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I was just browsing the net to check my IP and find about this site.


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I was just browsing the net to check my IP and find about this site.
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unvarying
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: California, currently in Amsterdam
 
2019-12-11, 11:02

For gaming, I was just checking my IP and normally do so by the IP Google shows. Yesterday, don't know why I scrolled down and saw few websites click on those and to my surprise they were telling my ISP, IP, Location, Web browser, and even OS? :O shouldn't all this be private? How do they know so much information about me? Do you guys have any idea?
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-11, 11:04

I moved this into the Genius Bar. If anyone has input, be my guest.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-11, 14:06

Dammit. The jig is up.

Okay, AppleNova was created to track you. We've allocated huge sums from the member states who fund us, simply to track unvarying, or should I say "J. Herbert Farnsworth" of West Puddlington Lane, Darbyshire 'pon the Pud?

How can we settle this issue quickly?

Grandmaster, Captain Drew, of the Yard
..
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-11, 14:07

Oh wait, now I get it.

Your browser, mate.
It's a snitch.


...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-11, 14:08

Good thing we have you around, Drew.

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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2019-12-12, 15:29

It's 2019, and people don't know their computer shares this info by default? Unless you are using a VPN and IP masking, yeah it's out there.
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chinesebear
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harbin, China
 
2019-12-12, 18:50

this sounds like a bot to me...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-12, 19:11

My policy is to give the benefit of the doubt.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-12-12, 23:50

In the off chance that this is a serious request, I'm also willing to give the benefit of the doubt…

*stretches, cracks knuckles*

Hi! 👋 Allow me to explain a few of the things about how the internet and web browsers work that aren't usually visible to non-developers. Aside from running sites like AppleNova for the last 20+ years, I've also been a professional software engineer working in the web server space for almost as long. It's easy for tech-savvy people to take for granted having the knowledge of the inner workings of internet software. So, I'll try to break this down piece by piece.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unvarying View Post
Yesterday, don't know why I scrolled down and saw few websites click on those and to my surprise they were telling my ISP, IP, Location, Web browser, and even OS? :O shouldn't all this be private? How do they know so much information about me? Do you guys have any idea?
Every website you visit knows most if not all of the things you described. When your web browser retrieves any content, be it text, images, video, or anything else, it includes in that request some information that describes your browser itself. This is known as the "user agent string" and it typically includes:
  • the name of your web browser
  • the version of your web browser
  • the name of your operating system
  • the version of your operating system
From that list, someone could also determine if you're using a desktop computer or mobile device like an iPhone and even what revision of that device it is.

What does the web server do with this information? Typically, not much at all. This user agent string can be used to choose different content to send to your web browser. If, for example, the string indicates you're using a mobile device like an iPhone, the server might respond with a different version of the web page to better fit your phone's screen size.

Web servers could then throw away your user agent string once it's done processing the request, or they could just as easily save your information or even share or sell it to third parties. This is nothing new and has been happening for decades.

But what about your IP address, ISP, and location? And what if you've never visited a site that somehow knows about your IP address?

That goes a little bit deeper into the technology stack. Every request any app uses to communicate across the internet (web browsers, email, chat, streaming, games… the list goes on!) effectively includes your local IP address. Without your IP address, the response content couldn't find its way back to you. Servers can also choose to discard your address after the request or they could save it, share it, and sell it with plenty of other aggregated information about who is using particular services online.

IP addresses are owned in large sets by the various ISPs, and these sets are generally known to be used in particular geographic areas. Looking at an IP address alone can generally indicate the country and region of a country it's being used, and at best the city. When your device connects to the internet, your ISP temporarily assigns an IP address to your device, and the ISP could change your address or even assign it to someone else when you disconnect. So, it's very likely that if you're just looking up your current IP address, someone else unrelated to you who happens to use your same ISP has at some point in the past also used that IP address.

There are also numerous websites built specifically to tell you about all this information they can see when your browser makes a request. Many of these exist as a marketing trick to sell you additional privacy tools, but if you ignore the sales pitches, you can just see all the fun details. For example, https://www.whatsmyua.info/ and https://whatismyipaddress.com/ (among many others).

For what it's worth, I don't do anything on AppleNova with IP addresses or any other aggregate visiting user information. Technically this web server does log the address with each request (this is standard behavior for nearly all web servers), but logs on this server are frequently rotated and deleted. Keeping them around would waste far too much disk space that, frankly, I can't afford. The forum software we use also logs IP addresses, but it only retains one's IP address when submitting a new thread or a reply to a thread.

If you're still here and reading, I hope you found this useful. Feel free to chime in with any further questions, and I'd be happy to try to answer them.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-13, 00:53

Ooooo, nifty info. Thanks for that, Mr. Brad!

Just for giggles, I hit one of those websites. Not a lot there, but fun to know what they know.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-12-13, 11:08

I was going to post all of what Brad said but he beat me to it.

At one point when I was working in hosting I had a link to a page that showed everything that is given by default on connecting to a remote web server. Even basic PHP can be used to show any of the details that is sent. Most of the time a page shows you your data, it is just to make you aware and more often then that, to provide relevantly local advertisements.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Send a message via AIM to Capella  
2019-12-13, 17:23

That's a really awesome writeup of things I only understood some of.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-14, 05:51

Damn, Herbert.
The least you could do is say THANK YOU BAD BRAD!!!

Sheesh.
...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-15, 11:44

Brad, that was a great write-up. I learned, in 1-2 minutes, things I never knew or understood before. And as a full-tilt trivia/Jeopardy! hound, I always enjoy absorbing new stuff like this.

You never know when it may come in handy somewhere down the road. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out in “regular person” language.
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