I Know What You Did Online
Yes, one does realize that the internet is one of the biggest blessings of the modern era, indeed. But with all those pros one must not forget about the cons that come with the use of the internet. Do you even realize to what extent you waste your time on the internet? You have gained weight, starting ignoring your family, and even your professional life is being affected. Also, your privacy is being invaded to the most extreme extent.
Do you know what happens with just one click of yours?
How does it work?
Whenever you use the internet, your information is being noted, and your searches are saved.
This is how it works:
- You visit a website or open a web page, and all your activities are recorded by tracking software.
- Based on your internet search, tracking companies use these records to build your profile.
- This profile is then sold to advertisers.
- It is even available on exchange networks where anyone can purchase it.
- This profile of yours can be connected to other sources where some or more of your personal information is available.
- Again, this combined information is sold to advertisers who are looking for consumers with similar interests.
- These advertisers buy an ad space on the websites through auction.
- Based on your profile, ads are automatically generated so that they reach you quickly as you search the web.
How Are You Tracked?
- Cookies: It is a small piece of data which is sent from the website and is stored in the web browser of the user.
- Pixel Trackers: These are small images which are placed on specific pages so that the site owners know when that particular page is loaded.
- Deep Packet Inspection: As the name indicates, it is about advanced network management and enables eavesdropping and internet censorship for the site owners. Data mining, user service, and security functions are aided by it as well.
- Supercookies: Even if regular cookies have been removed or deleted, these can recreate the proper user profile.
Why is this Not Controlled?
There is no way of stopping it because it is legal. Information is collected from your personal computers, tablets, and Smartphones even if the “Do Not Track” option is enabled. Yes, this is how high it is, and things that make it this strong are:
- Screen dimension
- List of plugins (Flash, Java, etc.)
- Lists of apps installed
- What the browser talks to?
How to Maintain Your Privacy?
- To see how many companies are tracking you on a daily basis, install browser plugins like Collusion.
- Add another layer to your internet use by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Block trackers by installing plugins like Ghostery, Disconnect, or Peer Block.
- Be wise and stick to the regular font stack and turn off all the cookies.
It is challenging to block all the trackers because even most of our essential day to day tasks depend on the internet. Some companies encourage privacy by using data encryption, but the rest still invade your private data and information to achieve advertising benefits and sometimes even ulterior motives. Stay Safe!