This website's access logging

What's logged:

This website, like most others, logs accesses to it.  And most websites log the same sorts of information (as detailed below), there's nothing unusual about what this website logs.  When you browse any website you are poking about in its contents, you should expect attention to be paid to what you doing.

The following is an example of a log entry: - - [31/Oct/2004:10:46:36 +1100] "GET /business/video_production HTTP/1.1" 200 6095 "" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040707 Firefox/0.9.2"

(Summarised:  Visitor's address, visitor identification, another form of visitor identification, visit time and date, requested resource, status code, amount of data sent, referring address, browser identification.)

It begins with the internet address of the visitor (, this identifies where they are, but not directly who they are.  Whomever owns that address can identify them, if need be.  It's possible that this information isn't where they are, but the address of a proxy between them and us.  Again, that proxy would be able to identify them, if need be.  But as it stands, it's like saying a car with license plate ABC-123 passed by at 2 p.m., and legal action would have to be taken to find out who was driving that car.

The following dash indicates that their computer hasn't identified the user operating it to the webserver, else their name would be there instead.  Generally this information is not present, nor should it be.  It's an unreliable way to identify a person to a server, and your computer shouldn't be identifying you to all and sundry unneccessarily.

The next dash indicates that this person hasn't logged onto the website with a username, else their username would be displayed instead of the second dash.

The next entry shows the date and time that they accessed the resource, and the webserver's timezone (GMT plus 11 hours).  This allows the server's time to be correlated with other timezones.

The next entry (GET /business/video_production HTTP/1.1) shows what they asked of the server:  To “get” that named resource (/business/video_production), using HTTP version 1.1.

The next entry (200) is an “okay” response, it means that they're getting what they asked for without any errors or corrections needed.

The next entry (6095) is the amount of data that they received.

The next entry ( is the referrer, this is the address that referred them to this one (/business/video_production).  (That referrer was my old website's homepage.)  There may not be a referrer entry in the logs, some visits aren't made by referral (e.g. people typing in the address by hand, using bookmarks in their browsers, etc.), and it's not a mandatory header.  It can also be faked (some browsers do this for privacy—so you can't tell what outside resource referred the visitor to yours).

The final entry (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040707 Firefox/0.9.2) is how their browser identified itself.  It claimed to be Mozilla, but isn't according to the details further along the identification string.  Many web browsers do this, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, so they won't get shut out of stupidly designed websites.  It claims to be running on a Windows system, Windows 98, using U.S. English.  And it claims to be the Gecko-based web browser, “Firefox”.  The entire user-agent entry can be faked, this is often done so stupidly designed websites don't block people from access based on what web browser they're using.

And why:

This website's privacy policy outlines why, and what's done with the information, but putting it in a nutshell:  It allows access to the website to be assessed to discover authoring errors, to find out what's popular, and keep an eye out for hack attempts.  The information is not passed on to anybody that it shouldn't be divulged to.

Main sections:
contact details
business info
personal info
eBay & trading
“sales” ads
“wanted” ads
video production
misc info
website info/help
Info about this site
linking to
copying from
copyright notice
404 errors
website logging
did I email you?
did I get yours?
did I want mail?
instant messaging
reporting faults
site creation
website styling
getting more info
unanswered calls
returning calls