Internet Privacy Issues: Tracking, Hacking and Trading

In the time when you information is no longer just your own but rather a commodity to be collected and sold; know, how the Internet is tracking, hacking and trading your information and what you can do about it.

There's a war raging and most people who are involved in it aren't even aware of it. It's a war that's being fought on the Internet, as advertisers, marketers and cooked individuals are tracking your online activity, hacking into various databases and then trading or selling that information to others.

The activity isn't only happening on the "dark web", it's in plain view on the Internet as well. There are chat rooms and other sites where stolen identity information, including names, addresses, email addresses, and credit car information is openly sold to the highest bidders. Often, that comes out to $1 to $3 per name. And once that information lands in the hands of the wrong people, lives are often ruined.

The 3 Major Privacy Issues

Currently, there are 3 main privacy issues on the Internet. Tracking, which includes which sites you visit, what you're purchasing and all of your other online activities. The second is hacking, which means someone has broken into your computer or a third-party computer that was storing your personal information, including credit cards, social security numbers, addresses and many other vital facts about you. The third is trading, where cybercriminals trade people's information that they've acquired illegally, or at other times, legally. The result of all three issues is a loss of privacy, and it puts people at risk.

If your information is hacked, or someone has hacked or traded a company's database and your name was on it, you might start receiving emails or phone calls with all types of offers. They're phishing scams, and to protect your privacy, the best thing you can do is use one of the online tools that verify who is really sending the email or placing the phone call. One of the top online tools is Nuwber, which will provide you with accurate validation of who is contacting you so you can know which email or phone call is legitimate and which one isn't.

Tracking: Following you on the web

If you visit websites and click on links, your movements are being tracked. Google knows exactly where you've gone on the web, as do many other companies. They use this information for marketing purposes, and if you don't respond to the many offers you'll receive, they'll move on to another person.

The way you're tracked is through "cookies." It sends your computer's information, including your IP address, to the site you're visiting. You could turn off your "allow cookies" in your settings, but many sites won't let you visit if you disable the cookies. Another way that you're tracked is through "fingerprinting." A company can identify you by your browser's technical information, your browser plugins, system files and more.

The best way to avoid being tracked is to frequently clear your browser history. Use search engines that don't track your activities. Google is the biggest search engine, and they collect information on everyone who uses them. Search engines that don't track your online activities include DuckDuckGo, Fireball, Search Encrypt and others. You can also use your computer's "incognito mode" to avoid being tracked, but it's not 100% reliable. And if you use Facebook or other social media sites, be sure to enable their privacy settings.

Hacking: Stay Safe

If you bank online or sign up at websites where you ultimately make a purchase, you risk handing cybercriminals all they need to know in order to steal your identity, your money and your credit information. Sure, online banking is convenient, but even if your bank uses double encryptions and the latest firewall protection, if someone hacks your computer and you've stored your sign-in information in your computer, the hacker will be making purchases with your stolen info.

To be safe, make sure all of your security software is current (if you don't have security software, get some!). Always install antivirus and antimalware software to keep malicious software from loading on your computer. Change your passwords often, and always use a strong password of 12 characters or more. Always disable connections to the Internet when you're not using your devices. And validate questionable emails with online tools like Nuwber before you open any links or respond to the email.

Trading: Information at Risk

When hackers trade stolen information, they use that data to open new accounts using someone else's identity and credit information. You definitely don't want to have your information stolen and then used for these purposes, so prevention is your best weapon.

The best way to prevent theft of information from your computer that is ultimately traded by cybercriminals is to use a VPN, which is a "virtual private network" that provides a secure connection between your computer and the Internet. It helps you stay anonymous on the web and provides more anonymity by hiding your IP address. It's available for a small monthly fee.

Take Control of your Data

Maintaining privacy is critical for safely using the Internet. If you take some basic steps, you'll regain control of your data and it won't be exposed to cybercriminals who want to get their hands on it. To begin, always limit the amount of personal information that you share on the Internet and on social media. Never post personal details that can be used to reveal your identity to others.

Here's something else: always install system updates as they become available for your computer's operating system. Most often these updates include security fixes that help to protect your data.­ Another tactic is to monitor your WiFi connection. Often, hackers can steal your browsing information and personal data by hacking into your WiFi. The best way to prevent this is to always install security updates on your WiFi network as they become available. If you want to have another layer of security and protection, only visit secure websites that start with HTTPS.

Finally, make sure your login credentials are strong. Your username and password must be as strong as possible to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands. Never use anything for passwords like name, age, date of birth or street address. And never, ever,. use your Social Security number for your username!


Internet privacy is key to a safe, enjoyable online experience. You want to avoid the "big 3" privacy issues of tracking, hacking and trading. If you're receiving emails or phone calls and you're not sure who they're from, use an online tool like Nuwber to validate the person's identity. To prevent tracking, disable cookies and clear your browsing history. To prevent hacking, make sure your security software is up to date. And change your passwords often. To prevent theft of your information that can be ultimately traded, use a VPN and browse in the incognito mode on your computer. To keep your data secure, install security updates on your WiFi, never post personal data on social media and create a strong login sequence. Following these tips will help keep you safe and out of the hands of cybercriminals.


Guest Author: TraceFree14 Feb 2020

2 of the issues (tracking and hacking) can be solved using a virtual private BROWSER. A server in the cloud visits/interacts with a website and not the user's device. Thereby their device cannot be tracked or exposed to viruses.
The virtual private browser is already replacing the antiquated VPN.

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