You may not like it, but you are monitored while you are online. Your location, the websites you visit, and the links you click are all pieces of information that internet trackers may use to build your browsing history and online identity. Advertisers are especially interested in your browser history since it enables them to build a profile of you and use it to target you with their advertisements.
There is no hope of evading this online monitoring unless you download a secure and trustworthy personal VPN, which will guarantee your online safety by encrypting your data and personal information. If you do not use a VPN or other means of tracking protection, you are likely to be tracked at some point when checking your emails, browsing social media feeds, or just surfing the web.
Here are five of the most common locations where you are monitored when online:
While search engines such as Yahoo, Google, and Bing are excellent at assisting us in locating what we are searching for online, they are also infamous for monitoring our online behavior. Search engines utilize our browser history to tailor the advertisements we see and to assist companies in understanding what we are searching for and how we seek it online. While search engines are getting more adept at constructing our online profiles, this may help decrease the amount of unnecessary information shown in the search results we see. It may also compromise our online privacy and security.
Both IP addresses, which indicate our location to websites, and cookies, which are little pieces of information used by websites to record information about our browsing history, may reveal information about us. The websites we visit most often may keep cookies and even transmit information to other websites to customize the content and advertisements we see. If you’ve ever opted to ‘Login with Facebook,’ you’ve consented to the site passing information to Facebook that simplifies the account creation process for you but also allows the site to which you’re signing in to access your social network information.
Social networking sites may get information about us and our interests via the applications on our phones. Apps may also monitor our position using our phone’s GPS technology, which can subsequently be transmitted to social networking sites and other websites online. Permissions for tiresome apps may seem small, but they are critical for keeping you and your information secure online.
You may have believed that when you checked your emails, you were secure from trackers, but you were mistaken. For instance, the free email services that so many of us depend on employ monitoring techniques to customize the advertisements that they display to us. By checking, opening, and sending emails, we may also enable businesses (as well as marketers, advertisers, and even fraudsters) to monitor our online activity, since clicking on an email transmits information about us to the sender. For instance, by clicking on the email, the sender will be able to determine the device we used to access our emails and our location at the time we opened the email in question.
Accounts on social media
Advertisements like tracking you as you browse through social media profiles, since the sites we visit, the accounts we like, and the links we click all provide information that advertisers can use to create a comprehensive profile of our online activities. Advertisers may then target their advertising efforts using this information. Facebook is a particularly large dog in this monitoring arena since they collect our social media browsing history and sell it to marketers, who can then target ads based on our interests, hobbies, and other identifying characteristics. Even Instagram is getting in on the game, as the platform has created a method of geotagging user-posted pictures, which allows marketers to track our location and the posts we like.