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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to instal Firefox, if you don’t have it already, and how to instal the Lightbeam add-on. Now, Lightbeam is a little tool that you can use to track who is watching you on the internet. If you’re visiting websites there are many parties who are recording this. And this tool allows you to see who’s recording this. And it presents this in the form a network. So let’s use the Firefox link. And download Firefox using the browser that I’m currently using, which is Google Chrome.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds OK, it’s done downloading. Let’s instal it and run it.

Skip to 1 minute and 7 seconds Now, for those of you who don’t know it, Firefox is just another browser, quite similar to Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. I don’t want to make it my default browser. So be careful with that. And then quickly download and instal Firefox.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds And I don’t want to import any of my bookmarks at the moment, because I just use Firefox for this exercise here. And I still don’t want it as my default browser. Be very careful with this. And there’s no need to take a tour at this moment. All right, let’s go back and take a look at Lightbeam. Shines a light on who is following you. And let’s click Download Lightbeam. And now you can see I cannot download it right now, but that’s because I’m still in Chrome. So I’ll just copy the link and open it in Firefox. You can also Google it in Firefox. Just Google Lightbeam, and you’ll find it as well.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds And now you see you can add it to Firefox. It’s a Firefox add-on. And as far as I know, it’s not available for other browsers. All right, so let’s instal the add-on. And there it is. So this step shows you all about how this actually works. And you can see here that this logo– and this is how you open it. At the moment it’s still blank, because it hasn’t– since I installed it I did not visit any website yet. So let’s change that. And I’ll visit 10 websites here. And see what are the parties that are checking me while I do that. I’ll do that at super speed.

Skip to 3 minutes and 3 seconds All right, let’s take a look. And there you have it. You’ll probably recognise the network structure from the lectures. There are nodes. There are edges. In this case, the nodes, the round nodes are the sites that I actually visited. And the triangular nodes are all the websites that are tracking me. And they’re connected by edges to the website that they saw you visit. And you’ll see here that some of these nodes are actually tracking multiple websites. So those are well connected nodes. And they make up here a network. If you click on any of these nodes, you can get some extra information. And obviously there’s a lot more you can do with this tool.

Skip to 3 minutes and 54 seconds But for now, I’ll just leave that to you. And I hope you enjoy seeing who’s tracking you, but also playing around with a real life, real network like this. And I hope it gives more substance to the course.

Extra: Applying graph theory to internet data collection

This step provides an example for the earlier lectures. This step includes downloading free software - you should in no case purchase any software. In this article we will guide you through a practical application of Graph Theory. We will visit 10 websites and analyse who is tracking our behaviour by visualizing the network.

Most people have heard of it: most internet data is being tracked by big corporations! But what does this mean? Who is tracking you and when? One of the benefits of constructing and analysing networks is that it can give you new insights into what is going on in your life.

With this article we will show you how to graph who is tracking your internet behaviour in a network visual. For this we will use the free open-source internet web browser Firefox and a specialized free open-source add-on called Lightbeam.

Let’s get started

In the video above we explained how to install this software for Windows. If you are running the MAC or Linux operating systems the procedure is similar.

See if you can find out how many nodes there are in your network? How many edges does the biggest node have? How many edges does the biggest node that represents a website you did not visit have? Do you think this is a random or a scale-free network?

Finally, think about yourself as a company looking for people like you as a customer. What analytic company would you approach if you want to know more about yourself?

Having trouble installing Firefox? follow this link for detailed information.

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Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

University of Groningen

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