some helpful internet safety tips

recently i have had reason to become more aware...

it is common practice these days to search the internet for any information we long to have.  we google things we don't know:  we google the names of hollywood actors; the chemical make-up of pharmaceuticals; the color options in a pillow sham.  we use the internet to search for any and all sorts of information.

what we forget when we are doing all this searching is that the internet is really a massive tool for marketing- AND- that the people doing the marketing are watching every move we make while we are online.   if we 'like' or comment on a particular company on 'facebook', for example, then facebook will start putting more ads for that and similar companies in our advertising stream.  netflix tailors our movie choices to match what we have already chosen.   amazon suggests books and music to us based on what we have put in our carts in the past.

the truth is that companies large and small are watching what their customers-- or would-be customers-- are doing on their websites.  companies can see what you look at, which photos you click to enlarge, how many blog posts you click on and which ones, how many times you visit the site, if you put something in your shopping cart, how long it is in your cart before you take it out, what you googled to land on their page, what browser you are using, what operating system, and even what device you are on when you land on their page.  if you leave a comment on a company facebook page and then decide it was badly written and decide to erase it-- rest assured that that company has already been emailed a copy of that comment-- along with a link to your facebook page and any other information that facebook will allow.

it is all, ostensibly, about marketing and you are never browsing anonymously.

be conscious.  be careful.  be aware of what you are giving away about yourself when you are searching for those pillow shams.


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