THE MOUSE TRAP – 10.18.16

–by janice Weber

Janis Weber 2010
Janis Weber









Google Ads Pointed at You
Target ads are part of our world on the Internet especially when Google is connected. We use their services a lot and they like to offer us as much as possible. Did you know that you can control some of this? Google owns and operates one of the largest ad networks around. It’s called DoubleClick, and it serves ads on a high percentage of internet sites, including ours. Where things get tricky is that Google also owns and operates Google Search and YouTube. People use both to find websites and videos that interest them, which means Google can quickly compile a list of your interests from what you look for. Enter Google’s interest-based advertising.

Fortunately, you can turn interest-based advertising off. If you’re signed in, you’ll see a list of the interests or topics Google has collected, and you can deselect the ones that aren’t really interests of yours, or that you don’t want to see period. You can also add topics if you want. Maybe a friend told you that you had to watch a great new video, but it turns out to be about snakes, which you hate. Google doesn’t know that and might have added “reptiles” to your interests, which would explain the ads that contain snakes, lizards and iguanas that keep popping up. This is a quick way to stop that. If you don’t want to see interest-based ads, you can turn them off completely. Just set “Ads Personalization” to “off.”

If you have a gmail email account, you can access the ad issues. Go to the settings option and click on ads. Here you will see two boxes with an on and an off slider. Read the details of the two options and slide the buttons to what you prefer. I have turn off all advertising that relates to sites I have visited or anything I had searched for. Once I searched Google for a white pair of sandals. I then started seeing the exact ones popping up as ads all over. Not anymore.

Alternative Search Engines
“DuckDuckGo” is a solid Google replacement, and it doesn’t track or target your IP address or search history. You don’t have to worry about targeted search results or being trapped in a filter bubble, which actually means you get more results. DuckDuckGo includes the nifty calculators and other tricks you’ve come to expect on Google. But that’s not all. You can customize its interface, with search shortcuts and an Instant Answers feature that’s just as good as Google. You can also make DuckDuckGo an extension of your browser and activate more privacy settings to keep your search history as protected as possible.

“Yippy” automatically detects and blocks adult content. That includes pornography, gambling sites, sex product sites and other websites that are not appropriate for kids. Plus, the site protects your privacy. It will not collect personally identifiable information about you, like your name, telephone number, address or email address. However, it may collect anonymous information about your computer, like your IP address. It also uses cookies, but not to track your personal behavior.

“Ixquick” calls itself the world’s most private search site. It doesn’t record your IP address, browser information or search history, so advertisers can’t track you. This search engine also gives you the privacy of searching so sites you visit don’t even know your real IP address. Ixquick’s gives you the most online privacy. It may slow down your searches, but when you select “proxy,” Ixquick makes you invisible online. To use it, just do a search from Ixquick, like “Apple pie.” Your search results will look similar to Google’s search results; with a list of websites it has found that match your search. Each result, however, has three ways to click on a page. Just click on a link and it takes you to a page unprotected; websites can see you.

Do You Have a Laptop?
Would you like to have a mini informational get-together? Recently I have been hosting PC and iPhone/iPad classes at homes and facilities like churches, businesses and schools. Informal and informative. Gather your friends (like the old Rubbermaid and Tupperware days). We all use the local WiFi and toss questions and scenarios around that we all learn from. It is amazing how many different issues are solved and how many people who did not even know a topic was something they turned out to be thrilled with. I have lots of unknown hints and tips for everyone. Bring a list of questions. Let’s get started.

I Make House Calls
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience.
Give me a call at 419/318-9112.

References and rates are always available upon request. Don’t forget to sign up for my Free Newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips and trusted/valuable web-links.

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training, is a professional computer adjunct instructor at UT and Lourdes University. All classes are offered though the Eberly Center at UT with free parking. E-mail any specific questions or comments to:

or contact her for assistance at 419/318-9112.

Public Classes are listed on her website:

The classes at UT offer inexpensive and totally non-intimidating.
Call 419/ 530-8570 to register.
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call or email away.