Are you concerned about your privacy? Maybe not if you are one out of millions that may have a Twitter, Facebook or Google account. Sometimes you just throw up you hands and say its the price we pay for ‘free services’. Are those services free however? What about those online stores you visit or the blogs you post on or all the online searches you use?
Obviously the Internet is a resource / research friendly environment and those clever YouTube videos just have to be viewed and sometimes posted by you. All of this seemingly friendly information and entertainment takes a lot of money to provide these services and in case you didn’t already know it, several hundred millionaires and a few billionaires have gained their wealth through someone like yourself.
How did they make money off of me and if so is that all that bad? This is one of those gray area questions which can only be answered by you and what you want to have happen when you visit a site. Sometimes we knowingly give up some of our privacy when we sign up for services such as Facebook, Google or Twitter. These companies originally signed up users with policies assuring the public they are not going to sell of your private information. As time passed and advertising money spent, the policies have changed too. In the case of Facebook, there’s been a retraction of some of their marketing and sharing your personal information. This may change. As I wrote in an earlier blog post, Google is going to change their policy toward what they share among their various internal enterprises. This may also evolve.
There’s another more insidious less well known to the non-technical community sharing of your browsing and shopping habits. This is done through tracking your site visits and observing what you view. Small tacking data is placed on your computer which reports your online movements to companies willing to pay for these covert audits of your browsing behavior. If you wonder why the advertisements seem to know where you live and what you like to look at, its because some companies are tracking you and selling this information. If this bothers you, it does me, then I recommend you install Mozilla Firefox as your browser rather than Internet Explorer. Don’t use Google Chrome if you want your privacy. Next install this add on to the Firefox browser; Do Not Track Plus.
Next as a routine I use this software to remove items which are unwanted and usually get added without my permission; CCleaner. This will often times help your PC to run faster. Some of these tracking programs are like barnacles on the bottom of a ship and they too must be removed.
You might also want to click on the Tech Tab up above and check out my recommendations for My Top Picks in Tech Tools.
- Mozilla Addresses Online Tracking With Collusion (webpronews.com)
- The Google Cookie That Seems to Come Out of Nowhere (blogs.wsj.com)
- Google Privacy Blocks Websites From Tracking You (ghacks.net)
- Google Reverses Course On Do Not Track; White House Pushes Privacy (tech.li)
- 4 Must Have Browser Addons To Protect Your Online Privacy (maketecheasier.com)
- Find out who is tracking you Online : Collusion Add On for Firefox (skywatchmelle.wordpress.com)