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I use to watch the status bar of my browser and note that when I visit a site many URLs are loaded like ajax[dot]googleapis or googlesyndicate[dot]com etc.

These URLs are not accessible directly by pasting them in address bar. When I searched these URLs, I found that Google collects data through these sites about location, behavior, etc of users.

So, I decided to block them. I use firefox and just found an add-on to block given/feeded URLs.

I tried a couple of things like Ghostry etc. So now I want to ask that is it enough or I need some other software..

Thanks

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closed as too broad by Xander, Mark, TildalWave, schroeder, Gilles Jun 16 at 9:43

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
@Xander I have changed the question. Now it is only about how to stay anonymous on web. –  user263210 Jun 16 at 18:57

2 Answers 2

On a pure theoretical basis, the list of URL to block to remain anonymous is... all of them ! As soon as you contact a Web site, any site, then that site sees your IP address and can track you. The Google-like addresses that you see are used by trackers who:

  • don't want to hide the fact that they track you;
  • delegate the job to people who are good at that job;
  • especially when the tracking is meant to be ultimately exploited by these people.

So, basically, that kind of visible tracking is for targeted advertisement. Regardless of what you may think of the morality of such practices, one has to convene that this is about the most harmless kind of tracking: it is done by businesses who crave your attention and, indirectly, your money, but only as part of consenting transactions (i.e. buying stuff). If you concentrate on blocking these URL, you will miss on the more dangerous tracking, done behind the scene in ways that you won't see (namely by aggregating log files from host systems) and won't block either.

If you really want to "be anonymous", you'll need heavier mechanisms, e.g. Tor (whether Tor really provides anonymity is open to debate, but at least it represents a substantial effort in that direction). If you just want not to see ads, then there are extensions for that (apparently some people find that one convenient).

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I just want to counter that ad-related tracking is not necessarily harmless. There many be dozens of trackers with code on a given page, many of those can track across a wide swath of web sites. Users don't know what data is collected, how it is stored, aggregated, or used. And they don't know how long the data is kept, how it may be associated with real world data, or of potential future secondary uses, including use by governments in addition to unexpected commercial uses. The entire process is extremely opaque, and caution (i.e., blocking, and more severe measures) can be easily justified. –  pseudon Jun 15 at 22:32
    
Thomas Pornin is very correct when he says that blocking alone is a far from complete solution to anonymity on the web. You have to think about your threat model (who are you trying to protect your identity, online behaviors, and data from - is it Advertisers? Data Brokers? Facebook? Government? Your ISP? etc...?), and then put appropriate defenses in place. –  pseudon Jun 15 at 22:36
    
Thank you @Thomas Porin. I was just annoyed that these giants track our location. They know where we are. Then they track where we go. What are our interests. Then they know our info (we tell them through our profiles by ourselves fb, g+, etc). They know all only what we do!! Now-a-days if someone knows all that what you do online then he knows you better than yourself! Because our online life is now like our real life. We do all the stuff here, what we do in open world. In open world there is not much tracking. But you are being watched here at every step. –  user263210 Jun 16 at 3:42
    
@pseudon I just mentioned up there that if someone knows all about your behavior then can you be OK with that? My point is that what I do, should be for me. If someone has no connection with it then why should he know that what I did? –  user263210 Jun 16 at 3:48

The best way to do this is through firefox addons.

Ghostery and RequestPolicy are 2 good ones that should make it very difficult to track what you do on the web.

Be sure to read up on what they actually do though, because they will change the way you have to use the web.

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addblock edge additional, and one should be safe. for the paranoids: use noscript –  that guy from over there Jun 15 at 8:28

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