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Protect Your Privacy from Google ?


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Protect Your Privacy from Google



A simple HOW TO for stopping Google from logging your search history.

The Problem


While Google.com is a brilliant search site, and while its proprieters claim to abide by their 'do no evil' motto, there is one practice that threatens to expose you to much evil down the track.


Google places a cookie on every user's computer, timed to expire in 2038. With this cookie, they can track you and log your entire search history. In fact, Google has recently indicated that they won't be deleting people's search histories.


While this cookie may not directly identify you by name, an analysis of your search history over time can definitely help an attacker (or abusive government authority) to identify you personally.


Many people fight back by setting up an anonymous proxy for all their web surfing, but this can slow down their accesses terribly. Such slowness sooner or later drives most people to revert to direct non-anonymous internet access.

A Solution


In summary, the solution is to clear all long-lasting cookies, set your browser to not keep cookies between restarts, and divert all google requests out through an anonymous proxy.


This will protect your privacy as far as google is concerned, but allow you to enjoy full-speed browsing with other sites.


Follow these simple steps:




Get access to an anonymous web proxy. A common favorite is the Tor network



Be using Mozilla Firefox.or simular browser



Install the Foxy Proxy extension for Firefox



Within Foxy Proxy configuration, add an entry for your anonymous proxy. Within this proxy, add 2 whitelist wildcard rules, with the patterns:

* http://@@@://*.google.com/*

* http://@@@://google.com/



Clear out all your browser cookies



Set Firefox so that it only keeps cookies till you close Firefox (Edit/Preferences/Privacy/Cookies)



If there are any other sites that may be unduly logging your activity, and don't have a refular log deletion policy, add some entries for these sites into your anonymous proxy matchlist in FoxyProxy.



With these measures in place, all your regular web requests will go out directly to the internet, while all requests for *.google.com will go via the Tor anonymity network. Also, since your cookies are getting deleted every time you close/restart Firefox, then Google will no longer be able to build a history of your web surfing.


I appreciate that for some amongst us, this is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. But at least we can arrest the extent of the privacy violation which Google is perpetrating.



The searches you send out to Google are your business. You have the right to prevent Google from accumulating a perpetual history of your web searching. Use that right.





The purpose post?

to inform people that there are alternatives, that they have a right to search for whatever information they want in complete privacy, and there are simple technical means of exercising that right.




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