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Blocking trackers and ads.. The easy way.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Thatdad, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Thatdad

    Thatdad Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I've had many people come to me and ask how it is I keep my computer (and android device) so lowkey and away from prying eyes.

    Even as I'm typing my Tracker blocker has blocked 5 trackers and 7 ads. The amount of trackers on every webpage is truly ridiculous. If you follow what I say and get the extensions that I use(works on Chrome, Chromium, as well as Firefox) you will see just how many people are keeping tabs on your internet usage.

    First things first, for the people who don't know what a tracker does..

    Keeping it simple here, basically trackers keep tabs on what you are doing on the web. Ever noticed ads pop up about stuff local to you? These trackers have tracked you and know where you are and what you are doing.

    To solve this just download the extension Ghostery. Ghostery blocks any trackers that are on any webpage and keep these comapnies from tracking you every move (including Google, Google+ as well as Facebook)

    Everyone knows what ads are so yeah just get AdBlocker or AdBlocker plus. Simple.

    This won't make your computer completely secure but at least its adding to your arsenal. ;)

    OR if you want complete security and your identity hidden go ahead and download Tor on your computer. It's free, opensource, and its.. well.. Amazing. https://www.torproject.org/

    Now to make your device anonymous. This is the beauty of Android. We, as Android users, can use Tor on our devices. (only on Opera and Tor's limited browser.. for now.)

    First, download the app Orbot. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.torproject.android&hl=en

    Now either get Opera or Orweb from playstore.

    Orweb will already have it working but with Opera it's a little more trickier.

    1. Open up Opera Mobile and type "about:config" in the address bar, then hit go.

    2. Scroll down until you see the "Proxy" section and select it.

    3.Under "HTTP server" and "HTTPS server" enter

    4. Click the checkboxes next to "Use HTTP" and "Use HTTPS" to enable proxy usage for the respective protocols within Opera Mobile.

    5. Click "Save" and restart Opera Mobile.

    Tor suggests to disable Javascript within Opera Mobile to avoid potential address leaks. Also once you have Orbot up and you see the green onion, load up Opera Mobile and visit the following page to check if your setup is OK:


    Keep Orbot running in the background.

    Once you have all of this done you will be free to browse your mobile internet anonymously! :D

    Hopefully I have made a useful post. ;)

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  2. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Android Expert

    Thanks! Very interesting stuff.

    Of course, none of this would help hide your internet activity from the NSA or in your case - given you're using a Huawei - the Chinese government (allegedly) :D

    Re that: just saw a story this morning that Lenovo computers were found to have backdoors and have been banned from high security parts of most Western intelligence operations since the buyout from IBM in the mid-90s :eek:
  3. Thatdad

    Thatdad Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    If you have a Lenovo to fix this you could always just run Ubuntu instead. :D

    Of course if you run the Tor Network and use the Tor browser it'll keep the NSA off of you for sure. Read more about Tor and how it protects you and much more..


    If you can't use Tor, for whatever reason, you can go here:

    This is a way to keep your IP hidden as they run your searches through their servers through Google and bring the results to you. They also have a proxy you can use to access the websites you find in your search results.

    Startpage actually refuses to give the NSA any information and they said that they really couldn't anyway since they don't even record anyone's address, and they're in a different country anyway.

    Tor protects people in repressive regimes and circumvents censorship, all through Tor, and protects your identity. :)
  4. Thatdad

    Thatdad Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Oh and for all my rooted brothers and sisters you can use transparent proxy. Then you can use Tor even on Chrome. (I advise Chrome since you can switch to Bing or Yahoo) Google search engine doesn't like Tor on the mobile platform since their servers think your phone is sending automated queries.. pretty dumb but it does protect their users.

    So yeah rooted you don't have to put in all of that stuff but it does make Google search all screwy.
  5. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    Another way to block ads is to use a modified host file. The great thing about that (using a customized host file) is that the host file is the first place your computer looks for domain records. No DNS queries. It's an old school method, but it works. And will always work. In fact, host files were one of the (many) ways of getting around particular government restrictions.

    Code (Text):
    2. #/etc/hosts
    3. # or
    4. #%SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
    5.  AnnoyingAds.com
    6.  BlockedWebsite.com
    Obviously that second address is not valid, just an example. This works as long as the IP address hasn't changed. Sometimes they change often, sometimes not.

    Now as far as Tor goes, it isn't 100% secure. Remember, Tor was developed by the US government. That being said, it is licensed under BSD, and supported by the EFF. Still, if you check some of the exit nodes, you'll notice a few US government ones. Not saying they are spying on you, but they could be. Anyone running an exit node could be.

    And who's to say they aren't using moxie's sslstrip? Speaking of moxie, he has released/worked on tons of software for android privacy/security. Check out his github or site for more info. He's one cool cat.

    Oh, and The Guardian Project has a Tor implementation I've used in the past. Orbot and Orweb.
    I guess the point of this non-host file part was just that nothing is guaranteed.
  6. Thatdad

    Thatdad Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I do agree, there is no sure thing. I have heard, but not sure if its true, that windows and apple implement backdoors for the US government.
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I know for a fact that Microsoft implements back-doors for the Chinese communist government. Use Skype in China, there's a special version of it. Also there's special PRC versions of Windows 8 and Office 365 as well. Wouldn't surprise me if there's US government back-doors in American proprietary OSs and software.
  8. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Android Expert

    Just read this - it appears there is a Javascript exploit in the wild that specifically targets TOR bundle users on Windows and Firefox :eek:

    The exploit sends the MAC address and host visited to a remote computer (so far, ownership untraced). Basically, the precise data that TOR is attempting to conceal.

    Apparently, the latest versions of Firefox have been fixed but if you're using an old one with TOR, best update it! For the moment, Linux / Firefox appears to be fine but apparently it's possible that this could be also be targetted at a later date.
  9. Thatdad

    Thatdad Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yeah JavaScript and flash are known to cause security issues, I leave them disabled whenever I decide to use Tor.

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