Saturday, May 7, 2011

Every move you make online is being tracked.

Every move you make online is being tracked.

Identity thieves are not the only prying eyes on the internet. Mainstream Web sites and their advertising partners track your cyber moves as well. Some is innocent, and some is beneficial. However, online tracking often crosses the line with a worrisome invasion of our privacy. 
Sites routinely sell information about you to other companies and entities, all of which they eagerly gather simply by installing tracking files onto our computer, without our permission. This allows tracking companies to lurk unseen on their sites, gathering scads of information about us.

Not only are the shopping sites guilty, but also Media companies who then sell information on what articles we read, as do some Charities about what interests us. And, then there is the ever hungry government agencies that are compiling files of all sorts of information about us.

It's just a fact that there are many many eyes associated with these online sites including such Gov't. agencies as, IRS, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, ATF, INS, and including unions, neighbors, friends, enemies, con-artists, etc. 
All are super thrilled that they have uncovered an authenticated stream of personal information on most Americans, and including a recent photo, birth date, friends, relatives, likes, dislikes. All foolishly but innocently volunteered by us on social sites spread out all over cyber space.

Singles, and dating sites are chocked full of all sorts of intimate statistics you are required to submit when signing up for membership. Nowhere else could this information be gathered regarding your most personal and intimate details that we trustingly post online for so many abusers to view, and possibly exploit.
This unauthorized sharing of your personal information targets your weaknesses, your passions, your reading agenda, your sexual preferences, and on, and on , and on.

What can you do?
1.   Use an ad-tracker tracker: These programs don’t stop the spying process but do alert you that you are being watched and then decide if you choose to visit those sites in the future.

2.   Opt out of tracking: Many online advertisers and companies that sell information allow internet users to opt-out of internet tracking by signing up with an opt-out service. Some Opt-out services include: …. …..and

Several web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are  starting to offer ways to permanently otp-out of ad tracking. However, less ethical advertisers do not participate in these opt-out programs. 

Other suggestions are, to clear your cookie cache from your computer. If you do, you will however have to replace some information to those sites that you want to access quickly such as online-banking, and sites that recognize your cyber-cookie-footprint when you visit them. Other options include: Adjusting your browser settings for greater privacy, and by avoiding sites that do a poor job of protecting user privacy.