The Myth of Online Privacy: Risks, Dangers and Solutions

Privacy means something completely different these days than it did just ten years ago. And the only things we have to blame for that are the internet and ourselves.

In the age of the Internet, we are only as “private” as the tools we use allow us to be, which is not much. While you’ll be happy to use many free tools, know that you’re actually paying with data.

The case of missing privacy

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Data is now the new currency and we all “give it away” by blindly agreeing to all of these terms and conditions on a ton of services we use day in and day out. If you dive into the privacy policies of these companies, you will immediately notice that your data is being sold to various third parties.

Of course, none of your data is sold with your name on it. You are just a number to them. This is for “anonymity” purposes, on some level, but it also makes it easier because they sell your data to marketers so that you are targeted with relevant ads.

The biggest culprits are all the businesses you interact with all day. Sure, Google has a ton of apps you love, but at the end of the day, they get most of their revenue from advertising.

Meta’s Facebook and Instagram are great when you’re bored, aren’t they? But they collect a ton of information about your browsing habits, likes, dislikes, stops watching, scrolls, etc.

Any site you visit sets a cookie on your browser and every click you make is logged somewhere.

How your data is used and misused

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Let’s say you know what you’re signing up for when you use one of these companies, which allows them to put all that data together so you can have a better experience. This information is used to provide you with advertisements that you will find interesting. It’s good for businesses, but it’s also good for you on some level because you can discover things that interest you rather than random products that you would never look twice at.

The problem is that scammers can use the same data.

Scammers will find out who you are, what you like, what you’re most likely to click on, and send you a phishing email, for example. Once you click on it, they have access to even more of your data. They can steal your identity, siphon money from your bank account, and more.

But how do scammers get your data? Well, some data brokers willingly and knowingly sell them to them. Of course, this is not the case for everyone, but there have been lawsuits regarding this particular issue in the United States.

Working with data is a lucrative business, so there are tons of these data brokers out there. Some of these companies are massive, like Google, while others are much smaller. They all gather information from various sources, process it, clean it and analyze it before reselling it.

The consequences of losing our privacy

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One of the biggest problems is that not all companies use the same security protocols to secure your information. In the event of a data breach, all of your information can be stolen.

The cybersecurity incidents you hear about most often affect various services and you know exactly that hackers can have your name, email address and password encrypted, for example.

When data brokers are hacked, things get even more complicated because of all that information they have about you. Even though all of this may be anonymous, without being attached to your name, there is evidence that all of this may be used to re-identify you.

This is when you can be a victim of identity theft, scammed, or harassed online.

There is also the issue of where and how your data is used. We have read of many cases where the information gathered has been used by insurance companies to raise rates. There are also concerns that health insurance companies could use information from data brokers to raise fees, deny coverage, and more.

How to solve the problem

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One of the best ways to maintain your privacy in this situation is to ask data brokers to remove your information from their servers. As you can imagine, this can take forever if you do it yourself, and it’s almost certain that you’ll miss at least a few of them.

If you use Incogni, however, they can do the work for you, contact all data brokers and remove your information. They leverage GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy laws on your behalf.

They will update you weekly on their progress and then, once the goal is reached, will continue to ask these companies to delete any new information they acquire about you. Usually it takes 30-45 days for data brokers to comply with the requirements as they try to process your information for as long as possible.

If you want to subscribe to Incogni, we have a discount code for you as part of the company’s Black Friday campaign. Use INCOGNI60 before December 4, 2022, and you will get 60% off the one-year subscription plan. This is a fabulous deal!

Take back your privacy

Online privacy is something we all desire. Although we can control what we share ourselves, there is little we can do to limit the metadata collected about you. Subscribing to Incogni is a step in the right direction to recover this data and demand the return of your privacy.

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