(Last Updated On: June 24, 2019)

Online privacy is a myth. As soon as you go online, you automatically start sending data. It starts with your browser which reports different kinds of details of your system. For instance, it reports your IP address which can be used by anyone to identify your geographical location. It even reports the specs of your computer system which includes the OS, CPU and GPU, device-type (mobile, PC, tablet, etc.).

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Most of the websites you visit also collect your data even if you are using the browser in private mode or incognito mode. Social media is notorious for this and there is a lot that you may not know about how Facebook uses your data. This is because the social media giant compiles personal information like your gender, age, employer, relationship status, etc. and capitalizes it for displaying targeted ads. Many reports have also confirmed that it has allowed other companies to steal your personal data.

How Websites Track Data?

The majority of websites use cookies to store user information and track their online activities. These include popular names like Facebook and Google which can keep track of what you search online even after you leave their websites to visit others. Of course, these websites also store the information provided by you through the users you have added, pages you have liked, etc.

An interesting incident that portrays the murky picture of how user privacy and confidentiality is openly violated by a large number of websites today concerns a Minnesota man who got miffed as retailer Target was sending his daughter coupons for baby clothes. He got so angry that he called up the company to complain. However, what he came to know was that his daughter was indeed pregnant and Target’s online tracking technology was so accurate that it was able to deduct that the girl was pregnant on the basis of the products she was looking for online.

Here is the thing- you may protect your data from hackers by learning how to create secure passwords and using antivirus programs. However, there isn’t a lot you can do to prevent websites from stealing your data unless you take some responsibility.  

You Are Giving Too Much Information

It’s one thing that the websites are tracking your online activities for commercial gains. However, it’s a completely different thing that you yourself are providing the information without even knowing. For instance, when you create new email accounts, you often give away your date of birth, address, contact number, etc. When you are traveling and share your check-ins on social media, then you let the world know your location. It’s important that you are aware of what you are sharing, and try to limit this whenever possible.

Privacy is your fundamental right. Unfortunately, it becomes void in the realm of the blogosphere. That said, if you don’t want to be snooped or become a victim of identity fraud, then you can learn about some of the best privacy practices online. For instance, you can visit this Internet security portal to find the most secure and robust online programs that you can use for privacy and security. Here you can learn how you can use VPN programs to access the Internet under anonymity. You can also stay up to date with the most recent online threats that you need to steer clear of. Good luck!

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