How to monitor users on the Web: ways of commercial surveillance
Advertising on the Internet haunts the user constantly - on social networks, on news portals, in instant messengers. To make it relevant, and you only see ads that might interest you, your actions are being monitored. Ad networks monitor which sites you visit, which queries you leave in the search bar, how much time you spend on a particular page. This is done mainly for advertising purposes. Although there are exceptions.
Who is following us
Many do not even suspect who and how is following them on the Internet. Facebook monitors, VKontakte monitors, Yandex, Google monitors users. Using a navigator? Your routes and frequent places are tracked. Do you use taxi services, car sharing and airlines? A similar situation. Using a smart watch or smart bracelet? Corporations get information about your daily schedule.
Yes, surveillance over the Internet as a whole has become commonplace, many have long reconciled to it. But there are more sophisticated tracking methods. For example, eavesdropping. You can easily find a lot of examples on the Web when users began to receive advertisements for goods and services, although they didn’t enter anything like that in the search and did not visit the corresponding sites. Laptops, smartphones and tablets are becoming real ears.
For example, a man told a colleague at work that his washing machine had broken and it was time to buy a new one, and after half an hour on the Facebook page he saw an advertisement of some online store and a list of “washers” in the catalog. And this is just one of many examples. But often you, without hesitation, give applications on your smartphone access to the camera and microphone. Sticking a webcam in a laptop no longer seems paranoid, right?
Internet Tracking Methods
Internet surveillance of users is possible with the help of many tools:
1. Via trackers - invisible counters that work with cookies. The topics that sites notify you when you first visit.
2. Through your Internet service provider. Some of them simply sell information to third parties. Despite the active struggle against such, the problem is not completely eradicated.
3. Via public wifi. Any open Wi-Fi is a certain risk. And the appearance of intrusive advertising is the most harmless of them. Craftsmen can even write off money from your accounts. Think a few times before connecting to an open access point.
4. Through banking applications and services. Moreover, many modern banks do not even hide the fact that they track the activities of their customers on the Internet "to improve the service."
This is only a small part of the ways and tools by which users are monitored on the Internet. Every year there are more and more of them, and it is more and more difficult to defend against them.
How to protect yourself from Internet surveillance
Internet surveillance protection is a complex process. Here are just some recommendations that may not preclude 100% surveillance, but weaken it.
1. Encrypt messages. Use instant messengers with data encryption. For example, Telegram and WhatsApp. Although the latter is in question.
2. Use password managers: LastPass, KeePass and others. It is better to abandon the password managers built into the browser, as they are less reliable.
3. Use two-step authorization on sites and applications where possible. This is especially true of banking services - the higher the protection, the better.
4. Use VPN services to be online anonymously and mask your IP address. Moreover, we recommend using only paid and trusted VPNs. Most of the free ones also merge user information.
5. See what permissions you have given to applications on your smartphone. If there are suspicious ones, restrict access or completely delete the application. Do not install programs from unverified sources, avoid dubious pirated software.
You can use Tor Browser as a browser. It prevents spying on users of Google, Yandex, other search engines, advertising services, etc. It is rightfully one of the most secure and anonymous browsers.