The Tracks You Leave On The Internet: Who Is Tracking You On The Web?

Do you know when you visit a website, tiny tracking files record what you do online! Tracking companies use these records to build a profile of your behavior. Often, the tracking companies sells this information directly to advertisers. Your data is also made available on exchange networks where quite literally anyone can purchase your profile. Your data can be combined with other sources of your personal data. This is then sold to advertisers looking for consumers with your interests. Advertisers buy ad space from websites at auctions. Automated bidding tool then conduct real-time as you browse the web.

So who is tracking you on the web? Nearly every major website like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. tracks you in some way! These sites are just a small selection from millions of websites that track their visitors and sell or partner with companies that sell/share their information.

Automated bidding - Websites you visit show you ads or other content based on the description of you in the dossiers that tracking companies have built and analyzed. A user visits a web page. The visit is auctioned to the highest bidder. The bidder is usually a technology broker acting on behalf of an advertiser. If the user had browser for Hawaii vacations, that person will see ads related to hotel companies.

How they're tracking you

Cookies - A small piece of data [like IP (internet protocol) address, browser type, internet service provider and other technical info - not any personal information] sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website/blog/webpage.

Type of cookies
  • Strictly Necessary cookies - essential for the website to work.
  • Functional cookies - That collect social sharing and behavioral information.
  • Targeting cookies - Full user tracking.

5 Steps to get Pro-Active about privacy

  1. Install a browser plug-in like collusion to see which and how many companies are tracking you over the course of a normal day.
  2. Delete/remove/clear your browser cookies every day.
  3. Install plugins (Available for major browsers - Chrome, Firefox, etc.) that block trackers like Ghostery, Disconnect or Peerblock.
  4. Use a virtual private network (VPN) to add another layer to your internet use.
  5. Voice your concerns to your local representatives when internet privacy issues are up for vote! Sites like will keep you up to date.
How Companies Track You on the Web : The Tracks You Leave On The Internet: Who Is Tracking You On The Web?

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