I added this page to my site to
emphasize that web sites can collect many facts about
you and your network without your knowledge.
Information may include your email address, the specific city and state you
are visiting from, your computer's unique Internet
Protocol (IP) address (pinpointing your specific
location), applications installed on your
computer and the operating system, browser
information and settings, your firewall or cable/DSL
modem type, internal
network settings, and more.
information could provide an unscrupulous individual
with information to help facilitate breaching your
network and obtaining information stored on your
computer or network.
By examining information passed from a browser to my
web server I can often determine enough information to
identify a probable user account. This would
provide a potential hacker with information to begin an
attack using a "brute
force" method. Many hackers either gain
access to web server statistics, which are usually not
very well secured, or stage sites to specifically
collect this information. Many spam or "phishing"
attempts are actually scams to collect information about
There are dozens of tools and online sites that
illustrate how information about you may be used. For example, I read your IP
address as 126.96.36.199
(click IP for your service provider's city, which is just one of the many values that can be found). The IP address may be used
to track down and access your computer if it
is not adequately protected.
Click here to see a map of your location.
Although my site does not
have advertisements, many sites employ advertising
service providers who attach an ID to the ads as they
are served (delivered) to your browser. They can
then read the ID and the site addresses that you are
Click here to see what a popular Internet
advertiser DoubleClick collects. The ID, site name and your
specific Internet address allow the advertiser to construct a record of your
behavior and the sites you access. They sell this
information and can even adjust advertising presented to
you that you may be more likely to be interested in
pursuing. They can also determine your email
address if you use browser based email services with
their advertising, such as
Yahoo or Hotmail.
This allows them to sell your email address and web
to providers of spam databases.
Another technique known as
web beacons allows web site portals, such as
AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Google and others to track your access
across multiple sites. When used with other
tracking systems, especially when combined with registry
information collected when you join a site (such as
Yahoo), this technique provides a powerful method for
categorizing your behavior and targeting advertisements.
This information is traded with "partners" looking to
focus their sales efforts directly at you. Free
such as Yahoo also attach web beacons to HTML
email you send to track when it was opened and who
opened it. This allows them to not only track your
behavior but who you communicate with and their
Click here to read Yahoo's policy.
One way to limit the information collected about you
is to use a special file on your computer that will
redirect ads to a blank page.
Another way is to simply secure your browser and install firewall
and Adware applications on your computer.
Click here for
What law enforcement knows. What is the FBI's Carnivore
program? From securities fraud to cyberterrorism, child
pornography to espionage, electronic communication has
become a major avenue for criminal activity. In
response, the FBI developed Carnivore, a surveillance
system that monitors electronic communication. With a
court order or lawful consent from the Internet Service
Provider (ISP), the FBI can tap Carnivore into an ISP's
high-speed network. Aptly named Carnivore because of its
ability to find the "meat," or criminal activity, in
Internet traffic, it can track a user's incoming and
outgoing e-mails. Information travels through the
Internet in packets of binary code. In the case of
e-mail, a single message is broken down into several
packets. Every packet contains duplicate information
such as, among other things, the address from which the
e-mail was sent, the address to which it was sent, and
the subject line. Each packet also contains unique
information - a section of the e-mail's content.
Click here to learn more.
If you are extremely concerned about your behavior being
tracked you may wish to consider one of the many
anonymizing systems, such as
These sites proxy or mask your connection to the
internet by redirecting internet traffic through their
servers and stripping identifying information.
I do not
provide information about my
visitors to others and routinely remove all records from
my site. I do monitor access to some
pages on my site to track when they are visited. I
provide this page to help explain the issues you face
securing your identity. You may write me at
firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
You can help reduce Cyber Crime by reporting suspected
information to the
FBI or at the
U.S. Department of Justice site. You
can also report attempts to collect information or lure
you to a site at the
Anti-Phishing Work Group web site or the
United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team
Best wishes and stay safe.