We hate to break it to you, but almost everything you post online is being watched. It doesn’t matter if your accounts are set to private – once you post something to the internet, it’s out there, for good. In this article, we’ll be looking into exactly what happens to your data when you post online. We’ll discuss the various culprits of data theft and explain why true privacy just isn’t possible in the twenty-first century.
Why a backconnect proxy might be your best bet at privacy.
A backconnect proxy offers you levels of protection you simply can’t find anywhere else. With Smartproxy, you get access to over 40 million resident IP addresses, so you can switch identities more often than you switch clothes. A lot more often.
Unlike other proxy providers, the IP addresses provided are authentic. This means your internet traffic will be routed through actual desktop and mobile devices. Using a proxy also allows you to spoof your location, so it looks like you’re browsing from an entirely different country. With Smartproxy, you can choose from 195 countries to change your location to, ensuring that you’re truly anonymous.
Unlike the slow, ad-filled VPN’s you’ve been using, Smartproxy gives you what you paid for. You get secure access to your favourite sites in an average of 3.1 seconds, freedom from constantly having to complete Captcha and more.
Fingerprinting – the digital thumbprint that betrays you daily.
What is fingerprinting?
Fingerprinting is a process where the unique characteristics of your device are recorded. It all begins when you visit a website. The server on the other end requests seemingly harmless information about your device, like the resolution of your screen and your IP address. This information is unique to your device and forms a “fingerprint”, which is stored on the server’s side.
The original purpose of fingerprinting was to help advertisers track their conversions better. Suppose you closed an ad and proceeded to purchase the product the next day. With a fingerprint, an advertiser would be able to identify that you are making the purchase, not another party and that you made the purchase because of the original advertisement you saw. However, it’s not just advertisers who use fingerprinting. Hackers and other malicious entities are also jumping on the bandwagon.
Here’s where it gets worse: Once your fingerprint has been identified, it’s extremely difficult to reclaim your online identity. Unlike cookies, a digital fingerprint can’t just be deleted with a click of a button because it’s not stored on your device. It’s difficult to mask as well, since the characteristics of your computer, like its screen resolution and system settings, aren’t easy to change. This is yet another difference between fingerprints and IP addresses.
The bots are watching: web scraping and how it concerns you.
Bots refer to software that has been trained to mine your data. Here’s how it works: The bot trawls webpages and social media sites, looking for any information it can find. It stumbles across your Instagram page, which you conveniently left public. It proceeds to record how many followers you have, who your followers are, takes note of your photos and proceeds along its merry way.
It’s not just hackers and bots – Your boss says hello.
Increasing numbers of employers are including social media background checks as part of their standard vetting processes. Usually, they do this to see if you lied on your resume or during your interview. Your social media also prevents them with a window into who you are after you clock out of work.
So please, think twice before posting your next Instagram photo.
Of course, you don’t need to delete your entire account. Employers want to see candidates with a healthy work-life balance, so leave those photos on the grid. As for the posts that you wouldn’t want your boss to see, we’d advise you to take it down, just in case they decide to snoop on your account.
A few tips on managing your Instagram account include:
1. Be wary of who you accept friend requests from. If you don’t recognize the user, chances are it’s a scraper bot trying to gain access to your account.
2. Trim your existing follower list. Go through your followers on all of your social media accounts and trim off unfamiliar faces or people you don’t trust.
3. Set your account to private. It only takes one screenshot of your feed to expose all of your posts. By making your account private, you reduce the possibility of that happening, down to the number of followers you have.
We need to accept reality as it is. In this day and age, privacy is no longer a right. It’s become a luxury, only afforded to those who can afford the means to access it. Fortunately, it’s not the end. You can do your level best to remain private online, and you’ll see some success. Make sure you employ all the best practices – surf on secure networks you trust, don’t use public Wi-Fi, change your passwords frequently. Little things like this go a long way in keeping you protected.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering, “What’s the point of trying if it’s going to be useless?”
Simple. They might be winning the privacy war. But we don’t need to make it easier for them.
Working as a cyber security solutions architect, Alisa focuses on application and network security. Before joining us she held a cyber security researcher positions within a variety of cyber security start-ups. She also experience in different industry domains like finance, healthcare and consumer products.