Many people have started to show awareness about their online actions, and the popularity of VPN services has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. But if you take some time to explore how things work, you’ll quickly realize that it’s all an illusion. Both private companies and government agencies have more interest in your actions than ever before. Data collection and analysis happens at every step you take online, and you’re only fooling yourself if you think that you’re doing anything to stay hidden from Big Brother.
A proxy can sometimes be useful for staying concealed, especially if you switch accounts often. However, if you’re hearing about proxies for the first time, head over to Technologywolf blog for more information. Note, that you will still need to revaluate your online behaviour on a much larger scale to realize the full benefit.
What you should be doing instead of trying to conceal your tracks is to revaluate how you act online. If you are not comfortable with something being made public and tied to your name, then you should never post it in the first place, no matter how anonymous the platform might be claiming to be.
Limiting Your Social Media Activity Doesn’t Help Much
Facebook has been dying down in some groups. People post less and less, and some disable or delete their accounts permanently. And while not having a social media profile can make it a bit more difficult to obtain information about you, it doesn’t prevent it completely. Your friends can be used to gain knowledge about you just as well, often without them even realizing anything. You might not have your significant other listed on your profile, but some analysis on your posts can reveal patterns in the ways people like and comment on them. This can easily identify connections that you interact with more regularly.
If you install Facebook on your phone and give it access to your contacts, it now knows the phone number of every single person you have in there, and that’s tied to their Facebook profile on the backend without notifying anyone. That’s how the platform knows so much about you that you’ve never submitted yourself. All it takes is one other person to post a detail about you, and it’s captured immediately.
Does Your Phone Automatically Connect to Open Wi-Fi Networks?
Smartphones can be very convenient for simplifying various parts of our daily lives, especially when it comes to having constant access to the internet. And because we like to save those precious megabytes in our data plans, most of us keep Wi-Fi enabled at all times. You might not even realize it, but just by walking around a few busy streets in a big city, your phone will probably connect to a dozen different open networks as soon as it finds something available.
Many of those networks might be configured in some less trustworthy ways, capturing connection logs, and exchanging that data with others. In some cases, your entire daily schedule can be reconstructed just on the basis of those connections.
Cookies, Clearing History, Private Browsing – It’s All Pointless
Clearing out your browsing history can be nice if you don’t want people you share your devices with to know what you’ve been up to. The same goes for deleting cookies and using incognito mode. But it does absolutely nothing to stop others from trying to identify and track you online. Digital fingerprinting relies on a lot more than a logged-in account, and it can be quite advanced these days. You can even change devices and certain systems will still be able to identify you and link your activities to your main profile. There’s simply no escaping that, so it’s best to just realize that all of these actions are only intended to keep you safe on a local level. And while they’re great for that, they should never be trusted for clearing your tracks online. At this point, that’s pretty much impossible.
The Walls Have Ears… Literally
Smart homes are gaining popularity fast. People seem to be all over the idea of turning on their lights from their smartphones, for some reason. Some invest thousands of dollars into making their homes completely connected in every aspect currently available. But is that extra bit of convenience worth the huge privacy violations you’re willingly introducing into your own home? If you have a device like Alexa, you can be pretty much certain that it’s recording you and analysing your behaviour in more ways than it says openly.
It’s strange to see so many people doing this completely voluntarily, and it will probably only get worse. If you want to buy a new TV today, finding one without smart features is a huge chore, and it can be almost impossible if you want a high-quality model that doesn’t have a ridiculous price tag. This hasn’t happened with many other devices yet, but it’s not far-fetched to assume that a decade from now, every lightbulb you buy will require a smart system to operate. At some point, even speaking in your own home won’t keep you safe from the prying eyes of the internet.
It’s best to get used to this as soon as possible. You can’t expect these trends to vanish because many companies (and government bodies) have a strong interest in continuing this trend. And can you really blame them? When people have made it clear that they are willing to voluntarily give up so much of their information for free, why wouldn’t those organizations take advantage of that if it benefits them?