what does internet know about me

What does the Internet Know About You?

Do you know what the Internet knows about you? In this era, where many more people are using the internet for different purposes, a few understand the amount of their information collected and stored. ISP’s, web browsers and social media platforms, collect and store personal data for different uses.  Some uses of the data are to help provide better user experiences while using the internet. However, other uses of the collected data may not be used to the benefit of the user.  Data collected is used to create profiles for targeted marketing which may not amuse many users if they found out.  However, there are various ways of ensuring that the internet does not collect user data. The use of VPNs, Tor Browser, disabling JavaScript and turning off location access are some of the strategies that can be used to maximize user privacy.

What ISP knows about you?

You might not have taken so much thought into it, but your ISP knows pretty much about everything you do online.  ISP’s capture and retain any data that you enter and transmitted through them thus ensuring that they know so much about their users.  It is important to understand that they have some set privacy terms which are meant to protect your information but this does mean that they cannot maneuver through them to make use of it.  One of the ways in which this happens is by working with marketers who pay the ISPs to conduct targeted marketing to potential clients. ISPs are in the business of making profits and they will ensure that they take any opportunity to maximize their returns.  Marketers are in the business of getting customers and they will pay ISP’s good money if they are sure that the information they send gets to potential customers through the profiles created.

One may wonder how this happens, yet they do not share any personal information online. However, by recording the URLs, pages, online/offline habits and the amount spent on websites they can create a good profile of a user.  The information helps them understand the user’s interests, gender and habits thus ensuring that they can send targeted marketing messages.  If you are not keen enough and enter more detailed information such as name, phone numbers, emails and location, then this is much better to them as they now have a complete profile and are sure of their users’ identity.

If you have been thinking of ways on how to block ISP tracking, then there is some good news. There are various ways in which you can block ISP tracking to enhance your online security and privacy.

One of the steps that can be taken to block ISP tracking is that of using HTTPS instead of HTTP. HTTPS ensures that any data that you send through your ISP is encrypted preventing them from gathering any information about you.

Using Tor browser is also another way in which you can hide your tracks online. The browser assigns users new VPN’s making it difficult for the ISP to know the user. Offshore VPN’s can also help in blocking ISP tracking since they do not log any information that you log in online. This ensures that the ISP does not have a record of your data.

The last step that you can opt for to ensure that your online activity is protected from any form of tracking is that of altering your computer DNS. Computers automatically pick the ISP’s DNS and using a different DNS such as OpenDNS ensures that your activities online cannot be tracked.

What Browser Knows About you?

Your Web browser is another program that can be used to record your information and track your activities online. It is important to understand that web browsers are important as they help one easily access and navigate the internet.  However, the moment you begin using them, they record all your movements and hardware details thus interfering with your privacy. If you want to understand the level of information that your browser collects about you, Webkay.robinlinus.com and Clickclickclick.click are some of the websites that provide detailed information about your activities.

Web browsers collect and store your hardware information thus creating your profile.  By using JavaScript, web browsers can collect information about your CPU, the number of processor cores, display resolution, and color depth. It is important to note that even some computer users do not know much about the hardware they use yet the browser collects this data and profiles them.  The browser also collects information about software installed on the computer.  Some of the software that the browser is quick to collect data about are the operating system and any browser plugins that may be installed. These are important as they ensure that it customizes pages visited for great user experience. Social media information is can also be easily collected by the browser.  It is also important to note that your location and simple tasks such as the direction you move your cursor are also not safe from the browser data collection capabilities.

However, there are steps that you can take to prevent the browser from tracking your activities and recording your data. One of the steps that you can take is restricting it from using the location services. This can be changed easily under the security and privacy panel. To stop the browser from gathering software information, you can block Javascript. However, this may affect the operation of some software. The use of VPNs and Tor Browser can also help in ensuring that you browse anonymously without your browser sniffing your activities.

What social media websites and apps know about you?

Have you ever wondered how social media websites get to show you things you have been thinking lately? You may not know it, but social medial platforms collect and store a lot of the users’ data. The data helps send targeted information and adverts to you. This achieved by agreeing to their privacy policies when signing up.

One of the things that social media apps and websites record about you is your geographical location.  This is happening by allowing the platforms to use your location feature on your computer or phone. By accessing your location information, social media platforms can send you information about a particular location such as restaurants nearby and places of interest. This has an effect on the decisions you make while visiting new places.

The social media websites also have a record of what you search online. This helps them understand your interests.  The profiles created by social media platforms ensure that they are able to send targeted ads. It is also important to understand that while signing up on the different social media platforms such as Facebook, one is required to enter some personal details.  This helps in narrowing down the users’ profiles thus designing an experiencing based on them.   Other things that that are recorded are views about different topics, purchases made and in some instance your speech depending on microphone settings. It is important to ensure that one is wary of the information that they input and share as this may have an influence on their social media platforms.


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