Is someone watching you?

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A laptop with a Venetian blind as a desktop image. But there's a twist! Binoculars peek through the blind. Nice.

Are you? The brief answer is: probably.

This post is going to take a look at the essential ways third parties could be snooping on your online activities now.

Government surveillance

These are just the programs we know about, based on leaked information. So there’s also the possibility that secret and new surveillance programs are currently spying on us in other ways, too.

  • Emails, messages and other data from your accounts with AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo, YouTube, and others
  • Internet traffic passing through undersea fiber optic cables, which it taps in collaboration with governments around the world
  • Cell phone locations in some countries outside the U.S. It collects around 5 billion records per day

You might have procured computers and your network with firewall and security software. You probably have an authenticated connection. But is the path that your data takes when it is transmitted by you ?

Unless you are using a VPN, not very. When they reach their destination, when you receive or send data packets online, you know. But you don’t know that might have made a copy — or which networks that data passed through to this destination. It’s possible your traffic is being spied on, by other parties as well as government agencies. Kinds comprise:

Unsecure internet connections

Keyloggers — These programs record every keystroke you to track your activity or steal information, make and send it to a third party.

Adware — Sites you visit are monitored and sent to a third party, which uses the data to target advertisements based on your surfing history.

Malicious software

Spyware — Software that seems to serve a function but steals your data. The CoolWebSearch download presented itself but it also stole account credentials chatlogs, bank info and more.

Web advertising distribution networks get a cookie from your browser every time you see one of their advertisements. Each cookie includes information that identifies youpersonally, either by your IP address or your browser’s unique identifier. You will see their ads on lots of different sites

If the ad distributor is large enough. And they’ll get a cookie each time. The result is that the advertiser apply the data to target ads and can monitor your surfing activity.

Most commercial websites now warn you that”This website uses cookies to improve the user experience.”

Third-party tracking cookies

Whether or not this represents spying is a matter of perspective. But these tracking cookies could undoubtedly be regarded as a sneaky invasion of your privacy. Consider the following steps,

If you want to protect your data from surveillance that is confidential.

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Whether or not this constitutes spying is a matter of perspective. But these tracking cookies could undoubtedly be considered a sneaky invasion of your privacy.

Measures to protect you from spies

If you want to protect your data from secret surveillance, consider the following steps.

  • Use a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic, so spies can’t open data packets even if they intercept them
  • Install security software and keep it up to date, to protect your computer from malware and hackers
  • Disable third-party cookies in your browser. It’s a simple option in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and others.
  • TAGS
  • Government
  • Surveillance
  • Technology

Lexie
Lexie is the blog’s resident tech expert and gets excited about empowerment through technology, space travel, and pancakes with blueberries.

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