Alternative Apps on Serious Profiling

The video I watched, “Serious Profiling: Have you been profiled yet?” focused on the various ways online identities are made based off our online usage, in other words, the information we put about ourselves online. Such information can range from our relationship status, the school we attend, people we are associated with, the pictures we post, and much more. With this in mind, one might question how many online identities have we created? Or what do these online profiles look like? These online profiles include both information we release out on the internet and information we don’t release such as, “Groups you don’t join, deleted images and events, and even interactions you reject” (Diersmann). Research was conducted at the University of Cambridge and they concluded that Facebook was better at determining someone’s personality, “…than their closet friends, partners, and in some cases, even themselves (Diersmann). I found this study very surprising and interesting because you can see the potential the internet has to discover, collect, and store information about your personal life over time.

The video also focused on how our information is used toward data industries, for example, advertisement and marketing purposes to ensure you special discounts and promotions. After watching this, I questioned how did they have access to all this information without my permission? I also learned how profiling can be used by political parties during the time of election by releasing ads or commericials about voting toward a specific party whether it’s democratic or republican. A question that came up on the video asked how do people feel being profiled for specific advertisements or political parties?

After watching the video, I decided to read a guide called, “How to: Chrome” which focuses on how to keep your information private when searching through the internet. When using Chrome, you can change the settings to incognito mode meaning that all your searches, history, and cookies will be cleared when closing out of Chrome. Another way in how to enhance your privacy is changing your default to a search engine such as DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t collect any data off your searches. The guide also mentioned how in Chrome you can change the settings to “Do Not Track” which will send a request to each website you browse to not track the information your looking up.

The last thing I looked at was a tool called, “Click & Clean” a browser add-on which allows you to clear your history and all the data stored on the browser. In fact, it is very easy to use and with one click all the stored information on the browser will be cleared.

After watching the video, reviewing the guides and tools it made be realized how I can be taking small steps to increase my security and privacy online by doing a little bit of research. Before I started this assignment, I was not aware or informed about all these different tools available free of charge that enhance our privacy online. In my opinion, I think that there should be more awareness about these different resources because they can greatly influence our online security and privacy.

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