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Old 02-06-2016, 12:01 AM   #1
Gregg Bell
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Best way to block Google Analytics from tracking me?


I recently installed Bitdefender "Traffic Light" for Firefox. It tells me big brother Google Analytics is tracking me. I've read that there are three ways to stop it.
1) Google's opt out process
2) a Firefox add-on
3) somehow configuring Adblock Plus (which I have) to stop it

Two questions:
1) Are there any advantages to not blocking Google Analytics? (Besides Google's preposterous reasons.)
2) If I block it, which of the above three ways is best?

Thanks.
 
Old 02-06-2016, 03:18 AM   #2
HMW
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I don't know if it's the "best" way, but I use Privacy Badger myself, and it works fine for what you are trying to accomplish.
https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

Best regards,
HMW
 
Old 02-06-2016, 03:42 AM   #3
Captain Pinkeye
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Since you already use Adblock Plus, i'd say the easiest and least-overhead way is to utilise it.

My Ghostery shows me the Google Analytics URL is either 'http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js' or 'http://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js'.
I would probably write a filter that would block everything from that site (something like 'http://www.google-analytics.com/*').

No, i wouldn't install another addon just for that one tracker.
 
Old 02-06-2016, 12:52 PM   #4
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMW View Post
I don't know if it's the "best" way, but I use Privacy Badger myself, and it works fine for what you are trying to accomplish.
https://www.eff.org/privacybadger
Hi Gregg...

+1

I use this and it seems to work well for me, too. It (Google Analytics) will show up in the list of "found items" and you can manually block it from there.

I'm not sure if there are any benefits to not blocking Google Analytics. I'm not aware of a page not loading up correctly because it was blocked but you would need to take that on a case by case basis.

Regards...

Last edited by ardvark71; 02-06-2016 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Changed/Deleted information.
 
Old 02-06-2016, 05:44 PM   #5
Gregg Bell
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Thanks guys. Privacy Badger sounded easy so I got that. But (see screenshot) why is Privacy Badger allowing the tracking from these three companies? Do I have to manually block everything? (And, ardvark, so these "Filter Settings" are what you're referring to as "found items," right? So when I find Google Analytics there I should just slide the thing all the way over to the left, correct?)
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:07 PM   #6
ondoho
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the best way to stop google-analytics.com from tracking you is by blocking the domain completely.
i have been using a "hostsblock" script for more than a year, i never even use adblock anymore, because the script is so effective - and it blocks domains systemwide (not only in my browser).
it's a tad tricky to set up, compared to point-and-click firefox addons.
feel free to disregard, i'm just adding my 2ct.
 
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:17 PM   #7
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
But (see screenshot) why is Privacy Badger allowing the tracking from these three companies? Do I have to manually block everything? (And, ardvark, so these "Filter Settings" are what you're referring to as "found items," right? So when I find Google Analytics there I should just slide the thing all the way over to the left, correct?)
Hi Gregg...

Privacy Badger learns as it goes. The items you mentioned in your screenshot are examples of "potential" trackers (whether they are or not) that Privacy Badger notices. It will monitor these same cookies (and other content) to see if it can detect any tracking behavior across different websites. If so, then it will begin to block stuff. Take a look at entry "How does Privacy Badger work?" here. However, you can choose to block items manually, such as Google-Analytics, when and as you see fit.

Yes, "found items" was my own terminology, as I didn't know what the terminology was that Privacy Badger used.

Regards...

Last edited by ardvark71; 02-06-2016 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Added comment.
 
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:02 PM   #8
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
the best way to stop google-analytics.com from tracking you is by blocking the domain completely.
i have been using a "hostsblock" script for more than a year, i never even use adblock anymore, because the script is so effective - and it blocks domains systemwide (not only in my browser).
it's a tad tricky to set up, compared to point-and-click firefox addons.
feel free to disregard, i'm just adding my 2ct.
That looks good, ondoho. Thanks. But yeah, a little (a lot?) beyond my skill level. Maybe some day.
 
Old 02-06-2016, 07:06 PM   #9
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardvark71 View Post
Hi Gregg...

Privacy Badger learns as it goes. The items you mentioned in your screenshot are examples of "potential" trackers (whether they are or not) that Privacy Badger notices. It will monitor these same cookies (and other content) to see if it can detect any tracking behavior across different websites. If so, then it will begin to block stuff. Take a look at entry "How does Privacy Badger work?" here. However, you can choose to block items manually, such as Google-Analytics, when and as you see fit.

Yes, "found items" was my own terminology, as I didn't know what the terminology was that Privacy Badger used.

Regards...
Hi ardvark. Yeah, I read that 'learns as it goes' bit. I was just a little confused by it not blocking giant companies like Google and FB. And how are those two "potential" trackers? They're known notorious trackers.
 
Old 02-06-2016, 08:59 PM   #10
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
And how are those two "potential" trackers? They're known notorious trackers.
I just meant in terms of how Privacy badger initially sees them. They have to develop a "reputation," so to speak, before it blocks them, unless you decide to do it manually.

You can also give Disconnect a try as well. From what I understand, it's a bit more proactive from the starting gate, although I've never used it and I'm not sure if it will work under Linux.

Regards...
 
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:29 PM   #11
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Am I the only one whitelisting cookies, using NoScript to whitelist scripts, using AdBlockPlus and clearing the majority of history after every session too?
I have to admit that I tend to do my online banking in Chromium in incognito mode as it's easier than having settings saved in Firefox to save cookies and allow scripts (would make it obvious to anyone using my machine which bank I used fora start). I do, also, use a similar setup for other, trusted but one-shot sites.
However, for general browsing I find with the relevant sites whitelisted for cookies and scripts and adverts blocked my browsing is a lot less hassle. I even appreciate being able to search for, and select, a YouTube channel without a video auto-playing the first time.
 
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:46 PM   #12
Higgsboson
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I use NoScript add-on. I'm surprised everyone hasn't heard of it.
After reading about Adblock Plus and NoScript on Wikipedia, I went for NoScript. Of course, you could probably have both.
NoScript also disables java (which is pretty dodgy) unless you enable the trusted site you visit.

With NoScript, it's extraordinary how many sites are being blocked when you visit a page, not just google analytics.
 
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:13 PM   #13
sgosnell
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I use Ghostery, and have it block everything. No need for adblock or anything else. Ghostery takes care of all trackers. Occasionally I have to pause it, or whitelist a site or a tracker, but not often. I tend to whitelist sites that I need to work, and which I trust, like my bank. For others, I just try pausing Ghostery while I let something run temporarily, but I don't do that often. I'm a big fan of Ghostery, and I don't go out on the interwebs without it.
 
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:46 PM   #14
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardvark71 View Post
I just meant in terms of how Privacy badger initially sees them. They have to develop a "reputation," so to speak, before it blocks them, unless you decide to do it manually.

You can also give Disconnect a try as well. From what I understand, it's a bit more proactive from the starting gate, although I've never used it and I'm not sure if it will work under Linux.

Regards...
Hey ardvark. I got Disconnect and like it a lot. It blocks everything. Privacy Badger seemed pretty neurotic. 'This site doesn't seem to be tracking you.' And its 'learning process.' Sheesh. Disconnect blocks everything and tells you who it's blocking. And Disconnect does a pretty good job on the ads too so I left Adblock Plus off. (Although Adblock Plus does do a slightly better job.)
 
Old 02-07-2016, 07:49 PM   #15
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgsboson View Post
With NoScript, it's extraordinary how many sites are being blocked when you visit a page, not just google analytics.
Yeah, it's extraordinary but it's also pretty confusing. Like which site do you need to unblock to get the functionality you need?
 
  


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