Who is Watching You Online?

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Who is Watching You Online?

As you surf the Internet, post a Facebook status, go online shopping, or open up your emails, more information is being collected about you than ever before. Your digital footprints are creating a profile on your Big Data, which can be traced back to your identity.

Have you ever wondered though: who exactly are the different parties which are able to access your online personal information and track your web browsing activities? Because if you believed that you have been able to remain anonymous all this while surfing in Incognito windows, you would be surprised at the number of people who may actually have the access to your every click, scroll, and swipe.

Here are the following five people who may be watching your every move online:

 

1) YOUR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP)

What can your ISP see from you whenever you are surfing the Internet?

Well, pretty much everything.

After all, your ISP is the one providing you Internet in the first place. Which means every information that you are sending and receiving over their unencrypted network can be watched and logged.

You may know that every device you use to surf the Internet is assigned an IP address by your ISP. Your IP address is basically the golden ticket to who you are on the Internet. Not only can your ISP track what you do online from your IP address, but also offline in the real world where your name and location can be identified from your IP address.

(Read: Top 3 Reasons People Want to Hide IP Addresses)

 

2) YOUR GOVERNMENT

This is not as crazy as it sounds, or something that you assumed to be only happening in other countries such as China and Russia.

In fact, if you recall a post we wrote about a while back, your government could even possibly be spying on you from your own backyard.

(Read: To All Malaysians, Is Your Government Spying on You?)

In other countries, it is not uncommon for governments to request private information from companies such as Google or your ISP with the use of national security letters in order for them to gain more material on their citizens.

 

3) YOUR EMPLOYER

As long as you are using a company-sponsored laptop, or being connected to your company’s private network, there is a high chance that whatever you are doing online is being monitored by your employer.

Employers want to make sure that their staff are being productive at work, and adhering to any nondisclosure agreements that their staff have signed on.

Just be sure that whenever you are at work, you are not spending too much time on personal Internet activities like your social media, dating sites, or side businesses.

(Read: Is My Boss Monitoring My Internet Usage?)

 

4) HACKERS

Maybe you believe that you would never fall victim or target to such hackers. However, remember the WannaCry attack? Remember the Petya ransomware? Internet users over 65 countries had been victims in the latter hack alone.

Groups of hackers and cybercriminals earn a good profit from your online information they are stealing off the Internet. With all this information, it can easily lead to identity theft whereby these cybercriminals will impersonate you to perpetrate crimes of illegal online transfers, expensive purchases, and credit card spending.

 

5) ADVERTISERS

If you are still unaware about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica controversy, and the extent to which advertisers and corporations are harvesting your data, well, let’s just say that your Big Data is worth a lot.

If you read our post on Big Data and why you should be concerned with what data brokers collect on you, you would also know by now that your online browsing behaviour data is valuable to advertisers for the sole purpose of profiting off you, without you even realising it!

These companies watch your every move online and employ the use of cookies and trackers with the aim of learning your buying preferences. That way, they are able to continue serving you targeted advertising to increase your chances of buying, or possibly sell your data to third parties without your consent.

 

Read also:

What Exactly Can Your ISP See When You Surf the Web?

Encryption: What Is It, What Is It Good For, & Why You Need It For Privacy

10 Best Tips Anyone Can Use to Stay Anonymous Online

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