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Privacy under threat: Protecting yourself in the digital world

Posted by on in Internet Privacy
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You may not realize it, but every time you go online, each move you make is being tracked and targeted. For instance, simply searching for a medical condition on the Internet can lead to a related ad popping up on your screen.

"We are so not private when we are out surfing on the Internet," said technology expert Mike Agerbo, “They implant little cookies, little software programs onto your web browser so they can track you no matter where you go after you have visited that initial site."

A recent survey by Consumer Reports found that 60 per cent of people find digital tracking very intrusive.

"It happens all the time. And we just think that companies should be able, in simple language, to tell you what information is being collected and how it's being used," Jerry Belinson, Consumer Reports electronics editor.

But you can take control and find out who’s tracking you and why with web extensions like Disconnect or Ghostery.

When it comes to limiting your digital tracking:

  • Install an ad blocker, such as Privacy Badger. It blocks ads that come with tracking software.
  • Check your phone settings to identify which apps are tracking your location, and turn off any that don’t need to know.
  • If an unfamiliar website demands your email address, go to a site like 10minutemail.com, where you can get a temporary email that self-destructs after you use it.
  • Be cautious of Google. It collects a tremendous amount of information about you, and it does that no matter where you go online through Google search, Google maps, YouTube or Gmail.

You can see just how much Google tracks if you look under “My account” and then “My activity.” There are also alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo that don’t track their users. But be warned.

"Even though you think that you're completely private on these private broswers, Internet service providers can actually track where you're going essentially," said Agerbo.

Alternative search engines also won’t hide your browsing from your employer or the websites you visit.

Here are some other tips you can do to protect your privacy and security:

  • Don't completely fill out profiles on social media.
  • Create fake responses when setting up security questions, like making up a mother's maiden name. Just make sure you remember it.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts.

Be very careful on open WiFi networks, like browsing at the airport. You should assume everything you search for is public. But also be careful about your device automatically connecting to familiar networks. A hacker can set up a rogue network with the same name as a legitimate one and trick your gadgets into joining it.

Source : ctvnews

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