Is CNN.com really stalking you?
This is a quick one. Yesterday, someone on Facebook pointed out an article on CNN that related to a discussion thread. I thought I’d take a look. I usually try my best to avoid sites like CNN, FOX, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the likes because they are so bloated, slow loading and loaded with predators, stalkers and spam.
Just before going there I completely cleared all my caches, history and cookies. Being a 20-year veteran spam fighter, I know it’s important to clear cache, history and cookies prior to entering web sites prone to cyber crime predators . When I arrived the screen jumped, and scrolled, and blinked, and the content refreshed its self over and over, and changed column widths as ads popped in and popped out, a video started, an audio started playing — I got out of there as quickly as I could.
The page completely filled three ports and the cache. Fifty cookies were dumped on me, and 30 of these were predators. Check it out. If it doesn’t say “CNN” they go to either predator or stalker sites! (Yes, whether or not you realized it, both Google and Facebook are predator* sites!)
Now, picture if you walked into a mall or resort and 50 people began following your every move. They’re all writing things down on clipboards and talking into bluetooth devices. Then, they follow you to the parking lot. They hitch themselves to your car and follow you home. They go into your house with you. Do your kids have cell phones, computers or tablets? Do those devices share an internet modem or router? Well, then, now they’re also following your children.
We allow people to do things to us and our children all day, every day online that we would never stand for in the real world. What kind of parent does that?
I will probably never go back there. All of my sites have been spam-free, stalker-free, and predator-free since 1993.
Although I’ve been investigating this for twenty years, don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and click the History menu up there and clear all your history, cache and cookies. Note, you cannot do this on a cell phone — you are totally at risk on the phone. Now, go to your utilities dialog and open the cookies folder to show there are no cookies there. Now, go and visit your usual news site, or Facebook. Witness the stalkers and predators. Now click one of those evil memes everyone is sharing. What happens? Are you sure you want to be part of that?
Thanks for reading. . . .
Everyone should read Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World by Marc Goodman. You’ll learn what a dangerous place the online world has become.
stalker (plural stalkers) = A person who engages in stalking. Originally meant a tracker and hunter or guide of game. * A person or entity who secretly follows someone, sometimes with unlawful intentions.
predator (plural predators) = Any animal or organism that exists by preying on other organisms * Someone who attacks and plunders for gain. * A sexual predator.