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May 2023 Update: I’ve decided to re-enable cloudflare.
Three reasons:

  1. To my knowledge, they are still privacy respecting and have solid security record.
  2. While I’ve never written this blog for an audience it is nice to have a general sense of how many people are reading. I like the passive stats you get by enabling CF.
  3. The bot and DDOS protections are sure to save me at some point.

    March 2023 Update: I’ve opt’d to disable the “embed privacy” plugin. I am planning on featuring more Twitter content and it just won’t be quite the same without the embeds.

    In terms of your privacy, be aware the provider of an embed (twitter, youtube, etc) may be tracking you on any pages featuring an embed. In some cases this could be the homepage.

    Inspired by Cory Doctorow I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to make this WordPress blog surveillance and tracker free. Internet privacy is something I’ve always cared about, I’m not really sure why it never occurred to me to bring my blog in line.

    Here are the steps that I took:

    1. Disabled Cloudflare:
      Cloudflare has a good reputation and I trust that they’re taking the right steps to protect users’ privacy. But after refreshing the backend of the site with the help of SpinupWP I no longer feel like I need Cloudflare’s caching services.
      [my DNS is still hosted with CF, however I am bypassing them for this CNAME]

    2. Disabled Jetpack:
      Jetpack has become a bloated beast of a plugin suite. I noodled around with the settings for about 3 minutes to try to figure out how to disable the tracking – I couldn’t so I just decided to nuke the whole thing.
    3. Disabled Google Fonts
      It almost certainly tracks your IP and possibly other information. So I’ve disabled it. System fonts only.
    4. Installed Embed Privacy Plugin:
      I’ve installed Embed Privacy to block all spotify, youtube, twitter, etc external embeds on page load. Users have to explicitly click the content to see it.

    5. Disabled Comments:
      Not really a privacy reason to disable these per se, I just haven’t really found much comment engagement since approximately as long as Twitter has existed.

    The main side effect of these changes seems to be a blazing fast site! Sure I’ll miss out on some stats but I’ve long stopped caring about those.