The internet of today can be called a big spying technique. We are so much engaged online, no matter what field we are from. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Skype are now our daily dose. We share things to people which we want to share, but what about the things that we don’t want to share with anyone, they are safe right, after all I haven’t posted a status about it, nor have I tweeted about it, nor emailed anyone. Well sadly, all the sites and advertisment company probably has those datas too. How? using behavioural tracking.
What is Behavioural Tracking?
Behavioral targeting refers to a range of technologies and techniques used by online website publishers and advertisers aimed at increasing the effectiveness of advertising using user web-browsing behavior information, the websites you visit, the apps you use and anything you do online.
How does it affect me?
When we visit facebook and other such websites, they store a cookie (a small data sent from a website and stored on your web browser that contains some information). So, when you visit any site that contains facebook like button, or facebook widgets or anything related to them, your information and usuage data is pulled by facebook or twitter or anywebsite, you don’t even have to be visiting facebook or twitter, this also works for mobile apps. Yes, all the websites you visit, all the searches you do, even your mouse movements they are being watched. Worst part is, logging out from facebook and such website isn’t enough. These datas are pulled by the advertisment company and anyone who needs them, so you are the product worth a billion of dollars and its all legal.
Should I be bothered?
You may think you have no personal data in internet, and you don’t have to worry about that. Understandable, well do one thing, go to http://profileengine.com and search for yourself, did you open an account there? :O yes, we need to be bothered and act for this cause our datas are being pulled with out us knowing it, and we don’t know what exactly are being pulled in. In future, it may affect your job, your relationship, your pride in society and well your childrens, they might be an object in future, that is a data source. So, this is the time to stand up for yourself and your future, if you don’t raise your voice no one is gonna stop it for you.
Prevention Prevention Prevention
If you are truely bothered by this and are scared what more can be done in internet, let me tell you, the man in keyboard has superpower, that is fed by you. So, to prevent it you gotta change your online behavioural. Use the tools that don’t track you, take a second to read what you are sharing before you agree to share, create awareness to people, raise your voice to the tech giants. Firefox, DuckDuckGo, Google, Reddit, Twitter all have joined in the support to Neutralize the net.
1. Use DuckDuckGo (http://duckduckgo.com) to do your online searches instead of Google or Bing
2. Use Firefox (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/), instead of chrome or crappy internet explorer. Use security plugins like
- Ghostery (it shows you what services in the website pull your data, and you can turn them off)
- Self-Destructing Cookie (Deletes cookie when you exit website)
- Turn on Do not track me system (Edit->Preference->Privact->Select->Tell sites I do not want to be tracked
3. OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/)-> I know google map is awesome and available everywhere, but if you ever want to do something without worrying about how it looks to the agents, give this a try 🙂
4. Pidgin Messenger ( http://www.pidgin.im/download/ )-> We all love to chat, facebook, hotmail, yahoo, gmail and everywhere. What if that all were combined and also did not track? Well welcome to Pidgin Messenger 🙂 and use this plugin to encrypt chats (Off-the-Record Messaging – www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/binaries/windows/pidgin-otr-3.2.1-1.exe )
5. Turn off Interest based ads on mobile
i.Android Users -> go to Settings and from there head to Google Settings (Under Accounts)->Ads-> and check Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads
ii. On Apple devices, open Settings and go to General->Restrictions->Advertising, and then click “Limit Ad Tracking.
6. Use https:// instead of http:// whenever possible -> Make sure you browse https version of sites, like https://facebook.com instead of http://facebook.com. Though these sites redirect you automatically but you get the idea
7. Raise your voice when ever possible, and be careful what you click or do online, someone is watching, Ghostery Plugin for firefox has been a boon for me
Well, hope I didn’t bored you by this, yeah it’s technical but it’s something everyone should understand and face. It affects all of us, so start improving your online behaviour and help your friends, family and anyone you know to start doing so.
#Internet #Privacy #ResetTheNet #Activism #FightForFuture #NetNeutrality