Saturday, 14 July 2007

Anyone technically minded out there?

I'm a little bit concerned... Sitemeter is set to ignore visits from my current IP address - I've checked, and it tells me what my current IP address is, and confirms that it's ignoring visits from there.

But since yesterday evening, whenever I'm logged onto my blog, Sitemeter is tracking another IP address from a different server, which is logged on for as long as I am and clicks out to all the same places I'm clicking out to.

Does this mean there's some sort of spyware allowing another site to track everything I'm doing? If so, does that mean I should immediately stop internet banking and paying bills from this computer, and go and spend a fortune on some sort of anti-spyware device? Or am I just being paranoid?

Update: I'm not sure that this resolves the particular issue I was worried about, but Esther has looked into Sitemeter and found that it allows a spyware firm to place cookies on every user's computer for advertising purposes. I'm not into being used in this way without my knowledge, so have switched to StatCounter. Thanks for the tip, Esther.

7 comments:

Jennifer F. said...

Have you done a traceroute to see where that other IP address is physically located? You can do it from your DOS prompt, or I really like the visual traceroute tool here:
http://visualroute.visualware.com/

Are you sure that you have a static IP address? I was under the impression that most web hosts give you a different one every time you log on, but I'm not positive.

Esther said...

I think Deb at UKOK's Place mentioned that it was spyware. I may have to check into that too. Do you know of any other counter similar to sitemeter?

Esther said...

http://conservablogs.com/EricOdom/2007/03/26/did-sitemeter-sell-out-to-spyware/
Thought this might answer your question.

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks very much for the suggestions - will check these out tomorrow. We've been out all day, and I'm tiiiiired.

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks again to both of you. It's never happened before, and the IP address that it was tracking was different from what came up when I asked the computer what my IP address was, and was with a different provider and based a long way from where I am, which was why I got suspicious. I ran a spyware detector, which confirmed that I've got oodles of cookies linked to advertising sites, but there didn't seem to be anything more sinister than that. I might get someone to have a look at the computer if I can - I'll let you know if anything of note turns up.

Josh said...

It's not spayware, or any different than a lot of other stat metering sites. Site meter is really good, worth the cookie issue if you ask me. I think some people, like Eric Odom, are a tad bit confused and overly zealous in their responses to this "issue." All a cookie does is note that you were at a certain site, that way when you return it knows that you were here before. I wouldn't worry about it.

newhousenewjob said...

Thanks Josh. I think the thing I was originally really worried about was that according to Sitemeter, I seemed to be logging onto the site simultaneously from two different servers, using two different IP addresses, and I couldn't see how this could be happening. That seems to have resolved itself now, but I'm still going to monitor it closely for a while.