Total Data Surveillance: what does the Web know about you?
18 Jan 2020

It's not a secret that various search engines, applications, and social networks are constantly collecting users' personal information without permission. These web services know plenty of hidden things about you which you never share even with your closest friends.

A well-known BBC journalist, Sophia Smith Galer, was able to experience this one day. After completing a special software programme known as Data Detox, she learned many facts about modern digital life. The information collected during the programme has already helped many users, encouraging them to be more careful and prudent in the future.

Data Detox - the eight-day discovery

The aim of the Data Detox information programme is to help internet users get acquainted with the details of digital life and, in particular, to learn what is happening with their own data "behind the scenes". During the eight-day period, the authors of the project have been trying to teach the participants how to use their data uploaded to the World Wide Web and what they should be careful about.

Day 1: Discovery

During the first day of the programme, they teach you the ways of collecting information about yourself as if you were a stranger. This enables you to view photos, videos and texts associated with your name. Moreover, you can find not only the manually posted data, but also those published about you by third parties.

The designers recommend you to use other search engines notably Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex to enhance the number of "digital footprints". Many of the participants of Data Detox were surprised and even disappointed by the information received. After all, other people's influence on your own digital image can be really disarming.

Day 2: Which of your data are stored by Google

Spending a lot of time online, we can share a lot of business and personal information. A search engine knows your email address, banking data, the places you visit, your favorite kind of music, films you like watching and even the names of your close relatives and friends. So, they jokingly say that Google is even more than a best friend. After all, many close people do not know as much about you as this search engine does.

Day 3: What does Facebook know about you? Facebook owns not only your personal information and email addresses, but photos, videos and private correspondence as well. More than once, this social network has been accused of disclosing and selling its users' data. Therefore, you should be prudent when publishing information and tidy up your profile and messenger in a timely manner.

Day 4: Surfing the Internet

Every time you "Like" something on a social network, you let third party companies track your interests, and most importantly, your IP address. Soon the company will have an excellent impression of your interests and preferences. If you want to prevent invisible trackers from spying you on, various extensions and add-ons should be downloaded. An alternative method is "Incognito Mode", which prevents a user from being tracked , but does not make him/her anonymous on the internet!

Day 5: Possible dangers when using a smartphone?

Data Detox enables you to discover and prevent dangers that can be caused by using your smartphone carelessly. After all, the devices with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth activated will try to access other third-party devices. This enables web services to identify the location of the smartphone, as well as its owner, and thus learn a lot about him/her. All that can lead to very upsetting consequences not only in business but your private life as well.

Day 6: Application threat

A number of mobile applications requesting access to data stored on your smartphone can also be rather dangerous. If there are too many of them on your device, you should reduce their number to the most important ones and delete those you no longer use. You also need to have privacy settings in each application to prevent data collection.

Day 7: Your online profile

Facebook, Google and other search engines and social networks create and regularly update each user's profile. The purpose of these activities is to find and display the most relevant advertising, which is very profitable for IT giants.

Tailor-made programmes are designed to consider all your interests, including new life milestones and important events. Therefore, you should not be surprised when after your child’s birth, there will be advertisements for diapers, baby food, clothes and medical services in your account. Be prudent when sharing information, avoid being too honest and active.

Day 8: Finish - creating a new digital "You"

Data Detox recommends that you minimize your digital footprints on a regular basis. For this purpose, you just need to clear your browsing history and periodically change email passwords and other information. It is also important to have different mailboxes for business and personal correspondence.

The cloud is the best alternative for those who don't want to leave a "digital footprint." In order to prevent your confidential data from being disclosed and to be safely stored, you should choose Cloud Storage. The web service allows you to store and share files, text messages, as well as encrypt data of any format. But the most important thing is that the cloud safely protects each user's information from third party interference. Nobody will be able to view it without your permission, and therefore the data cannot be used against you. provides unique encryption that can't be hacked by any malicious user. Moreover, it is possible to set passwords for each individual file inside your profile and hide its content.

There will be no more information about you on the World Wide Web, and nobody will be able to add any details to your image. Using , you don't have to worry about losing your information. It will be safely protected. They recognize that your files are your rules!!!

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