~ Essays & Proxies ~
(Courtesy of fravia's advanced searching lores)
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
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
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.
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.
(c) 2000: [fravia+], all rights reserved