31 July 2006

V'chol Maasecha B'sefer Nichtavim



And all your deeds, in a book, are recorded.

I don't know about that, but I do know that your IP address is recorded and passed around all over the place.

I want to thank Mis-nagid for pointing out to me about the need to be more careful with my IP address.

I'm not an expert in this but I did want to publicize a few things. And feel free to chip in and add some more info or correct any errors.

In case you're new to this planet, every end point into the Internet is represented by an IP address. It might look something like 91.32.32.12

I pulled that number out of a hat.

The number is associated with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who owns a range of addresses for example 91.32.32.1 thru 255. (I'm just making these up, if this happens to be your address, well that's a co-incidence).

A search on http://www.arin.net/whois/ tells me the owner of that range of addresses.

If you come in from a Cable company or Dial up, your specific IP address is probably assigned to you dynamically when you connect and may not be the same every time you connect.

When you connect to a web site, that web site can capture and record your IP address. Say you logon to Yahoo and send Email from there. Yahoo has your IP address which might identify you as connecting from the IRS in Minnesota. Or it might be Verizon Wireless - which has no Location. Or it might be AOL.COM from Long Island, or it might be 47Th Photo in NY (which no longer exists, but you get my drift).

When you send Email from Yahoo and most other places, the originating IP address is sent along with the Email. The receiver of the Email can view the IP address and look up the ISP of that address.

Likewise when you connect to CITIBANK, CITIBANK has your IP address. And when you connect to a Blog, the owner of the Website (BLOGSPOT or BLOGGER) can capture your IP. But if I run a blog out of Blogger, I control the screen that you see. I can insert HTML that captures your IP address. Normally, individuals do not code this directly, but subscribe to a third party vendor which will do this. This third party software also keeps statistics as to how many visits there have been to the Blog.


I guess you see where I'm going with this. If you're a skeptic and wish to remain anonymous there are steps you might want to take.

Now, is anyone really looking to out me? I don't think so. Nevertheless, I don't want people to know who I am.

Here's some things to know. HUSH mail and GMAIL do not pass along your IP address. So I switched from Yahoo to GMAIL.

I normally don't refrain from commenting on other Skeptic sites. I trust them. We're in the same boat. But see below for an important caveat.

As a general rule, I might comment on other very busy sites where it's difficult for the Blogger to correlate times.

Also you can use what is known as an "Anonymizer". It is effectively like sending a messenger to do your dirty work. The messenger will get shot. The target web site sees the IP address of the intermediate machine. See www.antiwebfilter.com for a free version. It does have limitations; unless you install a special piece of software it does not support SSL so you cannot logon to Yahoo and protect your address.

Also, I have found that some sites (for example Lakewood Yid) do not permit commenting when coming through the anonymizer. I don't know if it's a function of Haloscan or not. I sent LY an Email, from Gmail of course, but he could not figure out why I can't comment on his site. So I don't comment there; sorry LY.

I also can not anonymously comment on Blogger Comment Sites if Word verification is on.

Scroll to the bottom of my Blogpage and you'll see a rainbow colored Icon by Sitemeter. I don't have thousands of hits yet, so my Icon does not publicize my Hit count. If it did, you would see a number indicating the number of visitors I had.

But separate and distinct from the raw number of visitors is the IP information about those visitors.

I configured my Sitemeter account properly and no one can access the addresses and information of my commenters. So when you visit my site, even without an anonymizer, no one else sees your IP address.

But, other sites, such as Dov Bear, are configured as public so all the IP information is available to anyone. Just click on the Sitemeter Icon in the frame on the right side of the page.

(Do not get confused between the Hit count and the ability do see the IP stats. They are configured separately.)

Now Dov Bear's site is relatively busy and it is probably difficult to correlate a comment with an IP address.

But there are plenty of other low activity blogs whose IP stats are public.


So here's what I've done so far.

A) Switched to Gmail.
B) I use a free (remember I'm Jewish!) anonymizer.
C) I don't comment on any non-skeptic sites if I can't use the anonymizer.
D) Before I comment on a Skeptic Blogsite, I click on all "Icons" on the screen to see if I can access the visiting IP addresses. If the stats are public then the same rule applies; if I can't use an Anonymizer, I stay away.

Will I lose you guys? I hope not.

If you have any concerns about commenting here, please send me an Email at BAALHABOS@GMAIL.COM

Have an easy fast.

  • ===> Use Haloscan: |
  • Do NOT enter new comments here 21 comments Do NOT use. links to this post

    21 Comments:

    At August 02, 2006 1:14 AM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    cool.
    Glad i use gmail.
    Is my website a problem? I dont use sitemeter. i have word verification on to avoid some nasty spam i was getting.
    i do have a counter, but im not sure why they offer the service, since it doesnt do anything but count.

    So since im a cablevision customer im pretty safe?

     
    At August 02, 2006 1:48 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    I hope you are aware, that you can't get details about who you are unless you register and give them such details about a website you own.

    I'm a moderator on a few forums, and normally the best we can figure out is which city you log in from. That basically the only way we can tell if your making multiple user names.

    I love the paranoia.

    Now if I was a government agency, I could call up your ISP and get your exact name and location, but who is going to do that over a blog?

    anyway... welcome to Gmail.. its the best and only 17% of internet users have an account.

     
    At August 02, 2006 5:40 AM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    I'm a moderator on a few forums, and normally the best we can figure out is which city you log in from.

    I should add (though I'm sure you're already aware of it) that some services, like AOL, do not reveal the city you're in, or anything about yourself other than that you use that service.

    I was very anonymous when I started posting on the Internet back in 1997, but I grew tired of it over time. While I haven't yet posted my real name on the Internet, the email address that I use is known to numerous people in my real life and anyone who knows me can easily find what I've written. And I've also given tons of personal info. So I'm only semi-anonymous here, if at all, and I have no fear of being "outed."

    It's better, in my experience, to live with as few secrets as you can manage. Trying to maintain a "secret life" in cyberspace can really get to be an albatross, believe me.

     
    At August 02, 2006 1:01 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Heh, I wasn't willing to do anything to link myself to the stuff I did on the internet untill 2001. Started in 1992 or 3, I forget.

    I have felt very liberated ever since I've told people in the "real world" about things I do on the net, and visa veras. Although I still like playing games about who I am on the net once in a while. Just to remind people not to be to gullable.

     
    At August 02, 2006 1:21 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, you're website seems to be secure, i.e. no one other than you would have access to my IP address. So I wont hesitate to comment on your site even without an anonymizer.

    As far as your anonymity when commenting on other sites, being on cablevision at night might identify what city you live in. Commeneting from another site during the day might give away your Employer. So I might determine you work for the IRS in Newark N.J. and live in Passaic. Is that significant? That's up to you.

     
    At August 02, 2006 1:25 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, see my response to Happy. My work loc combined with my residence might give me away. Is it likely, not necessarily. Given what's at stake, I cannot comment on your site without an anonymizer. Sorry.

     
    At August 02, 2006 1:26 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    KP,

    > Trying to maintain a "secret life" in cyberspace can really get to be an albatross, believe me.

    Yes it is, but in my social circles, it's necessary :)

     
    At August 02, 2006 1:36 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    Bhb
    Given I've told people I live in 5 towns, I guess I'm not worried about being identified that way.
    Employer is another issue. I have used work to comment, but lately I use my evdo access from my blackberry. I wonder what that tells you re my ip.
    This message typed on blackberry.

     
    At August 02, 2006 2:22 PM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    Thanks for the heads up, I think.
    Since I posted this from work, do you now know who my employer is?

     
    At August 02, 2006 2:31 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, you show up as Verizon.Net without a physical locale.


    MK, I think so, but I'm getting quite a bit of traffic at this time so I'm not certain. Do you want me to list it here? That's up to you.

     
    At August 02, 2006 3:16 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    BHB
    Thanks.
    Now im using the modem feature of my blackberry, but typing message on laptop.
    Same IP as using blackberry browser itself?

     
    At August 02, 2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    You know, this reminds me of the story about the difference between a robber and a burgelar.

    A robber stickes a person up at gunpoint.

    A burgelar sneaks in the dead of night and steals when nobody is around.

    The burgular is worse, because he fears his fellow man, but not Gd.

     
    At August 02, 2006 4:41 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Happy, there were two different hits at that time, both from some variant of Verizon and both anonymous.

    Irviner, so which am I, a burgular or a thief?

     
    At August 02, 2006 6:06 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Neither?

    The story is to point out that sometimes, we may think one is worse than the other, but the truth is its the opposite.

    Most people would say that sticking people up at gunpoint is worse than sneaking in the middle of the night.

    The second lesson is that one should act infront of his peers the same way he would act alone in his house.

    Some people take this approach and act rude in public, while others take this approach to act nice in private.

     
    At August 02, 2006 6:06 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    The discussion just reminded me of the story, thats all.

     
    At August 02, 2006 6:09 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    Ic
    I think burglar is better
    At least he fears somebody.
    The robber is a psychopath. Be very afraid of someone who doesn't fear anything.

     
    At August 02, 2006 6:37 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    And a burglar is a coward, a Robber you can fight back against.

    A Robber is alos more honest than a burglar, for he lets you know upfront what he wants.

    Also the question is not which one is scarrier to encounter the question is more generally put, which one is it better to act like.

    You could argue both ways till the cow comes home.

     
    At August 02, 2006 7:46 PM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    PLEASE don't post my info, I don't want everyone to know I work as a model for GQ!!!

    Thanks!

     
    At August 02, 2006 8:48 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, OK have an easy fast.

    MK, I won't tell a soul. (Honor among theives?)


    Off to Shul for Maariv.

     
    At August 06, 2006 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi BHB,

    I'm obviously from lakewood. And I work in lakewood. So I wonder if there's any way someone can track me down.

    Anyways, if anyone knows how I can change Haloscan to accept comments from BHB even though he uses an anonyzer, please post here how to do that.

    Lakewood Yid

    PS I find it a big pain to log in to blogger from my treo. So I simply blog as anonymous, and sign my name at the end of my comment.

     
    At August 08, 2006 10:07 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    It is possible. Read the way they supposedly unmasked UOJ. If you send someone an Email with your real identity and that someone matches up the IP addresses to the EMail. Of course if you use GMAIL you're safe. UOJ must have used Yahoo.

     

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