Ad tracking techniques

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I am researching various techniques for ad tracking used by web sites
and in html email messages.  I am particularly interested in the
specific methods and ways to implement these methods.  (For example, one
way is to embed an image that has a very small size.)  I have searched
Google and the wikipedia but they seem to be more focused on the
benefits and measuring effectiveness of these techniques.

I'd appreciate any suggestions or links to good resources (online or


Re: Ad tracking techniques

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Yes an embedded image of very small size is often used by naughty
sites and on email. On email, this problem is easily avoided. For
example at Yahoo mail you are set to receive email as text only, so
the embedded image has no chance to do anything. If the email turns
out to be from someone you trust, you can click to allow html email
for that message.

There are a lot of pay services that some sites use for tracking
cookies that will set a tracking cookie on your computer when you
visit a site. Some of these are not very nice, such as the old
"sextracker" cookie. When it was set, you might get offered all sorts
of sex related books, toys, etc in ads when you visited sites that
used this tracking cookie service. One can avoid many such tracking
cookies by setting the browser to allow cookies set only by the site
you are visiting and setting to dump all cookies quite often. Some
people use a browser with very strict settings for slumming and
another with moderate settings for visiting their more usual and know

Many such tracking cookies are mainly a bother. However sites that
redirect to another site to put something really harmful on your
computer such as a key logger, virus, rootkit, etc. are the ones that
can cause you real grief including identity theft

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