Most people are under the impression that by being online it is impossible to avoid data snatchers. However, researchers have found that there are ways to cover your digital tracks.
These researchers believe that it is important to educate the public on how to fight against digital surveillance, how to keep your personal information private, and how there is a great need for better regulations. For example, data thieves can load a single pixel onto a website without you knowing, collecting all sort of information about the browser, the device you’re using, and most importantly, you.
Some tricks of how to be invisible online include using cash instead of E-ZPass which announces your location to readers that could be waiting anywhere. You can also decline to share your location in iOS’s ‘Find My Friends’ app. One useful tool is TrackMeNot – this creates fake queries to stop search engines from creating a profile on you, confusing browsers. Another tool ADNAUSEUM, registers a click on all the ads in your ad blocker and stops any attempt to build a profile filled with your likes and preferences.
Some may be tempted to opt out of online use with all the risks involved; however this is a wildly impractical solution. Co-author, Finn Brinton, of Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest explained that disconnecting would mean leading ‘the life of an undocumented migrant labour of the 1920s, with no internet, no phones, no insurance, no assets, riding the rails, being paid off the books for illegal manual work’.
Brinton and his co-author Helen Nissenbaum stress that obfuscation won’t make you completely invisible to constant surveillance, but will educate the public about the need for stronger regulations that protect us from organisations who want to use our own data against us. For example, your data could be used in the future to increase a plane ticket the next time you book a vacation, suggest pricey goods the next time you shop online or hinder your chances of getting a loan because something about your data suggests you are a credit risk. These are just a few methods used by firms which overstep our boundaries.
If you need help with privacy issues online for your business contact Team Discovery.