Warning: They’re tracking everything you do

Richard Beaty

Protecting Your Privacy Online

Almost every time you turn on the news, you hear of someone else being hacked, records stolen or privacy invaded. And this doesn’t just happen to other people. Anytime you go online your personal privacy and security are at risk. If you are not paying attention, you will become a victim of some kind of computer incursion. Throughout the summer I am going to include computer security topics in this article. It is not my intention to scare anybody. Rather, I want to point out simple things you can do to minimize (notice I did not say eliminate) the possibility of becoming a victim.

Today’s topic may seem rather mundane compared to some of the malicious things that go on out there. But if you value your privacy, you need to be aware that whenever you use a search engine or visit a website, your actions are being recorded. There is lots of money to be made by companies who gather and sell your information to sales and marketing firms. The companies that engage in this kind of tracking (a.k.a. snooping) justify it by saying they do it to provide a better “user experience.” What they mean is, once they know your interests they can put relevant advertisements in front of you on everything from your webmail account to Facebook to Amazon-all to improve your “user experience.” Right-.

Sometimes these ads can be benign. Other times they constitute a real invasion of personal privacy. For instance, if you are searching for information about certain medical conditions you may not want this appearing on your Facebook page. The answer is to use a search engine that doesn’t track your searches, followed by the use of a proxy server that keeps your website visits anonymous. Sound complicated? It’s not. Simply heading over to exProxies and looking into their offers on private proxies will have you setting one up in no time, even with no previous knowledge of a proxy service. The limited space provided me for this article does not allow me to give all the details here. But if you visit my blog, I’ll give you a step-by-step procedure for keeping your private information private.

See: www.ToolsToysAndTechnology.com/2015/06/private-browsing/

Summer Class Schedule

Most of the snowbirds have vacated SaddleBrooke for cooler climes, but not everything has come to a standstill at SaddleBrooke Computer Club.

Our primary club activity is to offer classes on various computer and technology topics that are taught by a generous volunteer teaching staff. Last month I listed the summer classes being offered. They include classes for beginners and others for more experienced computer users. To see a current list of all the summer offerings, go to the club website at: www.saddlebrookecc.org and click the Calendar link.

Current club members can enroll in these classes by going to www.saddlebrookecc.org and clicking on Enrollment. If you are not a current member, you can find out how to join at www.saddlebrookecc.org and clicking on Membership.