When you surf the net, the last thing the average user thinks about is “can someone track me or my net habits?”. Believe me when I say that, it is possible to learn information about you even when you don’t want to advertise who you are. This is true even if your system contains no virus or malware software. Specifically, information that is easily available online includes your internet protocol address, your country (and often more location information based on internet protocol address), what computer system you are on, the operating system version your using, what browser you use, your browser history and more. Also, cookies (not those sweet kind I must add, the bits and pieces of your browsing history) can track your habits as you move from machine to machine. So basically, you are being monitored even thought you might not want to be.
How do people get this basic information about you?
When you visit different websites, information about you can be retrieved and recorded. Basically, information is intercepted and used by others to track your Internet activities.
How do you stop this from happening?
First of all, it is possible to surf the web anonymously and thereby stop leaving a trail for others to find. Note that these tips are not fool-proof, but it makes it much harder for people to know who you are. There are products called anonymous proxy servers that help protect you. The anonymous proxy server replaces your Internet address for its own. This has the effect of hiding your IP address and making it much harder for people to track you.
How do I get an anonymous proxy server?
There are many vendors who sell anonymous proxy servers. There are also free proxy servers available to web servers that provide anonymous surfing at their site.
What else should I be concerned about when trying to keep my private information private?
- use an encrypted connection to hide your surfing
- delete cookies after each session
- Avoid criminal or risky websites
- Keep your antivirus software up to date
- Install and use a capable firewall
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