Who collects user data and why?

User data is needed by businesses, websites and application developers who want to get more data to develop their marketing strategies. Knowing more about their target audience, they can select ads that will lead to an increase in conversion. For companies, this is a legitimate way to conduct marketing research and obtain valuable information for marketing.

One of the main reasons websites and apps collect your data is for marketing purposes or a way to earn extra money. By tracking the websites visited by users and purchases made, the company can create targeted marketing strategies focused on a specific user.

It is worth remembering that not only companies are engaged in tracking users, but also attackers who collect data for their own purposes – stalking, DDoS attacks, identity theft and even the distribution of extortionate software.

And how to protect yourself from surveillance?

Let’s look at 7 ways that can help you protect yourself from online surveillance:

Use multiple browsers.

You can use this method to confuse search engines and prevent them from collecting information about you. Since different browsers have different access to your data via your IP address. By changing browsers frequently, you can hide all the data you collect. Also, make sure that the functions that collect information about you are turned off in your browsers. Even if this method is not a panacea, it works perfectly in combination with other methods of protection against surveillance.

Adopt rotary proxies.

Rotary proxies use a huge pool of resident IP addresses that change with each new request, making it much more difficult to track you.

Change your user agent.

User agents are required for communication between you and the web server. They provide the website with important information, such as the browser you are using, the OS, and the rendering engine. Based on this information, the web server shows you a site optimized for these specifications. That’s why some websites look different if you access them from a different device. To make changes to your user agent, you will need a switch. As soon as you apply the changes, the site will think that you are using a different browser or operating system. Frequent changes to the user agent make any tracking difficult.

Use browser extensions.

There are many different add-ons that should help you protect yourself from surveillance. Just choose the most reliable and convenient for you, and don’t forget to add them to all the browsers you use.

Check and configure all social media privacy settings.

Be sure to check that all your social media accounts are as private as possible. By default, some of them make your profile public, which allows any other user to legally collect data from your profile without your permission.

Use different passwords and change them regularly.

By securely protecting your accounts, you are guaranteed to hide personal information from intruders. So don’t forget to make complex passwords and update them sometimes. Also, never use the same password for multiple accounts.

Use services that remove your data from public access.

Select one or more services that deal with the deletion of data collected by information brokers. This will not only protect you from spam calls and annoying ads, but also help you to cover your mark on the Internet. From time to time, you will have to re-access such services, since your information will still gradually leak out.