Internet Privacy

When you think of privacy, you might think more physical privacy, but I am here to shift that privacy thought to the digital aspect. With everything from banking, shopping, movies, or social media, there is an important discussion being had worldwide. This discussion is internet privacy. Believe it or not, websites are rather efficient with tracking browsing data to better focus products for that specific individual. Let’s look at the example of television commercials. We can all agree that television commercials try to target a specific group. You would expect a channel aimed towards children to have advertisements aimed to appeal that younger crowd and rightly so. On the internet, advertisement’s often are different from person to person based on the history of the individual. This is due to the ways websites track and shares what you are doing online to provide more focused advertisements for your interests. Yes, this means might know a bit more about you than you may imagine or want.

All of the recommendations you see on your favorite websites are from gathering data from you to provide that recommendation. Whether it’s a book that is similar to one you bought recently, or if it’s a movie recommended due to another movie with the same actor as a previously watched movie. It is all around you while on the internet whether you realize it or not. Understanding what is being tracked you should be checking the terms of use for any sites you are signing up for to ensure you are aware of information they will use. What should you do? That’s a tough question and the answer will be different for everyone. Some may not care at all about the tracking. Honestly it is sometimes convenient to see a recommended video on YouTube. Others may want complete privacy and for them there are some tactics out there to aid privacy. An article written by Troy Hunt, titled “Going dark: online privacy and anonymity for normal people” details the methods used by various websites and how searches are tracked. Using some simple techniques, one can mitigate tracking. I recommend reading his article linked HERE for some tips and tricks.

Being informed is the first step for you and hopefully this article provided you with some insight into privacy and the internet. Everyone has their own preferences and remember while online to treat everything you do as if it is all public, there is a good chance it might just be that! Public! Safe surfing folks!

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