There are number of imformations websites can collect from your computer about you. Websites can track your IP address, your location and even your gender and age range e.g 18-25 or 25-34.
What Information Can Websites Collect?
Do you know that you are being stalked every day and every second you come online? It might be funny, but it’s true. You must have encountered similar kinds of ads after running a certain query on Google. For example, you just visited Flipkart and checked out a collection of shoes. You quit the tab and simply moved on to the other website.
Later you find out that you are being shown shoes related ads from different online retailers. This happens all the time and it has become so common that we don’t even care about this much.
If you ask somebody, if that bothers you then you will most likely find the answer with “NO.” Since most of us know that all sites track cookies, we feel that it is part and parcel of using the Internet.
But this is not the case. Wish it was just limited to cookies, now all your activity, searches, time spent on sites you visit, everything is getting tracked and stored to generate high ads revenue and provide a better platform for the advertisers. Now you know why websites track browsing activity.
Though, we have to accept that these tracking are not dangerous and your identity is not at risk but we have to be careful especially where your money is involved.
How to prevent websites from tracking you
Some Tips for a Safer Internet Environment
Though it is almost impossible of not being tracked while using the Internet, here are some tips that you must keep in mind whenever you come online either via Smartphone or the personal computer.
- Always keep your webcam covered. We visit countless websites on any given day. You never know that your computer has been injected with a malware that is tracking every move of yours and recording your face while you are sitting and browsing the Internet without any kind of suspicion.
- Incognito mode – It is a myth among the naive Internet users that incognito mode is bulletproof shield against hackers. The only thing that incognito mode helps you in is that it doesn’t store browsing history. Apart from this all your actions get tracked by the site you are visiting.
- Don’t be logged in Social Media Sites – Many times we have Facebook opened in one tab and in other tabs we are doing our work or visiting random sites. You know what; Facebook has his eye on you. Don’t make it so easy for these companies to track your every move. While Facebook will be using this for increasing its revenue by providing you ads of your interest, but there are many sites which might use this information unethically or even sell your information.
Similarly, don’t browse and open email simultaneously. It’s little bit uncomfortable but privacy should be your utmost priority while you are online.
How to check if someone is monitoring your computer?
Check your outgoing traffic
Step 1 – Click on Start button and type ‘cmd’ to launch the command window.
Step 2 – Type ‘netstat’ next to the prompt and hit Enter. This command will generate all the outgoing traffic from your computer.
A list of IP addresses will be generated where all the traffic is going from your computer. Check each IP address and make sure that all addresses are legit. In case of suspicion, you can take help of tools like this https://safeweb.norton.com/.
It is best practise to close all the programs and apps on your computer and just keep only one tab of the Internet browser opened when checking the outgoing traffic.