It all started back in 1960’s when people of great stature wanted to share information between computers for scientific and research purposes. Then came the emails in late 70’s and early 80’s, specially for use in universities, sharing ftp and research libraries. In early 90’s was the first ever user friendly access to internet released. Along with the governmental use, more commercial use was seen. More companies used internet to route from one site to another in mid 90’s. Commercial advertisements and services increased in early 2000. Myspace and Facebook was founded in 2003 and 2004 respectively, a social era started taking shape.
The internet is a tool of convenience and security is its last priority. Now more than 8 hours are spent by an average child on the internet. None of the organizations, be it government or private, wants to stay away from it. Everyone is willing to go online and on the terms of sharing personnel information.
You login to Facebook or Twitter, other websites are asking you to join their website using your social credentials, Facebook or Twitter. What most people don’t know is authentication process is in their initial phases of discussion. Chances are you have many people tracking your browsing habits in the form of spyware, scripts, and maybe even through a camera! With this kind of information, a person from anywhere on the planet can figure out who you are, where you live and much more personal information.
The era has changed, the growing number of users on the internet is making companies go from providing services to tracking your behavior on the internet. It is billions of dollars of industry to know what the user is doing and its needs and liking. Whether it is with your consent you authorize websites to share information or without. There are always some crawlers on the internet which crawl on you unnoticed. Firefox released one app to know who is tracking you, Collusion. It tells you in real time which websites you visited and who is following you from there.
The image above is my browsing history and who is tracking me. Couple of hours into my browsing I have noticed some unknown crawlers wanting my information. They help advertisers and marketers if that crawler is a ethical one. Some may want to crawl for scams, we need to be aware from those types. But the real questions are
- How will you know who is tracking you?
- And in those crawlers which are a scam and avoid them?
At the end of the day my Collusion was shocking. The ratio between the sites I visited to the sites which were tracking me was 1:2.
Let us be aware of what we do on the internet. Let’s not give private information to websites we don’t trust that much. Even providing birth date to website can cause you for your life, beware !!!