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Fight Against Privacy Pirates

What are the results when you Google yourself? Do you find accurate information or do you find numerous inconsistencies. Both the situations have their pros and cons. If the information is accurate then it will become easy for cyber criminals to locate you and steal your personal information. However, if the information is not accurate, or negative in any way, you could end up with personal  problems  or will find it difficult to progress further in your professional career.

Make yourself obscure

You always have the option of deleting unwanted content from your computer, but the internet does not have a delete button. Once something goes on the World Wide Web, it stays there. However, you can make the unwanted stuff obscure on the net by piling lot of other stuff over it. If you are looking to completely erase your online identity, you should be ready to put in a lot of effort and time. You will have to remove all your social media profiles, websites, blogs, and your contact details from phone books because they end up online as well. Despite all these measures, it is possible that you will end up on some online list. There are tools coming up like the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, which claim to provide online identity protection, but there is no proof of how successful these machines are.

Beware of online trackers

There are numerous online companies that collect your personal data and sell it to earn money. This makes it very difficult to remove your online presence. Now most of these companies provide an opt out option, but the catch is that you have to register with them before you can opt out. In fact, there are companies which may even ask for a copy of your driver’s license before allowing you to opt out. You can use tools which tell you the companies that are tracking you online. Most of these tools are free and you can also use them to block companies which are mining data from your system. This will not remove your personal data from the web, but it will protect it from surveillance and distribution.

Mask your IP address

Your IP address provides a lot of crucial information about your browser, your online activities, and in some cases about your physical location as well. So, it is extremely important to hide your IP address if you want to browse anonymously and avoid tracking online. There are many IP scrambler services available, which make you a general ‘cocoon user’ while you are browsing on the web. When you browse in this fashion, all your cookies can be easily blocked or can be stored in the cocoon, making tracking difficult. If the cocoon is not present, your cookies can be used by different websites and ad networks.

Make sure that you read the ‘Terms of Service’

Data that is published by identity brokers is usually extracted from public records or is bought from companies that got the data from the person. For that latter option to be true, the person must have agreed to the terms and conditions of the company. This is not only true for personal data but  for  photographs as well. By clicking on ‘I Agree’, you actually provide these companies the right to use your personal information.

You might have understood by now that you cannot completely remove  your presence from the online world. However, the above mentioned steps are some of the ways in which you can safeguard yourself on the internet. Always remain vigilant while using any online service and read the terms of services carefully to avoid giving a company the right over your personal information.

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