People think that whatever they do on the Internet has nothing to do with their privacy. When they post something on social media, they choose what they want to share. After all, it’s their personal account.
But if you see to it clearly you don’t own anything on the Internet.
In a 2015 survey, about 74% of Americans said that internet privacy is very important for them. And they do believe that privacy is now threatened and lost control over their collected personal information. While the remaining percent do not care at all about the risk of their personal information.
They believe that they don’t need it because they don’t have anything to hide.
If you’re unaware of the risk, let me give you some idea of why you should be.
Organizations keep personal information
Some people may think that they have a lot of control over their information. But there are various organizations that keep personal information of the user.
And what’s more concerning is that people have the will to share their personal information and trust in social networking sites and/or applications. They also expressed their trust in a health insurance company, bank, and credit card company.
An example of this is the Facebook app. How do you think Facebook became a 560 billion dollar company?
It is by collecting personal data, then being sold to companies.
Did you know? Facebook had the most successful system that is used for compiling and purveying their consumers’ data. Simply install the app, input personal information. You cannot even say this is a security breach as you voluntarily put all information they can legally access.
Mobile Applications can access your data
Another example are the mobile game applications, the first thing you need to do is log in your email account to create an account before you continue to use the app.
Have you ever tried to read a single word or sentence of the ‘Terms and Condition’ after opening the app? Well, you should be as there is the agreement where it says that the company can access your data and can share it with 3rd parties. And this violates your privacy on the internet.
The company can access your data and can share it with 3rd parties.
This leads to collecting your data and selling without you even noticing. The Internet is nothing but just the network between multiple servers, where the data is stored and the companies that own these servers own all your data.
Tracking your location through your device
The same goes for the location tracker enabled on your mobile phone. It allows dozens or more of those data-gathering companies to collect your data.
They can track your location through your device. Use your own computer, your IP address can narrow down your location.
It also tracks you all day using any android device that is mobile.
There are more than 1000 apps that track you and this includes Google Maps, Uber, Waze, Tinder, and Facebook.
Use a VPN to encrypt your data
You might want to take action using a VPN (Virtual Privacy Network). It is a private network that encrypts and transmits data while traveling from one place to another using your Internet.
Once you connect to the Internet with a VPN you can browse on a website privately and securely. In addition, you can access a restricted website and overcome censorship blocks. It prevents browsing from being tracked.
You can also use a VPN to bypass Medium’s metered paywall here.
VPN works not only by securing your browsing with an encrypted connection. It also helps in so many ways such as making public WiFi safer, stream regionally blocked content, Access to blocked websites, avoid censorship, prevent ISP tracking, and most especially to prevent price discrimination.
VPN is not just for desktop and laptops. It also works with android phones, iPhone, and iPad too.
Practice personal cautiousness
You can also protect your data privacy by being cautious all the time.
Always use encryption, clear cookies, never fall in any suspicious links asking for an account and personal info, always disable your location, and use Ad-blocker.
Always be mindful about giving access permission to any app you install or update.
We are in an era where personal information is more expensive than oil. So be careful of what you post and share online. It might use for crimes otherwise use by individuals or companies for their benefits.
Originally published on Medium.