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Some Unlikely Online Privacy Infringements

Online privacy is one of the most worrying issues internet users face in these days. It seems that there is not a moment where we cannot be tracked. We have some or the other kind of tracking device on us, in the form of a cell phone, laptop or even a GPS navigator that we use every day. To top that off, every action we do is recorded in some way or the other on the net. Everything is automated and as long as an action is recorded on a computer somewhere, it can be retrieved, if needed.

Booking a movie ticket,  ordering a takeout, purchasing a book online; you name it, the action is recorded. Your every action is collated and quantified. Since we have accepted this as a way of life, we have failed to ignore some of these unlikely online privacy infringements.

The Government Spying on You

This might seem like a point straight out of a thriller, but the fact is that you are indeed being monitored by the government. You might not be individually targeted but you will be a member of the group which will be keenly scrutinized by the government. The NSA is taking security very seriously after 9/11 and all the data you transmit and receive over the internet will be keenly scrutinized. Any sign of suspicious activity and the government officials will dive into a more detailed investigation. It might be something as trivial as an anonymous social media account of yours being used for communication or a hacker/terrorist using your IP or e-mail ID as a cover for his/her communications. The government reasons out that it is for the safety of citizens and it is true.

But there is also the looming threat of that data being misused by someone else. So, you can opt out of this data collection, but at your own risk. This is one issue which you cannot do much about.

Identifying Your Personality from the Kind of Books You Read

Gone are the days when we used to buy a book from the local library or buy one from a store to read. These days, books are read using eBook readers and your source will be one among Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, etc. You will also be connected to the internet when you open the book and if someone with the right resources wants to be notified about your reading habits, he/she can make it happen. It has been established a long time ago by psychologists that you can discern a person’s personality from his/her reading habits. So, even if you think that this type of spying is seemingly harmless, the implications may be more serious than you can imagine. The best way to counter this method of spying is to turn off your internet connection before you open the eBook app.

Retailers Can Track Your Online Shopping Habits

When you purchase something from a retailer you have never visited before, you will be assigned a random number which is called a guest ID. This number will be recorded in the server with the retailer and it will be used to track your shopping activities. When you shop for something online, the retailer will get to know about it. Incidentally, this method seems to help the retailers boost sales by making specific changes in their marketing strategy. But it is a clear violation of your privacy.

To make sure that you can shop without being tracked, you can use any one of the popular tools available in the market which will help in concealing your IP address and any other user specific information. You can also try disabling cookies in your browsers but some sites cannot be accessed unless your cookies are active. Choose carefully, but make sure that you are sufficiently protected against these privacy intrusions.

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