Tag Archive | "Activity"

Popular Google, FireFox Extension Is Secretly Tracking User Activity

A popular browser extension that helps personalize how a website looks has been found to be tracking user activity. The revelation has pushed Google and Mozilla to remove the Stylish browser extension from their app stores. However, the extension’s official website still remains active.

Software engineer Robert Heaton claimed in a blog post that the Stylish extension tool steals a user’s internet history and sends information about a person’s browsing history and distinct identifiers to SimilarWeb, the extension’s owner. According to Heaton, this will allow the company to “connect all of an individual’s actions into a single profile.”

Heaton further explained that Stylish account holders typically have a unique identifier that can be linked to a login cookie. This will then provide SimilarWeb with enough information to “theoretically tie these histories to email addresses and real-world identities.”

Stylish is an open-source browser extension that gives users the capability to change how a website appears on their browser. With it, users can make websites look brighter and campier. They can also go for a brooding, darker theme or choose popular manga or cartoon characters to add to the website.

SimilarWeb’s 2017 formal policy does indicate that the extension collates anonymous data. But what Heaton is protesting is the identifier that the extension attaches to the said information before it’s sent to the company servers. He said this leaves the account holder vulnerable to hackers.

SimilarWeb has already denied these allegations and claimed that they are “not aware of and cannot determine the identity of the users from whom the non-personal information is collected.”

Google and Mozilla have since removed the extension from its Chrome and FireFox browsers. The former has not explained its decision to cut off Stylish while the latter said that they blocked the extension due to violation of data practices.

Users utilizing Stylish on their web browsers would no longer be able to access its features. However, the extension remains active online.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

The post Popular Google, FireFox Extension Is Secretly Tracking User Activity appeared first on WebProNews.


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Desktop Search Activity Up 12% YOY In June, 4th Straight Month Of Double-Digit Gains [comScore]

Desktop search activity continues to rebound, and was up 12 percent year-over-year in June according to the latest comScore qSearch data just out today. ComScore estimates that there were 19.2 billion “core” desktop searches last month. That’s down four percent from the 20 billion…



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Desktop Search Activity Hits All-Time High In March: 20+ Billion Searches [comScore]

Google dropped a few percentage points while Bing and Yahoo each gained a couple … but the bigger statistic from comScore’s monthly U.S. search rankings for March is that desktop search activity reached an all-time high. The company’s latest report estimates that there were just…



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Google & Bing Hit All-Time Highs As Desktop Search Activity Rebounds

Google and Bing both hit all-time highs in U.S. search market share in October, while overall desktop search activity was up eight percent from the month before. All of that’s according to comScore’s October 2012 search activity/rankings report. Google’s market share rose…



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Facebook Adding Search History to Activity Log

Facebook has announced that it will be rolling out a personal search history record within the Activity Log over the coming weeks, as Mark Zuckerberg takes another step toward setting his plan to compete with Google in web search into motion.
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Aligning SEO Strategy & Social Media Activity to Build Links

It’s becoming a necessity to integrate your SEO strategy with social media activity. Here are some examples of how aligning SEO and social media efforts can really boost the impact of your SEO performance, especially from a link building standpoint.
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Last-Minute Halloween Costume Hunting? Search Activity Reveals Hot Costumes This Year

Lady Gaga and Snooki … err, Nicole … from MTV’s Jersey Shore were among last year’s hottest Halloween costume searches. Are they back this year, or have other pop culture icons replaced them? Let’s take a look at the hottest 2011 search halloween costume searches, courtesy of a…



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Google Gathers Your Map Activity Under “My Places” Tab

While Google.com can store your search history, Google Maps is now storing and offering what you might call “map history” under a new tab called “My Places.” It’s a convenient way to access the different types of activity you might’ve had inside Google Maps: My…



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Mobile Email Activity on the Rise, Says Report

Return Path released some interesting findings from a study on email – particularly, 81% growth in email activity on mobile devices.

While the majority of email is still read from PCs, the leading platform for viewing email is webmail (48%). Desktop email accounts for 36% and mobile for 16%. Outlook is by far the number one desktop choice, according to the report.

Mobile and Desktop email

One big conclusion of the report, which seem like common sense, yet may still go overlooked all too often, is that if you aren’t paying attention to how your email renders on mobile devices, you’re likely missing out on customers and conversions.

“The art of ‘designing for the small screen’ may prove to be evolving to the art of designing for the reader on the go,” said Return Path Product Manager Bryan Dreller. “While still critical to the email design process, rendering quality itself is still secondary to sending the right message at the right time.”

“With the rise of the iPad and the tablet market, mobile has been redefined,” he said. “According to our study, iPad viewership has grown 15% between October 2010 and March 2011 and we expect to continue to see this percentage grow in the coming months with the recent release of iPad 2. Marketers need to adapt to this change in where and when consumers are accessing email and online content.”

Another thing to take into consideration is the timing of the messages you’re sending. Take a look at the following graph for how day of the week affects where email is viewed:

Email By Day of the Week and Platform

This information might be particularly helpful if you’re targeting the consumer on the go.

Earlier this month, we looked at a study commissioned by Microsoft, which found that 45% of those surveyed said their use of email at work will most likely increase over the next five years. 51% said it would most likely stay the same. Only 4% thought it would decrease. At home, 35% said it would increase, 55% said it would stay the same, and 6% said it would decrease.


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