Ghostery starts to show advertisements in the browser


#1

Originally published at: https://www.myce.com/news/ghostery-starts-showing-advertisements-in-the-browser-84630/

Anti-tracking browser extension Ghostery has started to show advertisements in the browser. Ghostery calls the advertisements ‘Ghostery Rewards’ and promises that the privacy of users is maintained. The advertisements are provided by its sister company MyOffrz.


#2

I figure this was coming after adblocker plus got nailed by ad companies they cupitulatied to them and now Ghostery does this is no surprise to me. At least my personal hosts blocker doesn’t have to worry about adware for the most part and it’s free works and isn’t obtrusive unless you try to go to those adware sites that is blocked.


#3

I mostly use Ghostery for the option of manually enabling videos or comment sections like Disqus or Facebook etc. Very easy to turn this option off but if they make it compulsory, I’m outta there.


#4

Once it starts I doubt it will go back…


#5

uBlock Origin is what I tend to recommend. Not only does it give the users ultimate control over what resources their browsers do/don’t load, it also lets the users see what domains they had to connect to in order to render the page.

(By the way, In order to render this page, I had to load resources from myce.com, and ultrafastcdn.com. It blocked skinresources.com, and google-analytics.com. I suspect that more domains would have been loaded had those two not been blocked.)


#6

@TSJnachos117, I just use my custom hosts edit blocker and that works just fine removing junk ads and popups without problem. And best of all it’s free.


#7

This is probably beside the point, but uBlock is also free. In any case, you do you.:sunglasses:


#8

I dumped ghostery a long time ago, in favor of ublockorigin.

I mostly use ublockorigin to mop up the cosmetic mess left behind, after all the ads and other crap is already blocked. (In addition to noscript).

In regard to replacement hosts files which redirect all the garbage domains to 127.0.0.1 (or 0.0.0.0), I’m still using the hpHosts list.

https://hosts-file.net/?s=Download

I’ve been looking at other options such as merging together several other hosts lists into a huge list.

I’ve slowly been moving to other maintenance + junk removal/blocking type programs, such bleachbit.


#9

More generally, I’ve gotten into the habit of figuring out a minimal number of hosts to allow via ublockorigin + noscript, so that a particular web page is readable or plays some videos (such as youtube). All the other non-essential hosts I won’t allow on noscript+ublockorigin.

For example on here, I only have to allow club.myce.com on noscript in order to read and post. In this minimal script allowance, it won’t play any of the linked youtube videos on here (such as in the music related threads). If I really want to watch a particular video, I’ll just independently search for the title on youtube.


#10

The hosts works without having to install anything besides replacing the Original hosts with the edited version beyond the periodical updates and even then it doesn’t require constant updating unless you go to obscure sites that might trap your IP. Less to go wrong and one can reset the hosts file as well without doing a uninstall of ublock to remove it or replace it.


#11

If I had the patience of a saint, I would be updating the hosts file with the hphosts-partial.txt updates every day (from the hphosts web page). In practice I update with hphosts-partial.txt about once a week or so.

Back in the day over the 2000s decade, I was using the mvps hosts file and updating once every few months or so.

http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

Even without frequent updating, it was effective at blocking the obvious annoying junk.


#12

I tend to combine uBlock with various add-ons (like WebAPI Manager) that should (in theory) make it harder to fingerprint my browser. (In Firefox, some of those add-ons have been rendered obsolete by some new functionality, which can be manually enabled by going into ´about:config´, and setting ´privacy.´ to true.)

However, on Pale Moon, a browser that I find to be lighter that Firefox, such add-ons (and internal settings) don’t exist, so I use NoScript there instead. This makes some websites can be a real pain to work with, but on the flip side, I am (in theory) a very difficult person to spy on.


#13

I’ve looked at the webapi manager/blocker type addons on and off over the past 6+ months or so, but decided not to use them back then.

For the obvious junk webapis, I mostly just disabled them in about:config (such as ambient light, vibration, beacon, gampad, etc …).


#14

I decided to give webapi manager another shot on firefox nightly and umatrix, with the manager in agressive mode. For some script heavy pages, one or two things have to be unblocked in the webapi manager for a page to be functional at all (such as on here).

For most of the web pages I frequent, I’ve had a lot of practice in figuring which squares to activate on umatrix and which ones can be kept blocked. The webapi manager is just another layer of “trial and error squares” put on top of umatrix for me.

I tried running this setup on fingerprinting check sites (such as https://amiunique.org/fp), and found that the canvas and webgl fingerprinting has been mostly blocked (ie. no blank canvas even).


#15

(On a tangential aside).

I just assume that anybody that is serious about spying on me, will have other means to do so besides computer + internet related tricks/shenanigans (ie. viruses, browser fingerprinting, etc …).

For example, they can hire a private investigator to follow me everywhere I go and take incriminating pictures of my whereabouts for evidence.

If the feds are spying on me for whatever reasons, I assume they will have undercover agents following me everywhere and covertly taking pictures/videos of my every move. I assume they will also have my phone/cable/internet/electricity lines tapped directy, and collecting all data which passes through any devices which they’re able to get a wiretap warrant for. (Probably also for devices which they don’t have a warrant to wiretap).


#16

If the government truly does want to spy on me, they could indeed do all of what you said, and probably more. However, those are tactics that mostly only work on individuals. They cannot be easily deployed on a large scale in a systematic matter. That’s what makes internet-based surveillance so much more destructive on our society: the ability to watch entire populations with ease.

PS: even if Big Brother is NOT watching (and he is), that still doesn’t excuse the high levels of corporate surveillance. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and god-knows-how-many-others are watching you VERY closely. Although I can’t stop someone from following me on the street, I can take some actions to stop powerful parties from stalking me online.