In 2013 Data Privacy Is Cool, And A Real Pain
So I was reading up on some articles recently written about data privacy. Apparently Jan 28 was Data Privacy Day. Wow, I don’t know when that started happening, but I guess the Western World is headed in the way of Asia which now (I attribute it to the long history of civilization over there) has a holiday for pretty much every day of the year.
Anyway, Data Privacy Day has come and gone, but we’re still left with the question of how to actually obtain privacy online. It’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s hard. And a real pain in the ass to actually keep up on keeping people out of your personal business. There are a number of tools available online, but the point is that you basically have to re-learn how to use the internet if you really want to make the effort to ‘go private’.
Here are some places you’ll need to start.
Tracker Detectors and Blockers
There are tons of tricky ways websites can track you, including special ‘pixels’ or tags embedded in pages. No one knows they’re there, and you need to download software to actually detect them. Ghostery was recommended; it’s an extension for your browser.
Cookie Detectors and Blockers
Same thing as above. While the previous example was for tracking on-site behavior, cookies actually follow you activity off site. I’m sure this was the invention of an advertising company, because they’ll pretty much do anything to find out where you’re spending your money. Disconnect.me can find and block these.
Browser extensions may be the way to fix other sites tracking you, but what happens your browser is doing the tracking? If you weren’t careful, you might have signed over tons of private data to Google, Firefox, or whatever you’re browsing with. Privacy Fix deals with this
Facebook and Twitter, now that they’ve sold their sounds to Corporate America, are busy trying to find ways to ‘monetize’ their user base. Facebook ads and sponsored tweets are still in their infancy. In the future, I imagine that these sites will be unusable except by the developing world, much of which doesn’t mind hoards of advertisements.
Virtual Private Networks
Of course, VPNs are the heart and soul of Mr. VPN. We can make our activity online as private as we want, but it still won’t protect us from governments, internet service providers, network administrators (at work or otherwise), and of course your friendly neighborhood identity thief.
This type of privacy invasion is not just about tracking clicks, buys, or ‘events’ online. It’s about finding out WHO you are and WHAT you do. It’s about taking your identity, stealing your money, and spying on you.
VPNs protect you in more ways than one; we’ve been over than many times here. You’re protect not just through data encryption, but also by using private VPN tunnels to communicate over the unsecure internet.
There are plenty of VPN services to choose from. Choose a Top 10 based on your locations.