Are You The Searcher Or The Searched?

Are you searching or being searched? Many websites such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook are performing an action on you called data mining every time you use them. This tracks what you look at, what you search, what results you click on and more. The point of this isn’t for a study sadly. it’s to aim advertisements and products at you. I’m sure you have noticed at one point or another that the advertisements on the side of a website are awfully specific for you or oddly similar to something you searched recently. That’s data mining. I am sure you feel its invasive and in many ways it is. Take the story here (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/) about how target figured out that a teenage girl was pregnant before her father did and the drama it caused! I’m sure you are wondering “how can I stop this from happening?” an easy fix is to disable cookies for websites. That makes it harder for some sites to track you. You may also wish to install a web browser advertising blocker program. One example is Ad Block Plus. There are also some internet browsers that are supposed to help reduce some of these risks, such as Aviator. There are no guarantees though. In the end you need to be aware that if you want to be on the internet, which has many benefits, you are also accepting the fact that others are interested in what you do on the internet any way you try.

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