3/07/2017

Tracked from Dawn to Dusk: Invasive tracking by advertisers and how to protect your privacy online


The majority of us understand we're being tracked by advertisers online – just think about that advert for some recently Googled product that suddenly reappears on every Internet page you visit. However, a new study shows that the majority of people do not realise their private data is being sold to advertising networks and third-party entities in order to provide them with targeted ads.

On this realisation, it's easy to panic about privacy. And while it’s understandable that advertisers need to use technology to reach the people that might be interested in their products, the problem is that we're often not informed about what kind of information is being collected about us.

Moreover, advertisers are using cross-device tracking, which raises additional privacy and security risks. In cross-device tracking, ad companies and publishers try to build a consumer’s profile based on their activity throughout computers, tablets, smartphones, smart watches and various IoT devices. Online and offline factors are often combined: such as browsing history with physical location, retail purchases with watched TV programmes, commute to work, travel and so on.

Basically, most Internet users are tracked from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep through the variety of devices and physical locations revealed by their GPS coordinates. However, there are ways around this. Here we share our top tips to avoid being tracked by advertisers:...more