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Year 2013’s Biggest Online Privacy Threats You Need to Know

Sick Computer by Ali Ender Birer | BigStock

Sick Computer by Ali Ender Birer | BigStock

As you browse various websites, upload content in the cloud, and post updates on social networking websites, you might be thinking that your online life is not worth tracking. What you didn’t know is that the data you generate shares tons of information about yourself more than you realize.

While there is an ongoing battle on how third parties can access and use your online data, you’re facing new online privacy threats due to emerging technologies and new regulatory effects. Here are the biggest online threats that you need to know.

Invisible Cookie Trackers

It is believed that invisible cookie trackers will multiply in 2013. This software monitors a user’s browsing habit. In relation to this, advertising networks, marketers, and other data profiteers can accumulate more information on what you may be interested to buy.  This means that your system is likely to acquire more cookies than you know, unless there’s legislation in your place that imposes legal restraints on web-browser tracking.

Location Data

Posting your location data on social networking sites will make it difficult for you to make any alibi in the days to come. Don’t just blame it on your social network accounts and smartphones, there’s also the smart car and smart watch that will eventually pinpoint your whereabouts.

Cloud Data Privacy Loophole

Because of the convenience brought by cloud storage, research firm Gartner predicts that 36 percent of US consumer content will be stored in the cloud by 2016. However, these data that people store in the cloud belongs to the service provider and not to the user. But with the outdated ECPA rules, the cloud-based data is susceptible to privacy loopholes.

Data as Face Recognition

Although posting and tagging photos seem like fun, it actually makes a facial recognition database. Industry watchers believe that when a social network sells user data to third parties, a profile photo may be included, making the data’s sanctity uncertain. Because of this, being noticed by third parties will be inevitable.

Cyber Security Scanning

You may not be a hacker, but that doesn’t mean you are exempted from being scanned when it comes to cybercrime. As concerns about the nation’s vulnerability in terms of computer-based attack grow, the federal government has made cyber security a high priority. Simply put, more online watchdogs are needed. But although cyber scanning is supposed to be aggregate, the method can be used in selecting and storing the data, which raises additional privacy issues.

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