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Advertisers and trackers on Linux

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Trafalmagorian, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Apologies if this post is naive or just plain dumb. BUT, here goes. I just installed Linux Mint on my system. I like the way it works; its simplicity, elegance really. I like the command line interface; takes me back to programming in Fortran in 1974! However, my expectations were that Linux was the "clean" system that avoids advertisers and trackers and all the other intrusive "Big Brother" crap that we get with iOS and Windows but I see that Linux has no shortage of its own intrusive elements. In fact, some of the many advertisers cannot be "turned off" from "tailoring" content for me. I am quickly realizing that Linux may not be what I really wanted after all, and that it has all the same warts on it that Windows had, just less of it. Am I missing something?


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  2. arochester

    arochester Moderator
    Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    You can use a browser which will block ads and tracking like default --like Brave.

    You can use extensions like uBlock Origin, HTTPs Everywhere, Cookie AutoDelete, Privacy Badger, uMatrix and NoScript.

    You can use Search Engines respect your privacy like SearX, Quant and DuckDuckGo.

    Check out sites like:
    https://restoreprivacy.com/google-alternatives/
    https://degooglisons-internet.org/en/alternatives/
    https://restoreprivacy.com/privacy-tools/
    https://nomoregoogle.com/
    https://switching.social/

    There was an interesting series suggesting that it is not easy. The last one is http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2019/02/i-cut-the-big-five-tech-giants-from-my-life-it-was-hell/

    Linux is not perfect, but for me, it is better.
     
  3. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
    Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    A BIG like on @arochester 's Post above :), I am going to re-read that last article to absorb it better.

    G'day @Trafalmagorian and welcome to linux.org :p

    I was a user of Minitran back in 1972, and I concur with much of what you have said.

    That being said, I run about 80 Linux over three rigs, simply because I enjoy the diversity and the freedom LInux offers.

    The weak link, as you might expect, is the insidious nature of the Internet, and the companies there whose business model (if it can be called that) is focused on mining data and on-selling it. Linux must share the Internet with the rest of the OSes, unless or until an alternative is found/built.

    In terms of Search Engines, DuckDuckGo, listed 4th in the link Arochester has supplied to alternatives to Google, receives a lot of custom by Linux users (who talk about doing "duckduckgo-fu"), and is allegedly more friendly to Linux in the results that it provides.

    Obviously, the choice of which OS to use belongs to you, the user, but we hope you will give Linux a good trial before you look back to alternatives.

    Cheers

    Chris Turner
    wizardfromoz
    BTW, I use no antivurus software, no anti-malware software, and have been a heavy user for 5 years with not a hint of the "greeblies" getting into my system.

    If you have not already done so with your Mint, enable the firewall

    Code:
    sudo ufw enable
    With just the Linux firewall and a firewall at my Router, I have a peaceful night's sleep :cool:
     
  4. Condobloke

    Condobloke Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Linux.org, @Trafalmagorian

    Amen to all of the above from @arochester & @wizardfromoz

    My tuppence ha'penny worth.....it takes more than just doing the change from windows to linux (this is not criticism btw)///....it also needs a change of mindset and a definite change of habit

    It is all to easy to simply install Linux and just blaze on with the same old same old habits which we established in windows. As wizard said he has no anti virus nor anti malware etc etc...same for me ....but it is necessary to change something, something we actually have to work at...especially when it comes to trackers and advertising and all that comes with them. They are motivated by greed, so their motivation will be sky high. They will try all sorts of crap to keep on stealing your stuff from you....on a continuing basis
    Set about changing your browsing habits.....and the rest is easy. I am disappointed with Firefox of late. Their settings to deal with 'Content Blocking'....while they are certainly heading in the right direction....are an absolute minefield....get one wrong and you will find yourself reinstalling firefox with a new profile to get rid of the mess !

    Stand strong....your decision to use Linux is a good one. [​IMG]
     
  5. Socket of Davis

    Socket of Davis New Member

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    @Trafalmagorian

    Welcome to the forum !

    Don't get me started on Fortran .... I cut my teeth on that , which probably shows my age :)

    Good advice given so far ..... the browser is probably the weakest point of any system .
    I've taken things a step further and included network-wide ad-blocking ( and much more )
    by the simple addition of Pi Hole .

    OK - there's a bit of cash outlay up-front but no more than a Dominoes pizza ,
    if you go with the cheapest Pi

    I've written about it in this post :-
    https://www.linux.org/threads/what-is-so-good-about-pi-hole.22250/
     
  6. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Thanks. I can see that there is a steep learning curve to be able to "manage" the intrusions. I'm not sure I'm anywhere near there yet but will read the aticles that you suggest for sure. On one site, I read that there are some Some Ten Must Do" things when loading up MINT. The commands they provided almost all started with sudo. Not ten minutes later I read another Linux Mint article that suggested that any command line instructions using sudo was a problem due to separation of user and system. I like Mint a lot but need to decide if the time |(fun) is worth the payoff that still has a hostile background. I may simply be too damned old, too damned tired, or too technically challenged to become a Minter. "For God sakes Jim, I'm a Doctor!!" Thanks again.
     
    wizardfromoz likes this.
  7. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. Much appreciated. Maybe they should make Mint even easier and have a default set up that includes the most conservative settings against security risks. A new user, as they learn the ropes, can then break away from those defaults and start to explore their own preferences one they know how to manage the systemically.
     
  8. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Thank you. I am going to investigate the mysterious pi hole solution. Would that be a super party sized Dominoes or just like a large with 3 toppings?
     
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  9. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Yes, punch cards, terminals, waiting at the printer at midnight! These were the coffee-drinking days! Thanks for your tip. I amdDefinitely going down into the Pi hole. I like network-wide blocking on my system just as I like having a surge protector on my main electronic panel for my whole house that makes all my power bars redundant. Is the cost closer to a Large Domnioes, 3 toppings, or to a big swank party pizza for twenty?
     
  10. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Thanks. I activated the firewall right away, to be sure. and have one at the router. I worry more about what slips in beyond that via arrangements betwee Linux and external. Friendly, well-meaning arrangements that allow access to me. BTW I read one Linux Mint article that suggested that starting a command line with sudo is bad; not sure why. Any thoughts on it, as I just entered a whack of commands using this little salutation!
     
    wizardfromoz likes this.
  11. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    I want to stay with it. but as you say, I am a Windower and therefore lazy and very poory informed about basic system management anymore. And there's so many new ways to Trojan or embed malware in ANY system. I've been thinking about this over the last few days. Is there a need for a new special version of Linux platfom that embraces just the command line interface. A system that steps back a few decades. One that upholds its original philosophy of staying away from the ROWWW (Rest of World Wide Webb) Kind of like an all-star team. LINUX SELECT. I can see the ad for it. McGivar would use LINUX SELECT after making it from a donut, a lighter, some tensor bandages ,and a starter motor from a 64 VW Bug. I'd use it too. Its what I'm looking for.
     
  12. Trafalmagorian

    Trafalmagorian New Member

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    Thanks Chris.
     
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  13. TechnoJunky

    TechnoJunky Member

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    Trafal, professionally, I'm a Windows guy, but I've been using Linux as my primary home computer since about 2007. I used Mint for several years until I bought a laptop and needed some newer drivers and stuff that Mint didn't have available. Now I'm using Neon. But enough about me. Many distros have gui-less installs. There are distros that install very little by default in your GUI, like Neon. There are hundreds of distros, all catering to different needs. Unlike Windows and MAC, Linux distros are much more customizable. You can have KDE, Gnome, Xfce and many other desktops installed, depending on what you want. However, if you have no desktop, your internet browsing will be quite limited. Advertisers and Trackers are on the Internet, not on Linux. I'm pretty sure there are a small handful of distros that cater to the over cautious, like Tails (Snowden's favorite distro). You could also go with a Knoppix live CD/USB pen drive. Knoppix, you boot to a CD or Pen drive and no data gets written to the drive, so trackers die everytime you reboot. You could stay with Mint and use Tor for your browser too. Tor is a bit slower than other browsers but it blocks all the trackers and stuff. Unfortunately, not all websites work with it because it totally limits what websites can do with it. Try it out before you give up on Linux or wipe the drive an start a different one.
     
  14. TechnoJunky

    TechnoJunky Member

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    BTW, sudo is used to elevate your ID to admin, for installing applications or sometimes to query different parts of the system. For normal every day operations, you won't need sudo. But sudo is needed to update your system (sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get upgrade, etc). Just remember, sudo = admin, it can be your friend or your worst nightmare. :)
     
  15. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Likes to all of the above, big likes to @TechnoJunky 's efforts. :) ... which include some of what I might have said.

    Arch, for example have GUI-less options, as have some of its kindred.

    Further, a lot of the penetration tools commonly associated with being in the province of Security Distros such as Kali and Parrot OS, are actually available within the Ubuntu and Linux Mint repositories.

    And bear in mind that the Windows GUI was written on Visual Basic, which provides a fertile field for the "greeblies", that of Linux is not.

    Cheers and

    Avagudweegend

    Wizard
     
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  16. Socket of Davis

    Socket of Davis New Member

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    I'll have to fess up here ..... I've never actually bought a Dominoes pizza ,
    but I know people who do buy them !

    Cheapest way to get started with pihole is with the Pi ZeroW and to do the setup headless ( using PuTTY ) ,
    but for anyone not comfortable with doing everything in a terminal , I'd recommend a Pi3B
    with standard Raspbian Stretch , as an easy starting point .
     
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