Tag Archives: browsers

How Secure Are You From Being Tracked Via Your Browser?

Let’s start off with this. Two months ago I did a YouTube video talking about Facebook and how it’s tracking us through various means. To say I was shocked isn’t quite hard enough. Here’s the video:


https://youtu.be/Pxdy0I-vdD8

Frankly, I thought that was enough to deal with. I use Firefox on my computer, and I’m blocking Facebook directly. I’ve stopped clicking on products being promoted on Instagram, so I made an assumption that those types of things wouldn’t occur again.
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5 Things You Need To Know If You Have To Do A Windows 10 Reset

A week and a half ago, on a Friday afternoon at 1:55 my computer crashed 5 minutes before I was supposed to go on a conference call. I needed to get my computer working because I had a file I needed to access so I could conduct the call. I tried to reboot my computer but it didn’t work. Luckily the conference call went well even though I didn’t have the file in front of me. Mental preparation works; unfortunately the computer did not.

windows 10 reset

had to do a chair reset also

My computer, which is running Windows 10, went on a reboot loop of something called automatic repair. It did that loop pretty much for 24 hours, which was awful. At one point I figured out how to get into the repair area and tried to load a previous system restore point. However, somewhere along the line my computer had erased all my restore points, which I didn’t think was possible. This began the battle and research and eventually led me to doing a full reset near the end of those 24 hours.
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Is The Problem Just Yours?

A few weeks ago I went to the Annual Credit Report site to get my free credit report from the top 3 credit reporting agencies in the country. After I got my first report, I had problems getting the other 2 reports.


The problem… I automatically block javascript for every new site I visit because I hate popups and those stupid cookie messages that seem to show up everywhere. When I first got to the site above, I allowed javascript and assumed all would be well. It turned out that after I got the first report, it transferred me to another page that wasn’t a fully participatory page on their site, which meant I had to turn on javascript again. However, when I turned it on things went wonky, and I lost the ability to get the last two reports.
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What Does Your Site Look Like On All Browsers?

Last week while I was over a friend’s house, I wanted to show him my local Syracuse blog. He uses Internet Explorer (seems there’s still a lot of those out here lol) so I pulled up the main page and all looked fine. Then I pulled up an individual post and… ugliness!


bad code

I forgot about it until I was reading a post on a blog called IBlog4Dollars titled 35 Serious Blog Design Mistakes That You Should Avoid At All Costs written by Dennis Marshall. I got to #10, where it talked about making sure your website is cross-browser compatible, and then I remembered the problem I was having with IE.

I pulled it up on my IE and I had the issue like my friend did. I then went to work, and for the next 4+ hours I went through all the CSS code and checked all the PHP files, looking for something. I ran it through the W3C CSS Validator, which found some errors but nothing causing the issue. Man, was I frustrated.

Luckily, I play chess with Mitch Allen, so I threw the question out to him via one of my chess moves. He came back with a diagnosis that it was some javascript in the code, probably the Google Analytics script.

As I’d been researching the issue, I had come across something where it had been predicted that javascript could cause issues, but it never occurred to me it could be that one.

I went to the theme and then had to search for where I’d put it. Most of the time Google Analytics script works best in either the header or footer, but I realized I’d put it somewhere else, and then I remembered why. For some reason I can’t save many of the files on this particular theme. I get sent to a 404 page after attempting to do so, which was irksome. I found the script in a PHP I’d never put it on anywhere else because it turned out to be one of only 2 files I could actually save.

Once I removed it the site came back to life for IE8, which was great, but I still had a problem; how to get that Google Analytics code in. After all, if I couldn’t track my traffic, I wouldn’t know how I was progressing or digressing right?


good code

Then I remembered that sometimes you can fix things through your FTP program. I use something called WS_FTP for that purpose, so I opened that up, went to the plugin file and clicked once on Header.PHP. Then I right-clicked and went to Edit, and I popped the code in and saved it.

Came back to both my Firefox browser and IE, ran my tests, and all is working perfectly still. Just to make sure I also tested it in Chrome and Opera; looks good so far. Whew!

You can pick up things from other blogs, that’s for sure; heck, even this one I suppose. I had obviously taken time to see what that blog looked like before, but only the main page; that was a mistake, one I need to remember not to do again. One little code; with IE, sometimes that’s all it takes to mess stuff up.
 

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Firefox Vs. Chrome – The Debate Continues

You know, back in July when I wrote the post talking about testing Chrome & coming back to Firefox I thought that all discussions about chrome would probably be over. Little did I know that discussion would open up again via a conversation I had with someone on Twitter.

I don’t remember what exactly started the conversation, that at one point in the conversation the young man and I started talking about browsers and he said regarding Firefox “Maybe it’s for old people? 😛 My visitors use IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari. In that order.” When I commented on that, saying I had trouble believing it, he said “I manage 5 of my own, plus about two dozen for clients. Never seen anything but IE in first. You, sir, are an anomaly.”

First I have to address the “old” issue. I would doubt that age would have anything to do with what browser anybody decided to use except for possibly IE, and then only because it’s the default browser that comes with Windows. Whereas younger people might learn from their friends later on that there are better browsers, older participants might not hear that information, and thus will stick with what they know.

Old? Let’s look at old for a minute. I first got on the Internet December 1995. Back then, there weren’t a lot of choices when it came to browsers. The first one I remember using came with America Online, and everybody was using that because AOL was everywhere. Later I discovered IE, but learned that there were security issues with it. All the “cool kids” were using Netscape, and when I gave that a try I said “wow”. That was my browser of choice until it was bought by whomever (can’t remember right now but I’m sure it will come to me later) and Mozilla decided to go out on their own.

The first Firefox was wonderful. The only thing I lost in switching to it was the ability to code within the browser. But since I had another program for that I didn’t mind so much. The best thing about Firefox is always been customization. You can pretty much customize it to do whatever you want to do. For instance, I have a bunch of extensions that allow me to do things such as change what websites look like, change the functionality of my browser, give me information and immediately so that I don’t have to go elsewhere, and a host of other things I’d rather not get into right now. True, adding all those extensions will slow things down a bit, but since I added the extra RAM to my computer things have been running beautifully.

My friend believed that speed and clean browsing is more important than customization. I will agree with that to an extent. If my browser slow down the files I wanted to download I’d probably have a gripe. The browsers have nothing to do with that, IP’s do. If speed was the only thing my friend really cared about he wouldn’t be using Chrome at all, he would be using Opera, which even now is the fastest browser I’ve ever seen. Not only that but Chrome, which is a Google product, tracks pretty much everything you do online. Everybody knows it, but there is something about younger people who really don’t care that their tracks and really don’t care about their privacy as much as us “older” people, who had to deal with things such as the red scare, communism and all that other garbage that we’ve proven really was a flawed model.

That’s enough of the “old” talk. Let’s talk about the demographics of browser use when it comes to webpages. As you saw in his quote above, he stated that Chrome was the top browser being used by people who visited all of his websites. With the caveat being that there is no way I can determine the age of the people who visit all the websites that I have in the websites I manage, let me show you the numbers that I see for all of my websites based on Google Analytics; by the way, if you care, you can view this information under Visitors, then look at the bottom under “technical profile”:

I’m Just Sharing:

Firefox 37.55%
Chrome 25.97%
Internet Explorer 17.94%
Safari 11.36%

Mitch’s Blog:

Internet Explorer 32.48%
Firefox 28.57%
Chrome 18.86%
Safari 11.83%

Top Finance Blog:

Firefox 38.61%
Chrome 26.19%
Internet Explorer 22.92%
Safari 7.91%

Syracuse Wiki:

Firefox 30.57%
Internet Explorer 26.57%
Safari 17.43%
Chrome 13.71%

SEO Xcellence Blog:

Firefox 57.39%
Chrome 20.87%
Internet Explorer 7.83%
Safari 5.22%

SEO Xcellence:

Firefox 31.78%
Internet Explorer 31.01%
Chrome 26.36%
Safari 4.65%

T T Mitchell Consulting, Inc:

Internet Explorer 57.81%
Firefox 19.20%
Chrome 10.93%
Safari 6.44%

CNYHBA:

Firefox 45.59%
Internet Explorer 27.94%
Safari 13.24%
Chrome 8.82%

CNYHBA Blog:

Internet Explorer 51.25%
Firefox 23.75%
Safari 10.00%
Chrome 10.00%

Li’l Specs:

Internet Explorer 40.00%
Firefox 32.31%
Safari 10.77%
Chrome 9.23%

Medical Billing Answers:

Internet Explorer 79.13%
Firefox 9.88%
Chrome 5.62%
Safari 3.34%

Smoke Not So Much:

Internet Explorer 36.86%
Chrome 19.49%
Safari 17.37%
Firefox 16.95%

Services and Stuff:

Internet Explorer 53.95%
Firefox 21.31%
Safari 8.59%
Chrome 7.90%

Professional Consultant’s Association:

Internet Explorer 32.04%
Firefox 30.10%
Safari 15.53%
Chrome 13.59%

PCA Blog:

Internet Explorer 40.32%
Firefox 29.03%
Chrome 14.52%
Safari 8.06%

G Chapman Consulting:

Internet Explorer 54.21%
Firefox 17.37%
Safari 13.68%
Chrome 6.84%

Krueger Resource Recovery:

Internet Explorer 64.66%
Firefox 18.10%
Chrome 7.76%
Safari 4.74%

There’s a couple other websites I manage, but I didn’t want to bring those clients into the mix. However, their numbers are pretty much the same as all the others I’ve shown you above. Since the only one where Chrome actually beats Firefox for my sites is my anti-smoking site, I can probably conclude that only sites that addicts visit tend to use Chrome more often than Firefox, but that would be pretty silly.

Anyway, those are my numbers. I don’t necessarily expect that everybody who has a website will end up with numbers like mine, but I wanted to paint kind of a broad brush because I guess the “old” thing was something I felt I needed to address. But it would be interesting to hear from some of the rest of you what your analytics look like when it comes to browsers that visit your sites, especially those of you who are younger than 35, since I believe my young friend is actually younger than that. Seeing as how in 1995 I was 36 years old, that means that I was older than he is now, which could mean that in his eyes I’ve always been old. But that’s okay because I’m feeling pretty old myself these days; good thing I’ve got that Vegas trip coming up. 🙂
 

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