1 minute read

If you cut and paste from websites fairly often, especially on media websites, you may have noticed when you did so that some extra text was added. This is mostly likely javascript thanks to a company called Tynt.com.

For an example of this, go to cbc.ca or newyorker.com, cut some text from any article on their website and paste it into a document. You will most likely notice a second line with “Read more:”… has been added with a URL to the story you have included. You will also see some uniquely identifying information that is sent to Tynt.

The best way to avoid this is block tcr.tynt.com which seems to be the only host that is referenced by the code as of writing this. This can be done by adding it to AdBlockPlus, Greasemonkey or a similar plugin. You can also link it to /etc/hosts as I would feel comfortable blocking *.tynt.com as that seems to be their main line of business.
Another alternative is something like Tynt Blocker although we haven’t verified the integrity of this plugin, so use with caution.
You could completely turn off javascript , because it’s up there with flash as one of the most popular ways for someone to compromise the integrity of your computer. Although it is almost required for basic webbrowsing these days, so you might want to try something like NoScript and only enable javascript on websites you trust.

If Tynt can do this to compromise your privacy, it won’t be long until these techniques are used to compromise the security of your computer, as what else could a website inject into your next copy/paste?