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OFF Email Tracking

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Ralgha, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. Ralgha

    Ralgha Portland Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm sure many of you already know, but the emails from OFF contain embedded tracking elements to track when you open the email and when you click on a link. A third party provider is used to collect this information (Constant Contact). While OFF may (and probably is) be responsible about what they do with the information they get, I doubt that Constant Contact is, and they get more than what they give to OFF.

    After a brief email exchange with OFF, they expressed their unwillingness to change this, and as a result I have unsubscribed from their email list and, unfortunately, will not be giving them further donations. I can not support an organization that exists to protect one of our rights while violating our privacy and claiming that it is necessary to win the war.
     
  2. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Interesting..
    Most of my email data and data on here I say with pride and forethought (mostly)..
    Not much other than firearm related stuff they could get me on.

    OFF is an incredible organization..
    These days what isnt tracked..
    BUT I DO hear what you're saying.. Its odd they'd have a system like that..
     
  3. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    TROLL ALERT
    What a wonderful (NOT) way for a troll to get people to stop supporting OFF.

    OFF IS THE BEST PRO GUN PRO 2ND AMENDMENT ORGANIZATION IN THIS STATE !!!
    Only an enemy of that would put out this kind of BS.

    :s0097:
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  4. Ralgha

    Ralgha Portland Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Seriously? You can easily verify everything I said about the tracking for yourself. How you feel about that tracking is your own choice, I never made any statement about how you should react to it, I simply said how I did. Make your own decision. If you're OK with what they're doing, then continue to support them. I have no problem with that.
     
  5. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    YEAH................ SERIOUSLY !
     
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  6. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    This is most likely done by loading remote content when the email is displayed. This is how spammers find out if they've hit an active address. When the email is displayed there is remote content that's loaded from a remote server, usually pictures, banners, etc. That loading can be tracked.

    Look in your email app settings and turn off "Load Remote Content". In Apple's Mail application it's under "Preferences" and you just uncheck the box that says "Load Remote Content". It then offers you a button to click on whenever you view an email that has remote content if you want to override that setting and load the content.
     
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  7. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    Well, Zeke just rendered 15 minutes of my typing moot. :rolleyes: But yeah, what he said. I hate that kind of tracking and I lock them out. I have a lot of non-standard settings on my web browser too. I just can't stand snoopy people.

    On the other hand, NWFA puts tracking links in the external links in your posts. I could override them pretty easily - I do on other sites - but in this case it's part of how the site is funded, so it's a little different.

    Imbedding the stuff in an email though, not cool.
     
  8. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This is very customary in email campaigns, especially advertising.

    They are called email bugs, and they are usually an image (can be invisible and as small as one pixel) that the email has to be downloaded by the email client when you open or view the email. This is one reason why many email clients allow the user to not open images in the email automatically.

    The primary purpose is less to "track" you than to gather statistics on whether you received the email or not, and whether you read it or not. Unless you click on a link in the email, it won't be "tracking" - they already have your email address.

    At best they would maybe get your IP address when the image is retrieved, which may or may not be helpful to them (my IP address shows I am in Georgia, Hillsboro, Nevada, and a number of other places depending on which service you use).

    There are a number of ways to easily protect yourself from this kind of tracking, the simplest of which is built into your email client.
     
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  9. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    The only way to not get tracked on the internet is to not use the internet

    Im using Ghostery which is a chrome extension that tries to block background tracking on websites. https://www.ghostery.com/en/

    Here is the amount of trackers it is currently blocking. nearly 2000 trackers that they know about. I cant remember the last website I went to that did not have at least one. If you are on the internet, someone is tracking you.

    Advertising: 975 trackers
    Analytics:
    315 trackers
    Beacons: 380 trackers
    Privacy: 19 trackers
    Widgets: 289 trackers
     
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  10. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I use Disconnect and Flashblocker and Adblocker.

    In my email client I turn off loading of remote images.
     
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  11. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, If you expect privacy, get off the net, because there is none to little out here. You can make a career ot of blocking tracking, and never win at it. Whoop te Do, it really makes little difference unless you are working with top secret information of some kind and the average person is about as boring as it gets.

    If I want privacy I connect face to face and cut the high tech period.
    Another way is become a hermit in some cabin out in the woods and never utter another word that anyone can hear. That works. LOL
    The left loves to put fear to speak into it's enemies and they sit back and laugh. No fear and say what the hell you need to say and they can kiss it for the most part.
    Don't let intimidation limit your freedom in any way. send it straight back into their faces !!!!!
    If you are worry about someone tracking you, and picking up on trigger words and such, just incorporate every word you can and overwhelm their process with bullpucky which for all intents makes it all worthless to them. Make the speech they pick up on every day phrases by everyone and incorporate it into any and all communications and they will get warts LOL.


    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
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  12. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    It's not just a matter of privacy. It's a matter of preventing spam emails. I use Safari as my browser. I also run a few Safari extensions, like AdBlocker, GoogleDisconnect, FacebookDisconnect, and Ghostery. I refuse to have a Google+ account. This minimizes spam emails. My wife has a junk email account I created on one of our servers. She uses that email in her browser (Firefox) without any of those extensions. That email account got 4800 spam emails last month. On my own main email accounts I run SpamAssassin and a unix utility application called procmail. Procmail allows me to build my own spam filter. I can filter out incoming email by originating server, domain name, recipient, subject, content or any other email header information, or lack thereof. I can use wild cards and partial target phrases. For instance, I can flag any email with the word "free" or a "$" in the subject. Flagged emails are then routed to any folder I choose, including dev/null, the equivalent of an email black hole. They never even show up in my mail client. Procmail also generates a log of what it did with each incoming email. Typically it right now rejects about 9 out of 10 incoming emails. A few of those go in my SPAM folder for later review, but the bulk of them are simply deleted before I ever see them.

    Why refuse to have a Google account? Why do you suppose Google supplies all of those free services? Are they just cool, friendly people? No, their business model is to collect as much information as possible about their users, and to then sell that information to anybody who will pay for it. Their business model includes helping spammers send you email. All of their service agreements, if you read the fine print, allow them to eavesdrop and snoop your identity and your data. If you use Android, Google+, etc. you are volunteering your information for their profit. I have a philosophical and ethical problem with snoopers and thieves. I try to avoid doing business with them.

    Of course, there are always those people who say it doesn't matter what you do, etc., etc. These are the same kinds of people who say it does no good to vote because politicians are all the same, etc., etc. Their general view of the world is that we are all helpless so why try? The tip-off about their motivation is that they also criticize and ridicule anyone who does try. It's obvious that they don't want to try, and they would be more comfortable if you would reinforce their rationalization for not trying by agreeing with them. They either don't know what to do, or they are too lazy to do anything and they'd rather you didn't show them up. I don't have much patience with those people. Yeah, I probably lose a majority of the battles I take on. And sometimes my efforts are wasted. But sometimes I put a dent in the world and make it a better place. That's why I'm a city planning commissioner, and why I'm on the governing committee for my church covering 60+ churches in 3 states. I'm trying my best to make a difference. It would be a lot easier to sit in the shadows and complain that it does no good to try, and snipe at those who do.
     
  13. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was doing a CRM set up / conversion for a client a few years back. I had the stand alone product support chat up on the screen in the conference room while I was explaining why we were going to bust a cap in this product and go with a US based cloud version.

    Of course this support was overseas, and had to go thorough translation software. I asked some basic support questions and got gibberish answers a coupe of times. I then typed in " The blue dog's fifty seven chevy has a goats tail. The dot head came back with" I do not understand, please enter again. " So I typed in " Cotton candy at the ferris wheel kisses my a**. Same reply, I looked at my clients and asked if I had made my point? .
     
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  14. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    I detest SPAM and snooping as much as you seem to, but I'm able to thwart all but one or two SPAM emails per week with a few simple Outlook settings, some browser settings and my ISP's very sophisticated SPAM filters.
     
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