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Thread: How Does This Site Know Where I Live?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Margaret's Avatar
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    Default How Does This Site Know Where I Live?

    Here's something that's been bugging me for a while. How does this forum's software know exactly where I live?

    It pulls up advertisements for the town I live in. I can understand the ads that show up when I'm writing an email as they're being automatically generated based on the content of the emails. But there's nothing in my profile or in my posts that mentions the town I live in, yet I'm seeing ads for businesses in this town. As I don't live in New York City that's not a coincidence.

    This doesn't happen with any other forum I'm on. So there's something about this forum and the information it's accessing. Is it looking through my personal information? Is it generated based on ISP? How is it doing it?

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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    This is not specific to this site, though of course not all sites take advantage of this information. Every time you use the internet, you are connecting to various computers; a sort of "handshake" is made where your browser sends along information about you, and the destination sends back a page for you to read.

    This is how, for example, when you go to download Amazon's mp3 downloading program, it knows what operating system you are on and provides the right version for you automatically.

    If you are bugged by having information about your system transmitted like this, you can use what is called a "proxy" that allows you to spoof it.

    Edit: to answer your question more specifically, your physical location as such is not sent, but your IP address is--an IP address is the unique address of a computer on a network (in this case, the internet). Since IP addresses are unique and structured, your general location can be determined from it.

    Here is some more info: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/secu...acy_gatherinfo

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Thank you, nefigah for a splendid response.

    Margaret,

    To put your mind at east, this forum does not sell nor give out your IP address to anyone. When a person registers on this forum, they are required to enter a valid eMail address which during the confirmation process along comes the IP address.

    Your eMail and IP (at the time of registration) become part of your permanent profile record, but they are totally suppressed from any/all public view. Of course, the forum administrators have access to that information, but we respect everyone's privacy to that regard and have never, nor will we ever divulge that information to anyone.

    That's a great article that nefigah has attached ... explains it nicely, too.
    Kh
    Administrator


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    Member MEDIEVAL MIAMI's Avatar
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    If you don't want people to know your IP you can use this site as a filter:

    www.safeproxy.org

    Just type the website you want to visit and you'll be fine.

    As already mentioned before by fellow forumers, it is true that your IP stays here, but only for moderators to see. But overtime if you are logging in from someplace else your existing IP replaces itself with the new IP. Some forums save many of your IP's but I really don;t know how this server works.

    Don't be scare though, there is no way for us (including mods) to know where you live or what you do or who you are, it is not like the WHITE PAGES Phone catalog. This is wayyy more discrete.

    Even if you read IP LATITUDE or IP LONGITUDE that's only your ISP (att, comcast, etc...) adress which begins with adsl or something like that.

    Now, only hackers or government workers know who you are. If you know someone is hacking you, let say here, there is always a place in your metro area where you can denounce them. They'll catch the guy even if he was using self made DNS or proxy.

    In other words don't worry, even if a hacker sends you e-mails breaking your private life, there is no such thing as the perfect crime. I myself have connection with DEA workers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Margaret's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I must have a fixed IP address. I've just never seen it used to generate ads before.

  6. #6
    Member MEDIEVAL MIAMI's Avatar
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    Ip addresses don't generate ads.

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    They do in the sense that they're being used to put the name of a city near you in the ad.

    "Ladies looking to get laid In Brussels, click here"

    I really hate em

  8. #8
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret View Post
    How does this forum's software know exactly where I live?
    It pulls up advertisements for the town I live in.
    I don't see any ads at all when I use this forum. Whereabouts on the screen do they appear?

    My first response was to think I don't see them because they're excluded by the hosts file that I use, but when that happens elsewhere there's usually an indication of some sort to let me know that they have indeed been excluded, so I don't think that's the reason for my not seeing them.

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    Senior Member sam richards's Avatar
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    To answer Margaret's question, every computer that has a internet access has an IP address allocated which is used for communication on the web much like a phone number. Your Ip address also has some information about your geographical location since that IPs given to you by your ISP is are of limited range so by databasing which ISP has which Ip addresses companies can pinpoint your city (but not more than that).

    So, basically whenever you visit a website, your IP address is automatically broadcast to that site, and it's even broadcast to those sites that you don't visit when you load a website that contains images that are hosted by a third party, such as advertisements. This site uses Google's Adsense ads service which shows you relevant ads by targeting your geographical location by your IP.

    Don't believe me ? Go ip2location.com or danasoft.com.

    I'm not very good at explaining so feel free to ask if something hasn't been clear to you.
    “If I decide to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord.”
    - Johann Sebastian Bach

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    But let me repeat my question - where are these ads? I don't see any.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sam richards's Avatar
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    Atop the first post?
    “If I decide to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord.”
    - Johann Sebastian Bach

  12. #12
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    No. No ads in sight, anywhere.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    They are coming to kill us all.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

  14. #14
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    They are coming to kill us all.
    No. I think it's just our pet budgerigars they are going to kill.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Margaret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    I don't see any ads at all when I use this forum. Whereabouts on the screen do they appear?

    My first response was to think I don't see them because they're excluded by the hosts file that I use, but when that happens elsewhere there's usually an indication of some sort to let me know that they have indeed been excluded, so I don't think that's the reason for my not seeing them.
    At the top of the page under the banner. The same ones seem to repeat. There's one for a dating service, something about fish in the ocean, that goes across the page and has images of fish kissing. Sometimes there are smaller, less obtrusive ones. It's one of these that comes up advertising music lessons here in this town.

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