You are being tracked. Every time you browse or search the web, thousands of companies learn more information about you, simply by putting tiny pieces of tracking code on your device.
Sometimes these cookies are harmless. Often, they are used by advertising companies to build a profile on you.
More worrying, your data is split into hundreds of details and increasingly often given a score that, when combined, allow analysts to see patterns. This also forms your digital reputation. These patterns can be used to deduce personal information about you with an uncanny accuracy. And this derived personal data was never even stored in these cookies!
Derived data is even more valuable to companies than the information they get directly from your cookies.
Your digital reputation, built from those little cookies, may affect many areas of your life, without you even realizing it: You don’t get a job offer or a raise, you may be shown fewer high-paying jobs when searching, you are not accepted into the college you want, a potential landlord turns down your application, you may pay more for insurances or loans. It’s truly scary how much impact those little cookies can have on your life.
We have a right to our privacy. We have a right to own our own data: We choose who can access it, and what they can do with it.
Unfortunately, the risks posed by cookies have not been well publicised.
But, you can do something about this and start to protect your privacy today.
- Browse in private mode in Chrome, Safari or Firefox or choose to use a private browser.
- Delete your browser’s cookies, and choose to limit what cookies are allowed to be stored on your device.
- Install extensions or add-ons to use a private search engine like Findx by default.
This will limit how much information that big-data analysts can purchase from advertising companies.
Start caring about your privacy today!
When you install apps, ‘like’ a web page, or use Facebook to log into websites, you let them harvest your Facebook profile information. Take control of your online privacy and change these Facebook settings today.