Are you being tracked online? Know how to find out

02 May 2018
POSTED BY Y Magazine

We have been tracked online right from day one of the Internet era, and that’s plain truth. Robin Sebastian lists off some simple fixes

After Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica controversy, everyone started asking the question: ‘Are we being tracked or monitored online?’ The answer is a bold ‘YES’.
Even from the very beginning of the Internet era all the users have been tracked by leading service provides for various research and marketing purposes. The only difference is that, at the early stage, the number of data points tracked was limited. But now, all major search engines and social media companies are tracking all possible details of the users for marketing purposes.
Nothing is free in this world! All free digital service providers are using or selling user data to advertisers and other research agencies, as they all need to make money to run their business. Users are able to use the services free of cost from digital giants like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, etc. only because they generate revenue from advertisement. And those advertisers need to target their core audience based on available data through online platforms.
How can we control?
The only thing we can do to ensure our data privacy is to have a strict control on the access or approval we provide to these online platforms. Under various personal data protection acts, online service providers are supposed to take consent from the users before tracking their personal information. However, they will smartly keep all these terms in a very long terms and conditions document. Most of us don’t ever read the terms and conditions but accept them. We should be careful about the websites we visit and the approvals we provide them. Also, we should log out from the pages whenever they are not in use. Another way to avoid tracking our vital information is to clear the cookies and cache from our system on a regular basis.

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