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Old 26-11-11, 01:00   #1
 
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Computers Who's Tracking You Online? + Firefox Add On

How to See What Web Sites Your Computer is Secretly Connecting To





Has your internet connection become slower than it should be? There may be a chance that you have some malware, spyware, or adware that is using your internet connection in the background without your knowledge. Here’s how to see what’s going on under the hood.


Secret Squirrel by akumath


How to Check What Your Computer is Connecting To

So, how do you find out what the problem is? There is an easy method using the netstat command from a command prompt window. This works with Windows 7, Vista, and XP. If you’re still using XP, make sure you are running at least Service Pack 2.
We will use the netstat command to generate a list of everything that has made an internet connection in a specified amount of time. To use the netstat command, you must run the command prompt window as administrator.



Open the Start menu and enter “cmd.exe” in the Search box. When the results display, right-click on cmd.exe and select Run as administrator from the popup menu.








If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue. Note: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.





At the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter.
netstat -abf 5 > activity.txt
The –a option shows all connections and listening ports, the –b option shows you what application is making the connection, and the –f option displays the full DNS name for each connection option for easier understanding of where the connections are being made to. You can also use the –n option if you wish to only display the IP address. The 5 option will poll every 5 seconds for connections to make it more easy to track what is going on, and the results are then piped into the activity.txt file.
Wait about two minutes and then press Ctrl + C to stop the recording of data.






Once you’ve finished recording data, you can simply open the activity.txt file in your favorite editor to see the results, or you can type activity.txt at the command line to open it in Notepad.
The resulting file will list all processes on your computer (browsers, IM clients, email programs, etc.) that have made an internet connection in the last two minutes, or however long you waited before pressing Ctrl + C. It also lists which processes connected to which websites.
If you see process names or website addresses with which you are not familiar, you can search for “what is (name of unknown process)” in Google and see what it is. It may be a system function you don’t know about or a function of one of your running programs. However, if it seems like a bad site, you can use Google again to find out how to get rid of it.






Using CurrPorts to Check What Your PC is Connecting To

You can also use a free tool, called CurrPorts, to display a list of all currently opened TCP/IP and UDP ports on your local computer. It is a portable program and doesn’t need to be installed. To use it, extract the .zip file you downloaded (see the link at the end of this article) and run cports.exe.
For each port that CurrPorts lists, information about the process that opened the port is displayed. You can select connections and close them, copy a port’s information to the clipboard or save it to an HTML file, an XML file, or a tab-delimited text file. You can reorder the columns displayed on the CurrPorts main window and in the files you save. To sort the list by a specific column, simply click on the header of that column.






CurrPorts runs under Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. There is a separate download of CurrPorts for 64-bit versions of Windows.



You can find more information about CurrPorts and how to use it on the website listed below.
Download CurrPorts from;


CurrPorts: Monitoring TCP/IP network connections on Windows.


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Old 03-09-12, 00:25   #2
 
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Computers Who's Tracking You Online?-Firefox Add On

Firefox Add-On Collusion Shows Who's Tracking You Online

By Ian Paul PC World




If you're concerned about advertisers tracking you across the Web, Mozilla can now help you see exactly who's following you online with a new experimental Firefox add-on called Collusion. The browser extension creates a real-time graph of all the tracking cookies being deposited on your browser as you move around the Web.
The add-on can differentiate between behavioral tracking (cookies that record links you click on, what content you view, searches you make on a site, etc.) and other potential tracking cookies. Collusion's graph also makes it easy to see which sites are using the same behavioral tracking advertisers. Collusion was originally developed as an independent project by Mozilla engineer Atul Varma. Mozilla is now developing the add-on with the support of the Ford Foundation.

Getting started

After you've installed Collusion from Mozilla's Firefox add-ons gallery you have to enable it by clicking on Tools>Add-ons>Extensions and then click "Enable" next to Collusion. After that you should see a small red circle on the bottom right of your browser. Now, just start browsing the Web as you normally would. To see the tracking graph build up, click on the Collusion icon in the bottom right of your screen. This will open a separate browser tab with your Collusion graph.




Collusion graph after visiting the Android Market, ESPN, IMDb, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo.

The glowing circles represent sites you have visited and each line growing out of that circle is attached to a cookie the site or its advertisers have placed on your browser. Red circles are behavioral tracking cookies, and gray circles represent non-behavourial tracking cookies. But, Mozilla says, those gray sites may still be tracking you across the Web. In my tests, the gray circles tended to be cookies from social networking sites such as Facebook, MSN, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Twitter. A visit to IMDb, however, deposited a non-behavorial tracking cookie from Amazon on my browser.





Tracking cookies connected to The Wall Street Journal.

After you've visited about four or five sites, the graph tends to get really confusing and it's hard to tell which advertisers are connected with which sites. To cut down on the confusion just hover over any of the sites you've visited and Collusion will highlight only the cookies connected with that site.
You can also do the same for advertisers. If you wanted to see how many of the sites you visit rely on Google's DoubleClick for advertising, you could just hover over the DoubleClick circle. In my case, this shows me that almost all of the sites I previously visited during my short test relied on DoubleClick's cookie. This is helpful information to know since, as Mozilla points out, when the same sites rely on the same tracking cookies, advertisers are able to effectively track you across the sites you visit building up valuable data for market research.

Mozilla says that all tracking data Collusion collects is stored locally on your computer and never leaves your possession. You can reset the graph at any time to delete Collusion's database. The add-on also features an export function, but in my tests this feature wasn't functioning properly.

Collusion can only show you who's tracking you right now, but future plans for the add-on include the ability to turn off tracking cookies when you don't want to be followed as you browse the Web.
END

More info & and a Demo, can be found on Firefox's Site here;

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/collusion/
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Old 04-09-12, 04:25   #3
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Default re: Who's Tracking You Online? + Firefox Add On

Collusion is not a new add on. Still if you haven't seen it at work, you should. It's an eye opener. You never really realize what's going on behind the scenes till you find a tracker at work to show you.

None of these sites are doing this for the heck of it. They are accumulating data to sell. Your data. Maybe you don't mind; maybe you're like me and dislike it simply because it's sneaky. Rarely have I ever found something sneaky that was for my benefit. It almost always worked out universally to be against what you stand for.
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Old 20-01-13, 19:56   #4
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Default re: Who's Tracking You Online? + Firefox Add On

I use Ghostery that stops trackers or you can allow certain sites to be excluded. I was amazed at the amount of data Facebook had on my web surfing activities?

But I'll watch this demo now as its all in the name of learning....or self teaching.
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Old 20-01-13, 20:00   #5
 
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Default re: Who's Tracking You Online? + Firefox Add On

I've was using ghosty as well, they just changed the privacy conditions and myself I wasn't liking what they were keeping for themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
I use Ghostery that stops trackers or you can allow certain sites to be excluded. I was amazed at the amount of data Facebook had on my web surfing activities?

But I'll watch this demo now as its all in the name of learning....or self teaching.
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Old 20-01-13, 21:56   #6
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Default re: Who's Tracking You Online? + Firefox Add On

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobo View Post
I've was using ghosty as well, they just changed the privacy conditions and myself I wasn't liking what they were keeping for themselves.
I wasn't aware of that , so what are you using now Bobo?
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Old 20-01-13, 22:42   #7
 
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Default re: Who's Tracking You Online? + Firefox Add On

Right now just AVG do not track. They just changed it this past week, I think they were going to track and record what sites you go to. I'm the type that hate people tracking my movements for their personal gain. I don't travel to questionable sites, I have no problem telling anyone where I go I just don't care for people being sneaky about it. I very seldom read privacy policies and these companies know that and will sneak things like that in. One thing I've been doing for years is hitting a blank or google home page before I use one of my bookmarks, that way if the place I just left was tracking where I was going to they would come up blank.
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