Author Topic: URL cleanup: thwart the trackers  (Read 162 times)

Offline Instaurare omnia

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 853
  • Thanked: 1152 times
  • Religion: Catholic
URL cleanup: thwart the trackers
« on: August 09, 2022, 01:01:12 PM »
When pasting web links, if at the end of the URL you see a question mark and a string of characters following, DELETE the question mark and anything past it. Google appends these to the linked item as user-specific tracking data for its own purposes.
Going back now to clean up my previous posts here. (Two years out from doing this constantly as a matter of habit; retirement has softened my vigilance.  :-[ )
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam (Psalm 126:2).
Benedicite, montes et colles, Domino: benedicite universa germinantia in terra, Domino (Daniel 3:75-76).
Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3).
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, Maximilian, Prayerful

Offline TerrorDæmonum

  • Declina A Malo & Fac Bonum
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3598
  • Thanked: 2071 times
  • Breves Dies Hominis Sunt
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Sanitized URLs
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2022, 02:24:51 PM »
The URL string can contain many things, including trackers, but it should be clear that while HTTP GET can be used for tracking, they can also be used for many other things and deleting everything after the ? should only be done when that data is not needed in the link.

Most of the time, it contains session ids and other identifiers which should be deleted so the general advice is good, but it can also have information that is required to link to the desired page. For example, look at the link to any board, topic, or post on this forum: every page is index.php. The actual information for the specific content is through the GET request.

So when doing this, open a private session on your browser and test the sanitized link to ensure it still goes to where you want. Understanding the URL requires a few pieces of knowledge as there are actually many things going on that are processed differently in the OSI networking system.

Also, the tracking strings are not necessarily after a ?. It can be part of the URL as if it were a directory path, so identifying what the actual needed part of the URL is can take a bit of understanding of the particular address. Trimming a URL down to what is actually linking to the resource can take of bit of experimenting. But be sure to test it before sharing.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 06:21:48 PM by TerrorDæmonum »
The following users thanked this post: Prayerful, Instaurare omnia

Offline Prayerful

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 9248
  • Thanked: 5599 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: URL cleanup: thwart the trackers
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2022, 06:26:39 PM »
VPN or Tor is the most certain solution. Sadly Boss Kman won't allow us to post from Tor.
Padre Pio: Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.
The following users thanked this post: Instaurare omnia