How can I prevent companies like Facebook, Google, and my ISP from spying on me?

 

 

You may soon have little control over your browsing history and how it is shared. If that statement makes you a little nervous, it should. However, there may be some ways you can prevent certain companies from spying on you.

 

So, what exactly is all this talk about your browsing data and information becoming available to the highest bidder? Here’s a little back story…

 

In the final days of the Obama administration, the FCC approved privacy protections that would’ve required internet service providers to get your permission before collecting and sharing your web browsing history, geo-location, and app usage.

 

This past Tuesday, before these rules even had the chance to go into effect, the House of Representatives voted to repeal them. In a world where more and more devices are being connected to the internet, this would’ve been a safeguard against companies making money from your searches.

 

Today, sites like Google and Facebook use cookies to target ads based on your recent web searches. The cookies track what you’ve been searching and then advertise those things on other websites you visit. Cookies aren’t necessarily a bad thing and you can block them. Keep in mind, blocking them may cause some sites from displaying the data correctly.

 

While there are some companies such as, Privacy Badger, that will prevent advertisers form tracking your web search activity, but they do not stop your internet provider from doing so. Other tools like browsing using the “incognito” mode or in “private” mode will prevent the browser from storing your information, but once again, your internet service provider still has this information.

 

So, what options do you have?

Well, you can use a VPN, Virtual Private Network. A VPN will protect your activity, even from your internet provider. As with anything, ensure you do your research. Some VPNs claim to protect your information but their privacy policies allow them to track and sell your data to advertisers. This is especially true with free VPNs.

 

With all this talk in the news about internet security, it makes it even easier for free VPNs to prey on innocent consumers. It’s crucial to do your due diligence and read privacy agreements carefully. If you have a professional you use for your internet and computer needs, it may be a good idea to speak to them about options that may be right for you.

 

The Tech Zen performs IT services for residential and small business clients through-out South Florida. If you feel you may have been compromised or want to see that you are protected with proper antivirus software and backup solution contact us for a free phone consultation.

 

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