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Do You Know Who is Watching You Online?

As much as internet is an integral part of our life, there is also a bad side to it. There is a good chance that your online privacy is being compromised most of the time. What started as a data collection routine to improve the technology and the user experience has now turned into a million dollar tracking business on which many companies depend on. However, the issue has been seriously dealt with in recent times and a lot of tools that will help you in protecting your online privacy have emerged lately.

However, it has been noticed that the usage of these tools alone will not ensure your safety. There is an active role the user also has to play (along with employing privacy protecting tools) to ensure that the tools you employ have the maximum efficiency.

The first step in this technique is to identify who might be watching you. This will depend on your online activities. For example, if you shop online regularly, then you will be tracked by the companies who are providing the service in the name of monitoring customer trends. Similarly, if you visit social networking sites, you will be tracked as that information will provide the company some data about your likes and interests, using which they can increase the user experience.

Tracking Without Being Specific

One of the main reasons why companies have been able to get away with tracking people is that they are not targeting anyone in particular. Initially, data gathering started out as monitoring the number of users who visited the site and keeping a log of it. With time, this data gathering was made more specific and the companies started targeting specific pages, specific links, and all other sorts of customized data gathering habits.

The process was more streamlined and more specific, which gave the companies all the data to target one or a group of specific individuals. Although companies insist that they don’t target individuals, they have all the tools that are required to do so if they mind it. This is why you will have to be wary of these tracking algorithms as their legality will depend on which activity they are used for.

Realizing the Significance of Ad Tracking

You may be surprised at this fact but when you click on a single pop-up ad, it can be embedded with algorithm which can track all your activities for months on the end. This might just be a simple marketing trick or can be malicious software that can be used for online identity theft. This is not just speculation; there have been reports  of cases where people have got credit card bills worth thousands of dollars that they have not spent.

The point here is that we are relying on the internet so much that the implications are significant. By logging in with the help of your credentials, people can pose as you, conduct transactions in your name, and even indulge in crime for which you might be later blamed.

How to Protect Yourself from These Threats

Even if you have state-of-the-art privacy protection software, make sure that you are careful about your login credentials for email, social media accounts, and especially online bank accounts. Never use public Wi-Fi networks for your bank transactions. Also, beware of anonymous social media accounts. It is one of the more popular entry points for hackers to gain access to your online accounts and impersonate you. Also, do not visit dangerous sites when your security software instructs you to. The warning is for a reason and just because you have the best security software doesn’t mean that you will be safe even if you enter a website loaded with potentially hazardous software.

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