In today’s world, protecting your personal information is more vital than ever before. While it may seem like common sense to protect sensitive information, such as personal information, passwords and other sensitive data, it is also important to be aware of who, or what, is looking at and analyzing your online activity.
Your online browsing activity is extremely valuable. Having a running log of what websites a user visits, what links they click on, what pages they view and how much time they spend online are all pieces of information that marketers and advertisers are clamouring for. While you may not know it, even though you only visit certain sites, you are also being connected to third-party sites, designed to track, follow, and record your online behaviour.
If you would like to see what third-party sites you are being connected to, even right this second, download the Firefox extension, Lightbeam. Lightbeam allows users to track the specific sites they are being connected to in real-time, creating a running log of the sites you’ve visited, combined with the third-party sites, which those sites, connected you to.
After installing Lightbeam on my own browser, I began to browse the internet, visiting all of my favourite webpages and social media platforms. 20 minutes later, I decided to view the results that Lightbeam had gathered, they were undoubtedly surprising. I had only visited 14 sites, but I was connected with 268 third party sites! Many of these third-party sites were quite obviously tracking websites, monitoring my online movements.
This brings up the question, how secure is your information? Is your online privacy at risk?