system; you can even load it on a Raspberry Pi, and have a tiny, portable, Liberty-loving computer to take with you. A bit more user-friendly than TAILS (*if* you read all the docs!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  14. henry321

    henry321 Member

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    This is a very informative and helpful thread. Thanks, folks!