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Author Topic: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?  (Read 654 times)

Offline rcane

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I was researching privacy policies and came across a generic one that mentioned collecting IP addresses as well as (potentially) the pages immediately pre- and post-visit.

Anyone have any success doing that with SMF?
I don't see a need for such a feature, but my curiosity got raised on it.

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 12:42:19 PM »
You would need to use third party tools. There are visitor tracking software such as lucky orange. That you can track a users experience on your site and see what they do on your site.
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Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 12:45:36 PM »
You could also rig Google Analytics to do that if you wanted. Either way you would probably need some custom coding to trigger analytics events like registering.
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Offline Steve

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 11:07:42 AM »
And if I, as a member, found out you were doing this I'd be deleting my account.
Please do not PM me for support.

I just ordered a life alert bracelet so
if I get a life, I'll be notified immediately.

Offline GigaWatt

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2021, 07:35:47 AM »
And if I, as a member, found out you were doing this I'd be deleting my account.

All social media platforms do it.
"This is really a generic concept about human thinking - when faced with large tasks we're naturally inclined to try to break them down into a bunch of smaller tasks that together make up the whole."

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Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2021, 07:41:07 AM »
Quite a few online shops and news outlets do as well. It's surprisingly common.
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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2021, 10:44:16 AM »
All commercial sites do it.  And most sell it to each other.  That's why the privacy policies are so important.

I think the new "Off Facebook Activity" feature is actually very helpful.  It shows you which data it is using to determine your targeted ads...

I've looked at my list, & whats fascinating is it lists many sites where I don't even have an account, but have visited.  It must be doing some form of fingerprinting...  Even all the news sites, sports.  I've been using the Opera browser and that is even listed.
 

It's the only list I know of that shows you who is selling your info...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2020/01/28/this-new-facebook-privacy-feature-is-surprisingly-revealing/?sh=4277e8f0950b


Funny - Lots of misinformed articles out there showing you how to turn off this dastardly new feature...  From news sites I see in my list...
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Offline Steve

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2021, 10:57:47 AM »
All social media platforms do it.

Which is why I don't use social media. But we're getting off track here. :)

Edit: sorry Shawn, wasn't ignoring you. Will have a look at your link.
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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2021, 11:10:33 AM »
Actually, "all commercial sites" is too narrow, as I see several non-profits in my list...

"Any site with the resources and desire to understand its visitors" might be closer...
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Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2021, 11:16:00 AM »
Up to a certain level, yes - pretty much any website these days does some sort of analytics on their visitors. What varies is the scope and level of detail.
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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2021, 11:42:19 AM »
I'm truly amazed at the scope of sites listed in "Off Facebook Activity"...

It goes back 18 months - a rigid cutoff, nothing older.

How many sites do you think you visit in 18 months?  That would bother to track the data?  And somehow make it available to Facebook?  And have the resources & infrastructure to do so?

About 500 sites...  I don't have accounts for any of them...  I'm blown away by the scope...

Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

Offline rcane

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2021, 11:54:31 AM »
Well, I wasn't interested in tracking for financial purposes.   I was more curious to know if there was a security benefit to see where an IP you found suspicious might be going with whatever it did on your site--after it left your site.

My forum is new and private by invite only so naturally I'm interested in anything that can help keep things tight.  I don't even plan on running any ads if there is a compromise there.

Offline Steve

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2021, 11:05:24 AM »
So, has your question been answered to your satisfaction rcane?
Please do not PM me for support.

I just ordered a life alert bracelet so
if I get a life, I'll be notified immediately.

Offline GigaWatt

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2021, 11:24:02 AM »
That's why the privacy policies are so important.

Nobody reads them, and even if they did, 90% wouldn't understand them and they'll just join "the party". The 10% that do understand... I bet less than 1% out of them won't join "the party"... which is actually the unwanted 1% (that's 0.1% out of those 100%) of critical thinkers that those sites/platforms wouldn't want joining "the party".

"Any site with the resources and desire to understand its visitors" might be closer...

Well... in general, make money off them (the users). There are exceptions, but they're so few, not even worth mentioning.

Remember, if the product's free (as in free beer), then you're the product ;).

Up to a certain level, yes - pretty much any website these days does some sort of analytics on their visitors. What varies is the scope and level of detail.

Correct ;).

How many sites do you think you visit in 18 months?  That would bother to track the data?  And somehow make it available to Facebook?  And have the resources & infrastructure to do so?

About 500 sites...  I don't have accounts for any of them...  I'm blown away by the scope...

Doesn't really surprise me.

Well, I wasn't interested in tracking for financial purposes.   I was more curious to know if there was a security benefit to see where an IP you found suspicious might be going with whatever it did on your site--after it left your site.

Doesn't really matter since bots/botnets can change/spoof IPs, so... don't really see any point in doing this... except maybe curiosity.
"This is really a generic concept about human thinking - when faced with large tasks we're naturally inclined to try to break them down into a bunch of smaller tasks that together make up the whole."

"A 500 error loosely translates to the webserver saying, "WTF?"..."

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2021, 12:05:11 PM »
Remember, if the product's free (as in free beer), then you're the product ;).
Well, it's not really that simple. Sometimes yes, that can be the case. But not always, especially if the product is also free as in speech.
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Offline GigaWatt

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2021, 02:11:59 PM »
Well, it's not really that simple. Sometimes yes, that can be the case. But not always, especially if the product is also free as in speech.

Yes, correct, if it's free as in free speech, i.e. you can modify it however you like, if you've got the know-how, then yes... you're probably not the product ;). Perfect example - SMF ;).

English is really limited when it comes to the word "free" :P :D.
"This is really a generic concept about human thinking - when faced with large tasks we're naturally inclined to try to break them down into a bunch of smaller tasks that together make up the whole."

"A 500 error loosely translates to the webserver saying, "WTF?"..."

Offline rcane

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2021, 02:40:19 PM »
Yeah I think for now I’m good.

Thanks.

Offline efk

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Re: Can SMF track the pages a user visited just prior to joining the forum?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2021, 04:49:54 PM »
Well, I wasn't interested in tracking for financial purposes.   I was more curious to know if there was a security benefit to see where an IP you found suspicious might be going with whatever it did on your site--after it left your site.

My forum is new and private by invite only so naturally I'm interested in anything that can help keep things tight.  I don't even plan on running any ads if there is a compromise there.
Maybe is worth to do give some effort if you eliminate completely bots/robots. Usually it can be easy to follow your users in real time and to understand what they are doing, depends on what is forum used for. I can predict events from my users or from users on forums where I am member. Who's Online can show you a lot, it has delay 1-2 clicks and probably hidden default timer after which it will show real user location(I'm not talking here about default time to refresh Who's Online). And more in combination with other mods like Board Viewers Mod for example which will show you exact board where followed user is.