The Concern Of Privacy On The Internet

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Privacy is defined as a state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people. In this age of Internet, what are the things that you need to keep a check of?  Why do we need to pay attention to privacy matters? When all our activities, conversations and habits are relied and dependent on what we do on the Internet.

On Social Media Platforms:

Facebook and Instagram have now become like the life and blood of people all around.  Every event, big or small, every life information and all the basic details of users are constantly being shared on these platforms. When you are constantly busy in scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feeds, you don’t know how many algorithms and processes follow that are a threat to your privacy.

How do you control your privacy settings?

Facebook allows you several options to limit who can see your posts, comments and pictures. You can also set limits to who is allowed to comment on your pictures or who is allowed to send friend requests to you. When Facebook analyses your activities and shows relevant ads to you, You can choose to block those ads or not see them in future. You can even stop letting Facebook track your activities and displaying information to you.

Instagram gives you an option to set your profile on ‘Private’, thereafter, you can control who follows you, and thus, gets access to all that you share on the platform. After certain cases and scandals, Instagram is also currently paying attention to the matter.

Hence, a new feature called ‘Instagram Restrict’ has been added on the app. You can enable ‘restrict’ from the privacy tab and once, you restrict a certain user’s account, comments from them will not appear on your feed unless approved or disregarded by you.

These people behind these apps are also being considerate and understanding towards the concerns of the public and paying attention to improve on those. Mark Zuckerberg’s new mantra: ‘The future is private’ also states the emphasis that they would be willing to work on.

For Facebook, you can also control how your data is used up to present certain ads to you. While an advertisement is showcased on your feed, you can choose the ‘Why am I seeing this ad’ option and block the app from further tailoring advertisements through your data.

Another thing to keep in mind is the limit of the data that you allow to be accessed by apps. When an application seeks permission to access your photos/contacts or location, make sure you only do what is necessary.

Search Engines:

While we immediately resort to Google for every little thing, we cannot even imagine the mechanisms that go behind providing the search results to us. Your search queries on Google, lets out plenty of information about you. The recommended list of videos on your Youtube, the Pop-up suggestions and ads, all of that is a result of your search queries.

Your browsing history is a big data asset for such search engines.Don’t worry, you can surely have a control on these things to a certain extent. You can choose to automatically delete your browsing history after a certain number of days. Even Youtube gives you an option to pause your watch and search history.

‘Duck duck go’ is another example of a search engine that paid heed to the privacy concerns. This search engine enabled a ‘no data tracking’ feature for its’ users.

Controlling the violation of your privacy through apps:

Along with managing your privacy settings on Facebook, you can control the extent of violation through the pages being managed. There are options to enable and remove timely access for people you choose to allow.

You would have come across various apps that seek permission for access to your photos/contacts/ microphone etc. You should keep a keen eye on what access you choose to allow. If the situation states it necessary, you can choose to allow access for once.
When you are using the internet with a wifi connection of a cafe/ restaurant or any public place, it is necessary to use VPN in order to ensure that your data does not get traced. Also, avoid setting the same password everywhere. Violation from one source could lead to an easy access from everywhere.

Do you have specific concerns that might hinder your privacy?
Are you keeping a keen watch while sharing your personal data?


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