Illusion of Anonymity in the internet. Do tools like Thor really work?
Illusion of Anonymity in the internet. Do tools like Thor really work?.
In today’s high-tech society more and more people are worried about the security of their personal data. This is caused because Many internet companies are collecting their users data in order to improve online experience, making it faster and more relevant to a specific individual. Throughout the history of the internet, providers have tried to convince users to give up their privacy for their own sake, and many years majority of them agreed. But today, this fast growing, large-scale data gathering is somewhat concerning and post Snowden1 age internet users are less willing to accept this data-to-experience exchange. As a result increasing numbers of people are transitioning from search engines and browsers provided by internet giants to less known companies that claim to prevent unwanted data collection. Private search engine DuckDuckGo and anonymous Tor are only a small portion of tools that claim to make your data safe. However, there are many ways individuals information gets snooped.
There are many cases, where an individual puts sensitive data online knowingly and at his own risk ie Facebook and other social media. Someone can hacks the account and see a lot about a person, what they do, what they like, who they friends with and where they live, but people know that so they some of them choose what to put in fb. Sadly just deleting your facebook profile won't help. Many websites can track your location without even asking your permission. For example, if you type “Tesco” in Google search it will show all the nearby stores. How does search engine know that? By tracking your location and collecting other data related to a specific area. One could argue that it's very convenient this way, its save the time and effort for the user when searching for nearby places or perhaps when looking at the weather forecast. Indeed, but lets face it, not everyone wants to expose his house, work address or their current location. Moreover, average users may find it difficult to disable this tracking functionality by himself.
By far location tracking isn't the biggest problem. Many users have not idea how much of their personal information is retained by search engines and how long the data is kept. Search engines such as Google, Microsoft Live Search and Yahoo collect any term that you query in addition to the time your query was processed, your IP, and a unique cookie ID and store them into their database.