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Speed38

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
143
52
WDC Metro area
Here is my "problem" and I hope someone can provide a solution.

For example: I go online searching a medical condition. E.g., diabetes diagnosis and treatment. I follow link after link accumulating information.

Within a week or two, I am seeing numerous emails about diabetes: cures, diets, books, etc.

What if I wanted to search assisted suicide or suicide (relax, I don't). I certainly wouldn't like my wife to look over my shoulder at incoming emails about books on assisted suicide, emails from suicide-prevention sites, etc.

What can I do on my Mac, other than using TOR, because TOR won't allow one to watch a video and often the medical sites have numerous videos I would like to watch.

In short, I'd like to on occasion surf and not have the sites to which I surf be able to know who I am and besiege me with emails.

Many thanks,
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,755
130
Near London, UK.
This doesn't happen to me and I'd be disturbed if it did, I'd be wondering how they know your email address to send stuff to ?!
I use adblocker on my browsers, maybe that helps, but I'm at a loss to know where they are picking your email up from.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
9,891
6,872
Beyond the pale
Who is providing your email service? Is it Gmail?

Did you enter your email address at any websites that you were looking at?

Safari has a "Private Browsing" feature. You should turn it on.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ph5000

You should also learn how the "Reset Safari" menu-item works, located under the Safari menu.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ph11914
At a minimum, you should probably:
- Reset all location warnings
- Remove all website data
- Remove saved names & passwords
- Remove other AutoFill form text
 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
922
2
Here is my "problem" and I hope someone can provide a solution.

For example: I go online searching a medical condition. E.g., diabetes diagnosis and treatment. I follow link after link accumulating information.

Within a week or two, I am seeing numerous emails about diabetes: cures, diets, books, etc.

What if I wanted to search assisted suicide or suicide (relax, I don't). I certainly wouldn't like my wife to look over my shoulder at incoming emails about books on assisted suicide, emails from suicide-prevention sites, etc.

What can I do on my Mac, other than using TOR, because TOR won't allow one to watch a video and often the medical sites have numerous videos I would like to watch.

In short, I'd like to on occasion surf and not have the sites to which I surf be able to know who I am and besiege me with emails.

Many thanks,


You probably use gmail do you? Thats weird but Google, usually tracks a lot of stuff.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,929
1,614
New England, USA
Here is my "problem" and I hope someone can provide a solution.

For example: I go online searching a medical condition. E.g., diabetes diagnosis and treatment. I follow link after link accumulating information.

Within a week or two, I am seeing numerous emails about diabetes: cures, diets, books, etc.

What if I wanted to search assisted suicide or suicide (relax, I don't). I certainly wouldn't like my wife to look over my shoulder at incoming emails about books on assisted suicide, emails from suicide-prevention sites, etc.

What can I do on my Mac, other than using TOR, because TOR won't allow one to watch a video and often the medical sites have numerous videos I would like to watch.

In short, I'd like to on occasion surf and not have the sites to which I surf be able to know who I am and besiege me with emails.

Many thanks,

You might try Ghostery and/or DoNotTrackMe to reduce the amount of information provided about your website visits.

Nothing is perfect, but these help...:D
 

Speed38

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
143
52
WDC Metro area
Thanks for all those replies and in reply:

I use the Safari extensions Ad Blocker, Ghostery, & DoNotTrackme and, just for good luck, WebOfTrust.

I thought that Private Browsing was useful only for hiding your browsing history; does it do more than this? And, BTW, when I went to those sites, I had Private Browsing turned on. Does Private Browsing indeed do more that just hide your browser's history?

Yes, I do have a Gmail account.

No, I did not register with and did not give my email address to any of the sites I visited. (Had I had to, I would have used @mailinator.com, a throwaway email address).

From time to time, usually at my weekly backup, I will reset Safari and check all the boxes associated with that reset.

So I really am stumped at the "coincidence" of visiting X site then suddenly begin receiving emails on X subject soon thereafter.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
9,891
6,872
Beyond the pale
Thanks for all those replies and in reply:

I use the Safari extensions Ad Blocker, Ghostery, & DoNotTrackme and, just for good luck, WebOfTrust.

I thought that Private Browsing was useful only for hiding your browsing history; does it do more than this? And, BTW, when I went to those sites, I had Private Browsing turned on. Does Private Browsing indeed do more that just hide your browser's history?

Yes, I do have a Gmail account.

No, I did not register with and did not give my email address to any of the sites I visited. (Had I had to, I would have used @mailinator.com, a throwaway email address).

From time to time, usually at my weekly backup, I will reset Safari and check all the boxes associated with that reset.

So I really am stumped at the "coincidence" of visiting X site then suddenly begin receiving emails on X subject soon thereafter.

You can probably thank google for the tracking.

They certainly track the IP address used to make search queries, so even a full Safari reset won't change that. And they certainly track search terms you use, and sites you visit by clicking on search results.

Also recall that Google owns DoubleClick.net, a very common ad network. Cookies set by doubleclick.net from one site are certainly visible to other doubleclick-provided ads from other sites.

So if you're doing your searching and email through google, then personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised to get email that seems to be a result of tracking searches. If it happened to me, I'd just add it to my spam filter.

Also, "analytics" is another way to track you, and it isn't necessarily blocked by ad-blockers.

Recent versions of Safari show less detail about cookies, local-storage, etc. that can be set by websites. Without knowing all the details, including which websites provided which ads, it's impossible to puzzle it out. All it takes is one slip-up on your part, or one particular piece of JavaScript in an analytics package, and your anonymity is gone.
 

Speed38

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
143
52
WDC Metro area
So if you're doing your searching and email through google, then personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised to get email that seems to be a result of tracking searches. If it happened to me, I'd just add it to my spam filter.

Would you suggest/do you think switching the search engine to Yahoo or Bing instead? Might that prevent problems like the one that prompted me to begin this thread??
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,331
10,341
[[ What can I do on my Mac, other than using TOR, because TOR won't allow one to watch a video and often the medical sites have numerous videos I would like to watch. ]]

Try the "Epic" browser -- it can hide you IP address, prevent tracking, etc.

It's based on the Chrome browser, but all the "google stuff" has been stripped out of it.

You can find it here:
https://www.epicbrowser.com
 

Speed38

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
143
52
WDC Metro area
Epic Browser

After visiting several sites which cast aspersion on the Epic browser, saying it really didn't offer much privacy at all, I deleted it. Having heard, OTOH, good things about the Aviator browser, I have been using that instead.
 
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