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Why You Should Be Concerned with Online Privacy (Part One of Privacy Series)

While the Internet powers most everything we do on a day-to-day basis, it also makes it possible for a number of invasions of our privacy to occur on a regular basis. RESCUECOM is releasing a series of articles, of which this is the first, that will examine privacy issues people face online and demonstrate methods people can use to prevent invasions of their online privacy

Many people are unaware with the number of privacy violations occurring regularly on the Internet. In fact, most users likely don’t even realize how at risk their privacy is when they engage in popular online activities. Social networks like Facebook leave a significant amount of personal information available to the public, exposing their members.  Also, many people using free online services from major corporations like Google and Microsoft do not realize that the real price for those services usually involves the tracking of users’ activities for advertising purposes.  Corporations can track people’s web histories and uses them to send out targeted advertisements.  People’s mobile devices also constantly broadcast their location to the companies who provide them online services such as navigation and maps. One might imagine the only way to avoid having one’s information available and activities recorded is to avoid going online altogether. Unfortunately, that is not truly an option when so many essential services people use every day have an online component.

Luckily, there are ways to protect a person’s privacy online.  Advanced Internet security software will usually have features that specifically protect a user’s privacy on the web.  Some Internet security suites let users delete their browser histories at regular intervals.  Wiping a user’s web history regularly prevents companies from accessing that data and storing it for tracking purposes.  Powerful Internet security can often show viewers how companies are tracking them online. In many cases, people can check all active cookies, temporary files and plugins that put their online privacy at risk.  People can change their behavior online using this information and protect themselves against these privacy violations. The RESCUECOM Internet Security Suite uses all these features to protect our own customers’ online privacy.  We ensure that our clients have the ability to maintain their privacy with the RESCUECOM Internet Security Suite.

Some readers may wonder if concern over online privacy isn’t overhyped.  Online services such as Facebook and Google provide many convenient benefits that users have become dependent on in their lives. However, the mass collection of user data leaves the door open for egregious problems in the future.  For example, cyber criminals that hack corporations’ databases can get valuable data on millions of people all at once, putting millions at risks in some cases. In 2013, leaks about the NSA revealed that the government also takes advantage of that collected data to track American citizens.  The massive collections of user data that companies cause potential dangers just by their existence.

Future articles in this series will discuss issues surrounding social media privacy, data mining and the privacy risks of mobile devices.  Please subscribe by email or RSS feed to the RESCUECOM Blog by clicking on the buttons to the right of this article.  Subscribing will keep you up to date on important information that can help you protect yourself when dealing with technology.


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