Decoding the future, one byte at a time.

Devzonex is a tech blog dedicated to providing insightful articles, reviews, and tutorials on the ever-evolving world of technology.

Why you should not use Google Analytics on your website

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking and analyzing website traffic, but it can also raise significant privacy concerns. If you use Google Analytics on your website, you are allowing Google to collect and store data about your visitors, including their IP addresses and other personal information. This information can then be used by Google for various purposes, such as targeted advertising and data analysis.

One of the main reasons why you should not use Google Analytics on your website from a privacy standpoint is that it allows Google to collect and store personal information about your visitors without their knowledge or consent. This can be a violation of their privacy, especially if they are not aware that their information is being collected and used in this way.

In addition to the potential privacy concerns, using Google Analytics on your website can also make it more difficult for you to comply with privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. These laws require website owners to be transparent about the data they collect and to obtain consent from users before collecting and using their personal information. If you use Google Analytics on your website, you may not have full control over the data that is collected and how it is used, which can make it difficult to comply with these laws.

Another reason why you should not use Google Analytics on your website is that it can be a security risk. Google Analytics uses cookies to track and analyze website traffic, which can make your website vulnerable to cookie theft and other forms of cyber attacks. This can expose your website and your visitors to a variety of security risks, such as identity theft, data breaches, and other forms of online fraud.

Overall, using Google Analytics on your website can pose a number of privacy and security risks. While it can be a useful tool for tracking and analyzing website traffic, it is important to carefully consider the potential drawbacks before using it on your website. If you are concerned about protecting the privacy of your visitors and maintaining the security of your website, you may want to consider alternative options for tracking and analyzing website traffic.

There are several alternatives to Google Analytics that can help you track and analyze website traffic while protecting the privacy of your visitors. Some of these options include:

Matomo (formerly Piwik) - This is an open-source analytics platform that allows you to track and analyze website traffic on your own server, giving you full control over the data that is collected and how it is used.

Fathom Analytics - This is a privacy-focused analytics platform that does not use cookies or other tracking technologies that can compromise the privacy of your visitors.

Plausible Analytics - This is another privacy-focused analytics platform that does not use cookies or other tracking technologies, and it allows you to view detailed reports on your website traffic without collecting personal information from your visitors.

GoAccess - This is a free and open-source log analyzer that allows you to track and analyze website traffic in real-time without collecting personal information from your visitors.

Clicky - This is a web analytics platform that allows you to track and analyze website traffic, but it also has a number of privacy-friendly features, such as the ability to anonymize IP addresses and opt out of tracking.

Overall, there are many alternatives to Google Analytics that can help you track and analyze website traffic while protecting the privacy of your visitors. It is important to carefully research and compare these options to find the one that best fits your needs and priorities.

4 weeks ago

Why Google can’t count results correctly

Have you ever noticed the alleged number of search results when you use the google search? What if I tell you that the number is wrong?

Noticed that you can do a search, then repeat the same search and “subtract” a word (in this case salami) from your original set, and Google will return more matches — not less. It shouldn’t happen, right?

Another weird behavior happens when you click until you reach the last page of the google results:

Now after reaching the last page of the search results google only shows a total number of 213 results and the note "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 213 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included." - So let's try this.

At this point you clearly noticed that even with the option "omitted results included" 480 results are much less than the 6 billion results google "showed" at the beginning on page 1.

So does google only have 480 results for food?

No, of course not! When we searched for food, Google did a fast lookup and found it had somewhere around 6 billion matching pages for that word. This can also include pages that don’t actually contain the word but have synonyms of it, along with pages that don’t have the word but are relevant because people link to them with the word food in the hyperlinks. When we searched for food -salami Google had to "think" harder about the query. It’s like when someone asks you a question that you know the answer to off the top of your head. Google gets asked about food all the time - and has stored the answer ready for usage on the memory. But when we query google for food -salami Google had to dig deeper and it discovers that it has even more pages about food (even when we filter out the word salami) out there than it thought it had originally.

Additionally, there are other factors that should be mentioned — Google has a lot of data centers around the globe with giant copies of its search index spread out across the different storage facilities. Imagine a library that has exact branches across the world. Technically, they’re “mirrors” of each other. In reality, each library might be missing a few books here and there for a variety of reasons. That can lead to different results for different users. And the Google algorithm as well influences the search results.

As well there is a official statement from Google about the problem: When you perform a search, the results are often displayed with the information: Results 1 - 10 of about XXXX. Google's calculation of the total number of search results is an estimate. We understand that a ballpark figure is valuable, and by providing an estimate rather than an exact account, we can return quality search results faster. In addition, when you click on the next page of search results, the total number of search results can change. In this case, we realize that some of the query results are duplicates, and collapse those duplicates so that you can find the specific result you're looking for more easily. Collapsing the duplicates decreases the estimated number of results, as well as the overall number of results pages.

But why does google only show a few hundred results?

The truth is, that Google does not only have a few hundred results for the search queries. To save computing power, google limits the amount of search results to a few hundred that are, according to the google algorithm, the most interesting ones. In this case, if you want more results, you have to use more keywords or another search engine. A good overview of alternatives can be found at the Semrush Blog.

1 month ago

Why you may not want to use AddThis on your website

AddThis is a popular website tool that allows users to share content on social media and other platforms. While it can be a useful tool for increasing website traffic and engagement, it can also raise significant privacy concerns.

One of the main privacy issues with AddThis is that it collects and stores personal information about users who interact with the tool. This includes information such as their IP address, location, and browsing habits, which can be used for various purposes, such as targeted advertising and data analysis. This can be a violation of users' privacy, especially if they are not aware that their information is being collected and used in this way.

AddThis collects this information by using cookies and other tracking technologies, which are small pieces of data that are stored on users' devices when they visit a website. These cookies allow AddThis to track users' online activity and to collect information about their behavior on the internet. This information is then used to personalize the content and advertisements that users see, based on their interests and preferences.

While this personalized content and advertising can be useful for users, it can also be intrusive and unwanted. Many users are not aware that their personal information is being collected and used in this way, and they may not have the option to opt out of this tracking. This can be a violation of their privacy, and it can also make them feel like they are being monitored and controlled by AddThis and the companies that use its data.

In addition to the potential privacy concerns, using AddThis on your website can also make it more difficult for you to comply with privacy laws and regulations. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States require website owners to be transparent about the data they collect and to obtain consent from users before collecting and using their personal information. If you use AddThis on your website, you may not have full control over the data that is collected and how it is used, which can make it difficult to comply with these laws.

Another privacy issue with AddThis is that it can be a security risk. The tool uses cookies and other tracking technologies to collect and store data about users, which can make your website vulnerable to cookie theft and other forms of cyber attacks. This can expose your website and your users to a variety of security risks, such as identity theft, data breaches, and other forms of online fraud.

AddThis was acquired by Oracle in 2016. This means that AddThis is now a subsidiary of Oracle and is under the ownership and control of the company. As a result of this acquisition, AddThis now has access to Oracle's technology and resources, which can be used to enhance its services and offerings. The bad effects of the connection between Oracle and AddThis are primarily related to privacy concerns. Since Oracle is a large technology company with access to a vast amount of data, the acquisition of AddThis gives it even more access to personal information about users who interact with the tool. This can be a potential violation of users' privacy, especially if they are not aware that their information is being collected and used in this way.

Hence, using AddThis on your website can pose a number of privacy and security risks. While it can be a useful tool for increasing website traffic and engagement, it is important to carefully consider the potential drawbacks before using it on your website. If you are concerned about protecting the privacy of your users and maintaining the security of your website, you may want to consider alternative options for sharing content on social media and other platforms.

There are several alternatives to AddThis that can help you share content on social media and other platforms while respecting the privacy of your users. Some of these options include:

  1. Shareaholic - This is a website tool that allows users to share content on social media and other platforms, but it also has a number of privacy-friendly features. For example, it allows users to opt out of tracking and to choose which services they want to share content with.
  2. Social Warfare - This is a social sharing plugin for WordPress that allows users to share content on various social media platforms, but it also has a number of privacy-focused features. For example, it allows users to control which social media services they want to share content with and it does not collect personal information from users.
  3. AddToAny - This is another website tool that allows users to share content on social media and other platforms, but it also has a number of privacy-focused features. For example, it allows users to opt out of tracking and to control which services they want to share content with.

Overall, there are many alternatives to AddThis that can help you share content on social media and other platforms while respecting the privacy of your users. It is important to carefully research and compare these options to find the one that best fits your needs and priorities.

1 month ago

Protect your Linux SSH Login

Maybe you noticed in your /var/log/auth.log file, that there are many failed login attempts on your Linux server. These attempts are usually brute force attacks to gain access to your server. Brute force stands simple for trying different username and password combinations until one of them works.

How can I protect my server against these attacks?

First of all it's important that you use a secure password (which is generally important for every online login). Secure in this case stands for long and complex.

Additionally the utility fail2ban is one of the best ways to protect your SSH login. The utility can be installed on all kind of Linux distros. The main task of the program is to ban IP-Addresses when they failed the login x times for a duration of y minutes. x stands for a defined amount of failed attemps and y stands for a amount in minutes.‌ ‌To install the tool you can use one of the following commands:

Ubuntu/Debian based‌

‌apt-get install fail2ban‌

CentOS

yum install fail2ban

Now the utility is already working. In the file /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf we can configure the ban time and the amount of failed attempts.

"bantime" is the number of seconds that a host is banned.‌
‌bantime  = 120m‌
‌# A host is banned if it has generated "maxretry" during the last "findtime"‌
‌seconds.‌
‌findtime  = 1440m‌
‌# "maxretry" is the number of failures before a host get banned.‌
‌maxretry = 5

1 month ago