Web Sites Are Gathering Our Personal Information. How To Avoid It?
But most of those services consider processing your personal information on the web. All the web resources are obliged to inform you about the fact that they have recieved your personal information and the terms of processing it, many of them conceal that fact. That's why we at Jammer-Store Inc. have preapared this short guide on how web sites gather and process your personal information.
First of all, if we skip the most complicated and sophisticated patterns, webistes has 2 options of getting your personal information:
- When you try to reach a web site your browser sends your IP address, location, info on operational system and screen resolution to a server.
- When you fill in and submit any form on the site, it is saved on the server.
Server needs to know your IP address to know where he must send the web page and the information about the OS, browser and screen resolution is necessary to make sure that the web page will be displayed correctly on your device. Also the server gets the information about from which page you came from. Any web site saves some information about you, but it may be stored not only at the server itself, but at your device too. In that case cookies are used.
Cookie is a small portion of text data, stored at your local machine. Cookies are created by a server and while surfing the net you are accepting cookies from various web sites. They may contain information that you have entered into various web forms and login/passwords combinations for the sites you are currently logged in. All the activity with cookies is in the background mode, but you can set up your browser to ask permissions for all those operations.
We also have to mention that a leader on gathering personal information is Google Inc. It was 2009 when Google has provided a new «personalized» or so called adaptive search algorithm. Now Google gathers information about your previous searches, browsing history and location to provide you the best results and the links, which you will probably click. It led to the fact that if two different people on two different devices will google similar things, they will get quite different results.
We should also mention that such personal information gathering may be extremely dangerous for smartphone and mobile Internet users. The main reason here hides in the fact that we store lots of personal and sometimes really sensitive information in our mobile gadgets. The information we were talking about includes text messages, contact list, all the files and the data from our GPS module. It is dangerous because many sites can locate us not only using an IP address, that can be easily replaced with a proxy, but using GPS data and cell tower triangulation.
Recently we have written about how Verizon Wireless started to sell customer's information to major advertisers. The company has passed them the info about your location, gender and age so advertisers are now able to provide you relevant ads based on your location. While that information was depersonalized that fact showed us that major cell service carriers can easily track us down.
You should know that such a tracking using browser data or a data provided by satellite navigation may be really useful not only for advertisers, but for law enforcement as well. It will make easier to fight with cyber crimes or mobile frauds. On the other hand it may help various criminals as well. As we've already mentioned, it is possible to locate you not only with GPS, but with cell network data too. In that case your approximate coordinates are calculated between three closest cell towers. The only way how to stop that – is to use a combined GSM/GPS jamming device. That signal blocker will hide you from any kind of tracking.
Internet is not a really safe place, it has its own hidden dangers and menaces, but we hope that our small guide will help you to avoid at least some of them!