5 Risks to Your Online Privacy

Logically last week’s announcement of a multinational security firm now capable of using data from social networking sites to determine future behavior and to track movement, has raised questions about Internet privacy and ethics.  Questions such as; How much data should companies be permitted to keep about people?  Would the online experience improve if advertising became even more personalized?

To find out how Raytheon, can obtain an entire snapshot of a person’s life, watch the video obtained by The Guardian here.

Sure regulation will catch up with the creator’s of new and innovative ways to spy on us, but for now let’s look at 5 current risks to online privacy courtesy of Left Foot Forward.

1. Smartphones

According to an RT report, “Every time you use a smartphone app your personal information – emails, phone numbers and even photos – is sent off to dozens of Internet companies all over the world. And you are the one who is allowing them access.”  Access is allowed once you accept the license agreement to use the app.

Government and hackers have the ability to track individuals via their smartphones and soon police may be allowed to monitor these movements without a warrant.

2. Your Friends

The more time you spend online the more you’re at the mercy of hackers and they have learned to pose as friends in attempt to sweep your computer.  It’s become typical to get an email (thought to be from a friend) saying ‘check out this awesome video’ but instead of an awesome video, you get a nasty computer virus.

3. Behavioral Advertising

When you’re on Facebook or searching Google, your online habits including buying patterns and preferences are being stored in order to target advertising to you. Try to search for something online and watch how it follows you around the web.

4. Facial Recognition Software

Facial recognition is no longer science fiction, as apps currently exist and soon you’ll be able to find out who someone is just by pointing a smartphone at them.  It also enables linking sites and webpages together making identity theft much easier. Find out how facial recognition systems work, here.

5. Malicious Advertising

Since anyone can place an ad on the web, scammers can infiltrate ad networks posing as legitimate advertisers.  Once a fake ad is in the system it turns into scareware, telling the user a virus has infected their computer.

The cheapest and easiest way to protect your online identity is by using a VPN.  Check out IPVanish to find out what a VPN can do for you and to sign up for a free trial. Start protecting what’s yours today!