Because we live in a digital age, the internet is now an essential component of our day-to-day lives. It has completely altered how we educate ourselves, communicate with one another, perform our jobs, and even go shopping. Concerns regarding users’ ability to maintain their privacy and safety while using the internet are unavoidable, despite the many advantages and benefits that the internet provides. When we use the internet, we leave a digital trail of our activities that can be followed, monitored, and used in a variety of contexts by a number of different organizations and individuals. So, how to see what google knows about you (and the rest of the internet), and how can you restrict this knowledge?
To begin, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the myriad of ways in which the internet gathers information about us. Search engines such as Google, for instance, keep a record of our previous searches, as well as our location and preferences, in order to tailor the search results they return to us and the advertisements we see. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are examples of social media platforms that keep a record of our interactions, likes, and shares in order to compile a profile of our behaviors and interests. E-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay keep track of our browsing history and purchases in order to make product suggestions.
In addition, our internet service providers, mobile carriers, and the apps we use collect data about the way we use our devices, as well as our location and the activity that occurs on the networks we connect to. All of this information can be put together to form a detailed profile of our activities and preferences while we are online. This profile can even include our personal information, such as our name, address, and other contact details.
So the question is, how can you keep a certain amount of this information secret? Here are some tips:
Make use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can encrypt your internet connection and hide your IP address, making it difficult for websites and advertisers to track your activity while you are online.
Change your privacy settings: Many websites and apps allow you to change your privacy settings, giving you control over the data that they collect and share about you. For instance, you can change the privacy settings on social media platforms to limit the people who can see your posts and the information you share about yourself.
Utilize the private browsing mode: The vast majority of web browsers come equipped with a private browsing mode that prevents your browser history, cookies, and other data from being saved.
Delete your data: If you want to limit the amount of information that is available about you online, you can delete your search history, cookies, and other data from your web browser and social media accounts.
Make use of secure passwords: Protecting the personal information you store online by establishing robust, one-of-a-kind passwords for each of your accounts is an important step towards mitigating the risk of unauthorized access.
Take precautions before disclosing any personal information: When conducting business online, it is best not to reveal sensitive personal information such as your social security number or the specifics of your bank account.
Utilize two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication increases the security of your online accounts by requiring a second verification method, such as a code sent to your phone or email.
Utilize ad-blocking software: Ad-blocking software can prevent websites and advertisers from tracking your online activity and displaying targeted advertisements.
Implement the use of a password manager: Using a password manager can assist you in coming up with robust and one-of-a-kind passwords for each of your online accounts, allowing you to better protect and manage those accounts.
Be careful when using public Wi-Fi: Because public Wi-Fi networks may not be secure, you should avoid using them for activities that involve sensitive data, such as shopping or banking online.
Maintain an up-to-date version of your software: Be sure to update your operating system, web browser, and app software on a regular basis to keep yourself protected from potential security flaws.
To summarize, the internet does collect a significant amount of data about us, but there are measures that we can take to limit the scope of this knowledge. We are able to regain control of our online privacy and security if we make use of a virtual private network (VPN), modify our privacy settings, browse the web in private mode, delete old data, select secure passwords, and exercise caution before disclosing personal information. It is critical that we are conscious of the information that is gathered about us by the internet and that we take active measures to safeguard our private data.