THIRD PARTY TRACKING
Almost everything that you do online is tracked, logged and recorded. An average internet users activity is tracked over 2,000 times on average per day. Huge amounts of data are being collected and almost everything that we do produces data that companies are wanting to use.
Big data is the information that marketers collect online to use as tools for advertising. Data is collected and analyzed so that the information can be used to understand certain correlations in order to profit from them.
One way that this data can be collected is through the use of third party trackers. Cookies are an example of trackers that gather small pieces of data stored on your hard drive that can track your online behaviour. Cookies can tailor advertisements to you based on the content that you have searched online. They are notable to access the information that is stored on a computer hard drive itself, but they are able to monitor your online activity and interaction with the web. Cookies can then pass on this data to third party sites without your knowledge or consent. Ads that are customized to your own interests can be seen as a benefit to some people. However, it can also be seen as an invasion of privacy, as large companies and the government actively collect and store this information about you.
Another big change in the past few years has been the switch to storing information and documents online as opposed to on a hard drive. This is known as Cloud computing. Cloud computing can be extremely beneficial as it allows you to access files from anywhere with an Internet connection and reduces the amount of storage required on computer devices itself. The drawback of online storage however is the chance that accounts can be hacked, therefore making this content vulnerable to being compromised. It is important to understand these major aspects of the online world in order to properly manage your online privacy.
Here are some tips:
- Use browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Duck Duck Go. These examples do not track your movements on the web
- Disable or control cookies on your browser
- Use ad block
- Install Light Beam onto your Mozilla Firefox to see how many third party sites you have interacted with
- Have strong passwords for any sites used for uploading information
Here is a creative commons licensed video about an add on called Disconnect that prevents Facebook from tracking you:
Dwoskin, Elizabeth. “Give Me Back My Online Privacy.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 23 Mar. 2014. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304704504579432823496404570
“Privacy Concerns on Cookies.” All About Computer Cookies. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. http://www.allaboutcookies.org/privacy-concerns/
“What Are Cookies?” BBC News. BBC, 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/