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How Privacy Pests Can Gather Your Information from the Internet

So if you control who accesses your information and passwords, how is it that people still find a way to creep into your online life and ask you for more? Let’s take a look at the most common ways to access details about you on the Internet.

Here you are, still sitting quietly in a chair and reading about passwords. Can you begin to hear the faint scratches of the privacy pests as they claw away at the walls of your electronic security?

No? Then it’s time to start looking in some of the mustier corners of your daily activities to see whether you can see any telltale signs. As an example, look at an everyday action, like buying a book. Did you buy this book

  • Over the Internet? Did the website ask you for any personally identifiable information — your mailing address perhaps, or an e-mail address? By buying the book over the Internet, you revealed some information about yourself to the bookseller.

    As you continue to read this book, someone at the site may be adding that information to all the other personal data that’s already been collected about you based on all the other things you’ve purchased — or even just looked at — while on that website.

  • While browsing the web at home? If so, you may have revealed to your Internet Service Provider some information about yourself, including your interests and purchasing habits. As you continue reading, someone may be adding that information to all the other personal data that’s already been collected about you based on all the places you’ve surfed and the things you’ve bought online.

  • While browsing the web at work? If so, you may have revealed to your employer some information about yourself. Luckily, you weren’t looking for job-hunting books. Oops! You were looking for those, too?

    Whatever the case, someone may be adding that information to your personnel file now, along with all the other personal data that’s already been collected about you because your employer has the legal right to monitor you and record every move you make on the Internet while you’re at work.

  • Using an insecure Internet browser? If so, you may have revealed some information about yourself to a hacker in a faraway place who may have already targeted you as the one whose credit card number will buy him a new video game system — or maybe even a wardrobe or new car.

    While you’re reading now, he may be busy collecting additional information and building an intimate profile of you that he can use to fraudulently spend your money, online and offline.

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