Curious Rose

Twitter's Suggestions -- Where Do They Come From?

10 posts in this topic

So I tried to make a twitter recently for work, and when I fired up the new account a whole list of people I know in my private life came up as suggestions. Given that I'd entered my work email and no other contact information, I was pretty taken aback and deleted the account promptly (there was nothing incriminating on it yet -- hadn't had a chance!). I thought perhaps that twitter might have used my IP: one of the friends suggested has used my internet connection to sign into twitter in the past, and most of the people the site suggested were mutual friends of ours.

So I tried again yesterday and made the new account from my phone (not using home wireless), using my work email again. The same problem came up. It suggested my friend and one of his friends.

I deleted again and made a new email account. I entered this for (yet another) account and the problem seemed to be resolved.

Now, I've never exchanged emails with my friend from the work email address I used for the sign up. I have literally no idea how it linked the two of us. Can anyone enlighten me?

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There are literally thousands of ways things try and link stuff to you. IP, email address, cookies, even software or hardware ids like Microsoft do with Genuine license checks...even computer games try and link you these days...

Most likely is browser cookies or other tokens that sites use to store or flag you.

Ive looked for stuff off John Lewis like a cooker hood and weeks later browsing differnet sites, get adverts from B and Q advertising cooker hoods....

Just remember to delete everything from your interent cache and use inprivate browsing,etc after every use.....(But even thats not perfect. Ive typed in a url and punternet autocompleted just underneath. could have been very embarressing ). Think theres other tools to delete caches and stored data..

The safest option is to use a computer youve never used, with an email youve never used...but then god know what it might try and link to you....

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1. make sure you are signed out of google when doing stuff.

2. delete cookies at every opportunity. I use ccleaner regularly

3 think long and hard before using arsebook and twatter. both have appaling security so anyone in this game should avoid IMHO

also in firefox you can delete suggestions in the url entry thingy by pressing ctrl and delere. But beware there will be hundreds of the buggers.

Edited by Coventrypunter

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Thanks guys. Have added as many 'Do not track' add-ons as I could find, and will keep browsing to private mode and my phone (which I use exclusively to access things for work and never for my personal stuff.)

Scary.

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1. make sure you are signed out of google when doing stuff.

2. delete cookies at every opportunity. I use ccleaner regularly

3 think long and hard before using arsebook and twatter. both have appaling security so anyone in this game should avoid IMHO

also in firefox you can delete suggestions in the url entry thingy by pressing ctrl and delere. But beware there will be hundreds of the buggers.

Great advice Cov. I have no interest in twatter or arsebook etc, mind numbing. :)

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The safest option is to use a computer youve never used, with an email youve never used...but then god know what it might try and link to you....

My current strategy is to use a different User Account on my computer for everything I want kept private - and to not use that user account for any "legit" email/Twitter/FaceBook/Browsing activity. Seems to work well, as long as I am absolutely sure to log out of that account after use (famous last words...)

Watch out forTwitter on iPad too - after deleting my secret Twitter account I was still getting Wg names come up in autocomplete etc. until I deleted and re-installed the Twitter app

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I guess twitter is a bit like facebook insofar as it checks the email address you use on that account with anyone who you have emailed or has your email address in their address book - and makes suggestions based on a match.

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I guess twitter is a bit like facebook insofar as it checks the email address you use on that account with anyone who you have emailed or has your email address in their address book - and makes suggestions based on a match.

Nope. This is not responsible in this instance.

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So what's the big kerfuffle with Facebook attributing email addresses ?

Wasn't it always the case that you could claim a Facebook address if you wanted to ?

When answering, please bear in mind that I am marginally more techie than my hamster.

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