The internet used to be a fun place, it was a place to party, and a place for serious discussion. Those days are long gone, today the Internet is a not so friendly place. You are stalked at every keystroke you make. The question becomes, how important is your privacy?

I am a writer and reviewer, I spend a good deal of time on the internet doing research, ok I also goof off a bit, but every one does.

Other than the cost to connect to it the internet is free? Right? Well that turns out to be not quite true. Your journey on the internet is tracked at every juncture. A couple of weeks ago my wife was grumbling about the mattress on our bed. I was watching TV on my computer later that morning and on came an ad for a brand of Mattress I had never heard of, silly me I clicked! They wanted $1000 for it, that was way beyond my budget, I love my wife dearly but it was far outside of my price range. I am being hounded by Google about this damn Mattress, almost every site I visit talks about it.

At the heart of the problem are two things IP address and Cookies. The IP address can be thought of as your internet phone address, it tells advertisers where you are located. Web sites use this data in two ways, firstly to target you for ‘inclusion’, or, secondly for ‘exclusion’. Inclusion is the story I told about the Mattress, if I wanted to buy the thing, I would have, pestering me has made me a hostile customer. I doubt that I will ever buy that brand, nor recommend it to others.

Exclusion is where a publisher (often Video) excludes viewers because of their geolocation. This is particularly true of sporting events, just think NFL, if the game is not sold out the event is ‘blacked out’ to local viewers.

Can you be anonymous online? Yes, maybe is the answer.

I am a news junkie, sites like the Washington Post, New York Times and the Los Angeles Times limit non paying customers to very few articles each month. Yes I have a workaround, but I shall keep that private.

Without doubt there are several options, this article explains them quite well

People really do need to be more aware of the erosion of privacy online.

Be Sociable, Share!