Do you know where your private data is leaking?

Much of your online activities are done with both doors and windows open. And just like the real word at home – leave them open and your private information floats out and the nasty bugs fly in. That’s not the optimal state for a relaxed and private discussion, even a not so critically important one.

There are three major issues buzzing about your online privacy, just like mosquitoes on a summer day:  Trackers following your online activities, you communicating online in an open and unencrypted manner, and then the potential addition of malware and spyware infections on your device.

Malware can suck up your private information

Malware is not just ransomware. Data sucking malware picked up via email attachments or an infected website can also endanger your online security. Spyware enables hackers to steal a variety of private data, listen in on conversations, and send screenshots of all your device activities.

You’re not encrypted and they know it

Your internet activities also may be going out to the world in an open form, HTTP format, where everyone can read them. This does more than give the snooping guy near you in the café a look at your activities. It lets your ISP and wireless service provider see what you are doing – and gives them the opportunity to let their business associates also take a look. It also permits some sites to block you out completely if you are from the “wrong” side of the street geographically.

Trackers are on your private data trail — everywhere

Trackers and browser cookies build a profile on you and your online activities which is “anonymized” and scrubbed of highly personal details. However, with trackers incorporated into websites and your browser, and aided by individual’s unique Google number and Facebook ID, they can drill close to your personal preferences and activities and build a precise view of the person on device number XYZ that likes a particular sports team, has regular health issues, and shops at a certain grocery store. That is not very anonymous.

It’s not just the trackers run directly by the sites you visit which are an issue, it’s those other ones. Third-party trackers such as Google’s DoubleClick.net also collect information about you and your activities. In addition, one of these trackers can exchange data with another tracker in an effort to build a more complete profile of you. While you can’t even see most of these, some you can such as Facebook Like buttons and embedded Twitter feeds.

Even your ISP and telecom provider have a hand in this tracking business. Theoretically, telecoms aren’t supposed to share things like location data with third parties without the consumers express consent. However, in California, AT&T and two data aggregators are in a class action lawsuit with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and others over the telecom’s sharing information with bounty hunters, car dealerships, landlords and stalkers without proper authorization.

Taken all together, your privacy is under a never ending attack. But yes, you can fight back. And we will show you how.

As a PR Consultant and journalist, Frink has covered IT security issues for a number of security software firms, as well as provided reviews and insight on the beer and automotive industries (but usually not at the same time). Otherwise, he’s known for making a great bowl of popcorn and extraordinary messes in a kitchen.