Online Data Privacy Concerns to Watch Out For

Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. And, the amount of data that consumers release online has everyone concerned about online data privacy. You can't shop or even pay to download a useful app without exposing your credit card information. If you fill out an online job application, which so many companies are now demanding - you leave will an even greater amount of personal information.

There are many online data privacy concerns to watch out for, but many people simple don't realize that using a virtual private network or is the best way to surf the internet with anonymity and keep hackers from using malware or phishing techniques to gain access to your financial, personal, and medical information. A VPN is used to hide your IP address. This internet protocol address which is your computer's identification packet follows your online activities as soon as you log in to your home or business computer.

Concern over the lack of data privacy

What happens when you search for information or open other websites, you make a connection to a number of intermediary servers that use your IP address to keep track of you and where you are going on the internet. By exploiting only your IP address, cybercriminals can determine which country, state, city, and sometimes what street block you are located.

Not only that, when companies run your browsing history through an inexpensive artificial intelligence or AI program, they can get a pretty accurate description of who you are, and what your preferences are. This is based on the sites you visit, the things you buy online, and of course, all of your social media messaging. Behavioral data collection sets up a scenario for psychological crimes such as romance scams or the NIgerian Internet Scam. A VPN can stop the invasion of your privacy and stops cyber thieves from taking advantage of your personality, habits, and personal data.

According to the Pew Research Center, the vast majority of Americans have concerns that they are regularly being monitored and tracked by either government officials or corporations. And even sadder, 6 out of 10 adults don't even realize there are ways to prevent unwanted data collection by using a virtual private network to anonymously browse the internet. If you agree that while surfing the web, the risks associated with data collection and the increased chances of cybercrime is greater than the benefits, then going private is the solution.

Here, we will look at the data privacy concerns associated with your digital. We will also explain the best way to protect your privacy - which is by using a virtual private network or VPN.


Now more than ever, your digital privacy is at risk. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your family, and your business against a data breach, data tracking, and data collection. For more important information visit https://surfshark.com/learn/what-is-vpn

A look at your digital footprint

Before taking action to protect your online data privacy, it's a good idea to look closely at your digital footprint. When you go online, you unintentionally leave a digital footprint. This is a trail of everything you done on the World Wide Web including your personal emails, the websites you visit, and the information you type in to purchase products or services.

There are two types of data that you leave in your digital footprint: passive data like your IP address, which connects you and your Internet service provider - and active data which you intentionally type into shopping sites or when you create and send an email.

When you add on all the thousands of apps people download and use without reading the fine print that involves the ongoing use of their personal data along with all social media posts, photos, and likes/dislikes - you can imagine the huge digital footprint that follows every single internet user every day of every year. While we know it is wise to protect our digital footprint by not submitting scathing posts on Facebook or posting comprising photos on Instagram, what we don't realize is all the ways our passive and active data can be used to invade our privacy.

5 Online Data Privacy Concerns

Location Tracking

Geotracking or knowing a person's location when they are online is a growing concern all around the world and is a threat to you and your family's privacy. Many apps are understandable location-based apps and help us navigate the roads. Google Maps and Uber are two great examples. But, what happens when your location is turned on - and other apps are accessing your location. Or worse yet, a cybercriminal is keenly watching every move you make by breaching your mobile device's security. When you thought it couldn't get any worse, even when you turn off your location data, it has been discovered that many apps are still tracking you.

When you take a photo while on vacation and post it to your Facebook or Instagram account, your location is attached to the photo in the form of metadata. This geotagging of photos shows your GPS coordinates to anyone that knows where to look. When your location is turned on, your location can possibly be seen by over a dozen downloaded apps on average.

Let's look a few data privacy concerns that location tracking can cause. For criminals, location data opens you up to a higher level of information gathering by bad actors on the internet, namely:

  • When you're on vacation
  • What businesses you frequent
  • Your route to work and where you work
  • Inactive times (when you sleep)
  • Where you live = Your income level

Using a virtual private network will mask your online identity because your internet traffic is routed through a server that you choose, in a location of your choosing. Since the IP address you will be using does not correspond to your real location, any tracking your computer or mobile device is tricked into thinking they know your location.

Identity Theft

Criminals can use a small amount information to do a lot of damage when it comes to identity theft. A name, birthday, and social security numbers opens the floodgates for financial ruin. If you use your computer for any type of sensitive financial business, including online shopping, checking your medical records, or sharing work-related files, then you need a VPN to protect you from identity theft.

In addition to using good passwords and avoiding unsafe websites, a VPN offers another safety net against identity theft. If you're logging into your bank account, and especially if you're on a public Wi-Fi such as at a hotel or coffee shop, a VPN gives you privacy you need to protect your financial information and avoid an identity theft problem. Choose a VPN provider like that does not monitor or log you browsing activity and does not use a foreign server.

Cyber Spying/Snooping

Many people are victims of reputation damage or doxxing. This is when someone spies on another individual for the purpose of finding and publishing private information about the person or snooping inside their photo galleries for incriminating images. With malicious intent this information is either posted online or sent by email to a larger number of people. Cyber spying is done for business destruction from competitors, financial extortion from cybercriminals, or personal blackmail from an angry acquaintance.

A VPN prevents online snooping because your true computer address (and your true identity) is hidden from the public. You are virtually shielded from government spying, competitor snooping, and even advertisers who would love to bombard your email and message box with unsolicited ads.

Mishandled Information and Spam Bombardment

Most online sites will deploy an internet cookie when you visit their website. This browser cookie is stored on your computer with a packet of information to help that website keep track of you. The use of cookies was invented to bring about a more streamlined, ecommerce experience. When a website stores a cookie on your computer, it keeps track of how often you visit the website, and what items are in your cart, and what items you have purchases. This way, the company can send directed messages to you that are tailored to your online shopping history.

The problem is when this browsing history profiles is mishandled, you are open to having you online information used in ways that you have not agreed to Malware and viruses can be disguised as Internet cookies. And when these cookies collect personal information, that's one more place you have to worry about hackers gaining access.

A VPN provides cloak that makes you invisible by using military-grade 256-bit encryption. This is one of the best ways to shop freely online without being tracked by cookies by hiding your IP address and disassociating your identity from the cookie tracker.

Prevent Phishing and Malware Attacks

Both phishing and malware downloads are used to access your personal information. Your VPN comes equipped with a firewall to prevent malicious software from attacking your computer. Your overall browsing experience is made more secure with a VPN to increase your online data privacy. Your VPN connection is a secure connection that cannot be tracked or monitored. Any data you transmit online is private, and anything you download from the internet is also private.

Today's advanced phishing threats will use HTTPS protocols. But wait - https// is supposed to offer a secure internet connection. While your information may be kept secure from most third parties when you visit these websites, it doesn't secure you from experienced hackers and cyber thieves. So it is possible to visit a malicious website that is hiding behind the https protocol, which is supposed to indicate a secure site.

Act now to learn more about the browsing the web with no ads, trackers, malware or phishing worries.

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