Your personal data on the internet

10 July 2018

Internet enriches our current way of living, but it also means easy access to your personal data. Is that a problem? Not necessarily.

 

This is what the Internet knows of you

Almost everyone has internet access these days. And just about everyone uses social media. It enriches our current way of living, but it also means easy access to your personal data. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. Fact is though; it is next to impossible to remove it later. And that might be a problem. Your personal data could be used for identity fraud for example. So look before you leap. And if you have any suspicion don’t bother to check if your personal data is safe.

Personal data on the internet

Perhaps you are part of the group of people who think they have nothing to hide. Ask yourself this: ‘We will now put everything about you online’. Would you like that? Probably not. So there is a line  you won’t cross. For instance, quite a few teenagers are genuinely unhappy about all their baby pictures, uploaded to Facebook by their happy parents. Consider being rejected for a new job on account of a weird flick or a slightly provoking holiday picture online. It might just happen, so think hard before you post. There is no way back after pressing the upload button.

Cookies, yum!

Websites use cookies. These are little files created by your browser to store technical details of your visit. Similarly, cookies are also used for ads and marketing purposes. Your entire visit to the website, pages you’ve seen and articles or products you looked at, are stored. Have you ever wondered about the coincidence that the advert at Amazon shows the exact products you just viewed at a webshop? The information was retrieved from the cookies in your browser. Using the right tools, it is possible to document your total use of the internet. This is the reason why every single website now mandatory asks for your permission to store cookies. Too bad we have seen this question too often, so we blindly accept.

Here is what you can do

The internet knows a lot about you. And it has an extremely good memory. Not just for the things you upload knowingly, but certainly every click of the mouse you make. Not happy about that? It is not all doom and gloom. The most important thing is to be aware. Does this picture really need to go online? How important is it to send this tweet? Remember the cookies that will reveal every step you made online. Every browser is capable of deleting and removing cookies. Use it. By removing these cookies regularly, you greatly decrease your digital trail. Questions? Ask them!