Too Many Trackers

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  1. Posts : 161
    Windows 10

    You're talking about a very broad subject but one which requires a little bit more knowledge than pressing a button in your browser to enable tracking protection. TF connects to five sources upon loading up, four of these are third-party. One is a CDN known for delivering content that can be used to track you. The other implements it's own CDN which often is used to collect vast amounts of data. 6 noticeable queries to me are sent out upon loading this very thread, most of them consistent with tracking in some form or another based on the nature and the connected domain. Others are scripts, others are DOM, most are XHR, images, CSS etc.

    The bottom line is tracking is everywhere. The admin on this site no doubt utilises in some way or another analytics. Actually one domain connected upon loading up this page is Google Analytics. Google are known for tracking.

    So the question is not how to eradicate tracking, because the chances are your fave websites use it. Their existence may actually depend on revenue they make from user data collection, in some form or another. And if you're not even aware of that you have no idea how systemic tracking really is. It is how to best understand it, be aware of it and then take the necessary educated steps to reduce it or take more hardcore means. This can often mean breaking functionality in websites and so you have to compromise somewhere down the line. But relying on a button conveniently placed won't do much in the grand scheme of things.

    One approach is to configure your browser manually to be more restricted. An example of this being done really well is Tor Browser. Tor Browser runs on Firefox but on a SERIOUS diet. Compare Firefox to Tor and it's like looking at another planet. By default all browsers are privacy nightmares. Tor changes this by going to the core of the browser and changes how it interacts with the internet, and how things interact with it. They share LOTS of information by default. You can greatly reduce this by changing how it functions but it's fairly long winded and it takes some experience and knowledge to do without messing things up. You can also make your footprint on the internet EVEN BIGGER by detracting from the stock footprint of an out-of-the-box browser. The more you change things the more unique the footprint. If you're concerned about not standing out you have to balance your goals with whether you want to stick out like a sore thumb but be more protected and more private or have a much more default configured browser but have less of the former.

    Extensions are also a good way to mitigate tracking among other things. I recommend;
    HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock, uMatrix, NoScript, Ghostery, CanvasBlocker, CAD, Decentraleyes

    Admittedly some of these extensions require a basic knowledge of how websites work ie what they are made up of. If you don't know what scripts are or how they impact how a website runs you'll have trouble when it comes to blocking them if necessary. Much of the tracking on the internet is possible through scripts. After a while you'll be able to identify known trackers by their domain name and then set global rules to block them. NoScript blocks a few by default, but not all.
    By default just enabling CSS and images is a safe bet but even then most sites might break and not work properly.
    uMatrix can be a pain to get used to but after you understand how it works can be invaluable for making specific granular changes as per each website you visit. For example on TF you can examine and modify how the page loads and what loads with the page ie scripts, XHR, frames etc. This is key in restricting the freedom websites have when it might be in your best interest to prevent them from doing things that could lead to outcomes you don't want ie sucking data up and sending it to third parties, connecting to other websites generally etc.. Using uBlock you can monitor activity between the browser and the website and see what is being loaded.

    At a minimum I would recommend you at least set your browser to erase ALL history upon exit. A browser that does not remember anything has nothing to tell upon starting back up. And this is WHAT YOU WANT! This won't stop trackers from linking previous browsing history with current browsing history. Although you can mitigate this by always using a VPN and then any ties made are entirely superficial and not tied to your actual originating IP ie your home laptop for example. But this requires a habit that you won't break. All activity moving forward would need to be forwarded through the VPN. If you break this all previous history will be linked to the new history when you connected using the same IP address as before.

    Much of your browsing habits will need to change as you'll be surprised how much data is gleaned through what you actually give websites. And so learning how to browse the internet privately and securely will be invaluable. Again pressing a button won't help with this. It's an education you need by learning about the environment you choose to spend time in ie when you use the internet in myriad different ways and how you are also responsible for how you can help make it better for yourself.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 5,087
    21H1 64 Bit Home


    Trackers is not really the problem here. See Post #36:

    Too Many Trackers

    They are (mostly) the same things being found, it's just simplified wording used in Health Check.
    Health Check calls all cookies, temporary internet files, download history, etc. 'Trackers', - Custom Clean calls them by their individual names.
    Custom Clean is meant for more advanced users.

    See these links for more information:
    Why are there so many "trackers" found in Health Check? Should I be worried? – Piriform Support

    tracking files - CCleaner Bug Reporting - CCleaner Community Forums
    PS. When I said "mostly" above, that is because Health Check uses it's own cleaning rules that you cannot change.
    Custom Clean on the other hand allows you more control to specify what is and isn't cleaned.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 5,087
    21H1 64 Bit Home

    Another idea. If you get portable Activity Indicator:

    Activity Indicator download |

    Then get Ccleaner ready for a health check/ clean

    Run Activity Indicator so that it starts logging file changes and deletions.

    Clean using ccleaner then save the Activity Indicator log and exit the program (or it will keep logging)

    Too Many Trackers-activity-indicator.jpg

    Then check the log folder in the program directory:

    Too Many Trackers-activity-indicator-logs.jpg

    Open the log with notepad and look at deleted files.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 934
    Win10 Version 21H2 19044.1645

    DKS said:
    Thanks, Pericles.

    Yes, I'm aware we can run Custom Clean instead of Health Check but since Custom Clean displays lower analysis numbers (what it finds) it concerns me that it is not cleaning as thoroughly. What do you think and are you going to use Custom Clean? Do you think Custom Clean cleans as well has Health Check?

    My wife has a one year old HP desktop running Windows Ten Home and I have a three week old HP laptop running Windows 10 Pro. Both are using the same CCleaner. Her CCleaner finds between 100 and 200 trackers and mine finds between 1000 and 2000 with the highest being 3398 trackers after just a few hours use. I can't determine why the numbers are so different. !!!

    Not certain if Custom Clean works as well. I use the browser tool to clean and then run CCleaner. Should not have to do that but feel it gives a more thorough cleaning. If I use the browser tool before Health Check, Health Check only shows about 175-200 trackers vs 3K.

    I plan on just using Custom Clean in the future - as stated earlier, lean to the theory of marketing propaganda. Also, may try to give feedback to Piriform about the tracking issue.

    Interesting fact in the difference in your family's computers. I also run Win10 Pro, maybe something to do with the OS ?
    When I have time, may do more research.

    Thanks again for starting this thread !
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  5. DKS
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Which browser are you using and what tool?

    Callender suggested I look at the apps running in the background to see if might be the culprit.

    Interesting that you are also running 10 Pro.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 5,087
    21H1 64 Bit Home

    RE: Health Check. Here's my findings.

    A qiuck browsing session then run Ccleaner Health Check:

    Too Many Trackers-health-check.jpg

    86 trackers 5.37Mb junk

    Consisting of:

    Too Many Trackers-health-check-2.jpg

    Disable Health Check and Custom Clean then run Ccleaner again without doing anything else in between runs:

    Too Many Trackers-regular-clean-2.jpg

    246 trackers and 102.5Mb junk

    Consisting of:

    Too Many Trackers-regular-clean.jpg
    So clearly Health Check is one to avoid.

    With regards to winapp2.ini my method was posted here:

    Winapp2ool for Ccleaner

    There's an altenative method listed here:

    Latest CCleaner Version Released

    In the "Tip" box.

    Too Many Trackers-ccenhancer.jpg

    I have it but it's not my preferred method.

    Too Many Trackers-ccenhancer-2.jpg

    Too Many Trackers-ccenhancer-3.jpg
      My Computer

  7. DKS
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, Callender. I will either stick with my CCleaner v. 5.67.7763 64 bit and run Custom Clean or try to find your version of 5.65.7632 64 bit and install it.

    I tried shutting down many background apps and I am still getting around 2000 trackers within a couple hours of Internet time. I think I'm just going to move on and not be concerned. Interestingly, Pericles (on this tread) and I are both running W10 Pro. She is also getting about 2000 trackers. My wife is using W10 Home and she gets about 200. Maybe it's a bug in Pro.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 5,087
    21H1 64 Bit Home

    I'm only using that version until they fix the current bug which may not affect all users:

    Latest CCleaner Version Released
      My Computer

  9. DKS
    Posts : 19
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    I'll try to find your version.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 5,087
    21H1 64 Bit Home

    Already posted in Post #25


    Reg files to disable health check:
    For me they need to be merged if and when health check auto-magically reappears.
      My Computer


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