Tracking Your Online Movements

Cookies

While cookies are useful for customizing preferences or retaining certain personal information for repeat customers purchasing products online, they can also be intrusive when it comes to collecting demographic information or tracking your every movement on the internet. Cookies enable companies to not only track and document your surfing habits on any particular site, but also across all sites. Over time, an accurate profile can be built of your likes, dislikes, what products and services you purchase, and at what frequency you buy them.

Cookies are only as intrusive as you allow them to be. They can store only the information you volunteer; if you don’t want a site to have any of your personal information, don’t enter it.

Atul Verma has developed a Firefox plug-in that visually illustrates the data that is shared across websites as you surf the web.  Comments on his blog post also offer strategies to manage your privacy while surfing the internet.

Click here to read more about the plug-in application

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Author: Nandhini Gulasingam

Nandhini Gulasingam is a Senior Analyst for IT Solutions at the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) where she manages GIS, database, web development projects for the SSRC and is developing data visualization techniques for use in the social and behavioral sciences. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

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