Surfing the internet used to be a simple and easy pastime.
An individual might, for example, use it to check the weather in the morning before heading to work. Now, most people are online for an average of 10 hours a day! (You can check out the article “Most Adults Spend More Time on Their Digital Devices Than They Think” by Knvul Sheikh, if you want to know more shocking facts about our online habits.)
With the increased usage of the internet has come the exploitation of its users. Marketers and websites now try to get as much information as they can while you’re browsing, so that they can create a “profile” of you as a user.
Here is what a website can see about you, even if you’re not actually logged into their site:
Operating System: This is sent from your web browser to help show you an appropriate web format.
Web Browser: Marketers can see if you are using Google Chrome, Fire fox, Internet Explorer or another browsing service.
Browser Plugins: Are you using an ad block plugin etc?
Battery (if applicable)
Web-browsers give a “general” location within 30 miles or so.
Your public IP
Your LOCAL IP
SOCIAL MEDIA INFO
If you’re logged into Facebook, Google, Instagram, Amazon or another social media service.
Using all of this information, marketers can assume your personal interests, wants, and needs.
For instance, they can label you as the type of person who keeps up with technology trends, has a big social media presence, or has out-of-date software. There isn’t much you can do to stop websites from collecting this data, but making yourself aware of what others are seeing may keep you on your toes - especially as personalized ads convince you to spend money, or as website prompt you to give more information.
Anthony holds dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from NYU.
He has over 30 years of experience in hardware design and software programming. Anthony specializes in computer and cloud networking and has collaborated with clients and third parties on creating custom software designs and is a web presence and accessibility compliance expert.