In today’s world, your private data is one of the most essential components of your life and it is literally worth millions. All these big tech giants know it, and it’s been open season on your personal data for decades. Companies like Facebook, Google have built their business models on collecting more of your data, and they’ll continue to do so. Why?
Because without this data, their respective advertising platforms wouldn’t be profitable. It’s their lifeblood, and it’s how they make billions. Your every move across the internet is tracked and dumped into a massive database that’s harvested, studied, and is made available to paying advertisers.
Once you sign up for these platforms, you provide them with your personal information such as your name, residence, pictures, likes, interests, etc. It’s one way of how they collect your data.
People trade through this data and use it for promotional means. Data collection has been around for a long while so this is nothing new. Think about when telemarketers call you selling things you don’t need.
Personal data has become a commodity, and all of us have been affected. It’s one thing if you consent to data collection, but another when you unknowingly consent via an app.
It is because of this unwanted flow of data that your phone is full of advertising messages.
You get promotional calls, and all of this can take away from your peace of mind. Therefore, it is essential to regain more control over your privacy by understanding how it’s exposed in the first place.
In-Store Or Public WiFi Activity
Information sent over publicly-accessible WiFi networks is vulnerable to hackers who eavesdrop and collect all your personal information. If you are on public networks, you’re making things more difficult for yourself if you’re not using proper protection protocols.
To better protect yourself, use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection and transfer confidential data and private information without risking your privacy.
Meta-data From Social Media Activity
When you upload a picture on social media, you also upload metadata related to it. It may include the location along with some other personal data like your name and mail-id. For protecting this data, the best way isn’t to stop uploading pictures.
Instead, you should change your privacy settings of the account. Moreover, if you are tagging a location, experts recommend sharing it only when the account is not public since the information can put to use abruptly.
Facial Recognition Systems
It’s a more convenient method to get more of your personal data quickly. With the advent of AI, this is the next big thing for faster data collection.
However, there is a risk of this data being misused in a lot of ways. One most prominent reason is the imperfection in the field. If the recognition is not done properly, anyone else can access your data without your knowledge. The best way to keep a check on this is by not allowing every site/app to access this. Stick to old “unlock with passwords” approach.
There are many ways through which the big companies access our data and hinder our privacy. However, we have the right to limit this sharing of data. The above solutions can help you in protecting your rights. Keeping yourself knowledgable and informed about the best practices can go a long way in saving you a lot of headaches down the road.