Other issues in this category (24)
Everything is logged
Every Internet user, like it or not, needs to realise that everything transmitted via the Internet (from opening links to actions they take on websites) could be exposed sooner or later. Even if a user isn't transmitting any data deliberately, they are still leaving traces of themselves as they move along the “information superhighway”, as the Internet was often referred to in the 1990s. That's why, when you’re on the Internet, only share information if you're confident that you’ll never regret it.
Thirty-year-old Ukrainian Anton Vaulin was arrested in Poland and is awaiting extradition to the US. The alleged owner of KickassTorrents (KAT), one of the most popular torrent sites, he did his best to conceal his connection with the site and avoided all activities that could arouse the suspicion of authorities. However, eventually, when he logged onto the KAT fan page on Facebook and made a purchase on iTunes from the same IP address, US authorities decided that they had their man. Apple and Facebook shared data with law enforcement agencies.
Ironically, the alleged criminal, who is supposedly guilty of copyright infringement and money-laundering, was arrested because he purchased music legally on Apple's site. This fact, as well as the numerous traces he left on the Internet, helped investigators connect the buyer and torrent-site owner and catch their suspect. And, everyone knows how relentlessly US copyright holders pursue those who infringe upon their rights.
Well, says the person acting as Devil's advocate. —Site owners have all sorts of user information in their possession, and law enforcement agencies have the authority to request access to it. But, if I am a law-abiding citizen, I won’t ever attract their attention, right?
Alas, the information of those who frequent the most popular sites can be accessed by other people, too.
With undocumented Facebook features, one can spy on their friends and determine with reasonable accuracy when they wake up, when they fall asleep, how much time they spend on their PCs, and when they use their handhelds, and whether they access the social-networking site at work. And, if one is really eager and lucky, they can even find out who their friends prefer to interact with!
But this is not the only problem. Thanks to Tinder Social, which was originally introduced in Australia and later became available in the US and the UK, other Tinder users can see which of your Facebook friends also use the application and access their Tinder profiles. When tested in Australia, the feature was activated automatically. However, later the feature became available only if users would toggle it on. Nonetheless, criminals can make use of the feature to blackmail users who wouldn't want other people to know that they use Tinder.
- Complete anonymity on the Internet is a MYTH. If someone needs to track down an individual, it is only a matter of time before they succeed. All actions are logged and the information is collected and analysed. Information about you may be used by a third party, and the consequences can be rather unpleasant not because of ill intent but simply due to negligence or excessive curiosity. Deliberate harm can't be ruled out either.
- The US has already extended its jurisdiction to many countries and considers itself to be justified in arresting other countries' citizens when they are located in third-party territory. The day may soon come when people who are being prosecuted by US corporations will be arrested, too. That's why it may be a good idea to avoid torrent sites altogether.
- Use the free browser plugin Dr.Web LinkChecker. It will help prevent at least some information about you from being collected. The plugin can block web page hit counters, ads, flash and social media content. All these items can be used to record and process information. Please note that, by default, the medium content-blocking level is enabled. If you'd like to use the paranoid protection mode, use the maximum blocking level to disable social media code: