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Protect your Privacy

Have you ever wondered how Instagram, Gmail and most other tech products are free to use? The answer is simple. You, the user, are the payment method. We get annoyed when someone peeps into our phone while we use it. This act is a deal-breaker for even close friends, but we are often casual or even ignorant of giant tech companies peeping into every single moment of our lives. Google, Facebook, now renamed Meta, and Amazon are the major players in the data market. Each click and every letter typed become data points to identify and stalk you to every corner of the internet. Nowadays, the advertisements shown are so specific that the next person will not get the same. This change brings us to the next question; how are these multinational companies tracking our online activity and following us like those filmy heroes from Tamil movies? It is cookies: not the ones with chocolate chips, but the digital cookies attached to your browser whenever you visit a site. However, not all cookies get deployed for such purposes. Essential cookies save your credentials, saving time by not making you log in every time. “Cross-site cookies” are the sinister ones you must be wary about, and currently, all websites run such cookies. There is a simple method to stop some of them. Every time you visit a new website do not click "Accept all cookies". Instead, select preferences and switch off unwanted ones. However, this will not protect you from the big sharks as their cookies are invasive and will not allow you to use their services without accepting them. This breach leaves online privacy a big old question mark.

People are becoming more aware and conscious of their data and where it is ending up. This shift in perspective has created a market for products that satisfy such interests and an alternative business model that does not revolve around data gathering. Some noteworthy companies are DuckDuckgo, Brave, mine, etc. I encourage you to read more about them if you are concerned about your privacy. These products provide you with an extra bit of privacy, but we, the user, should be more aware and try to read the terms and conditions or the privacy policy sections of the digital products we consume. While this may be a tedious process since the policies are framed to keep people from reading them. Here is where the “TOSDR” website comes to our rescue. It crowdsources summarized versions of company policies and ranks them based on their privacy. These services have gained some attraction among the mass population and are growing steadily. The virtual reality worlds are just around the corner, so we, the users, should be careful of what we share and use.

Tagged in : DATA, PRIVACY, Cookies,