Are You Really Alone?

Are You Really Alone?

In the world of digitization & socialization, we are connected to each other via any of the communication channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, or any other, but have you ever thought of leaving it all and just do what’s more important to you? Leaving all these means to boycott these platforms and focusing on your goals. Here comes another hypothesis, leaving all social platforms and using your device for educational purposes like searching the web for answers and being alone all the time, but are you sure that even after removing these platforms, you are alone? The straight answer is no!

Suppose, you go to an offline market and do some research about a specific product. You went to 3 different shops and returns home unsatisfied with the pricing of the products. Now how would you react if a stranger (person has no contacts with the shops you visited) comes to your house and presents you the same product with less price? The first question that arises is that how the person got to know about your shopping preference and you are still interested in purchasing the product. Secondly, your personal details and address. You may not have noticed but this happens to you every time. Whether you are using Facebook, Instagram, or whatever else you get “targeted ads”.

Whenever you search about any product on Flipkart, Amazon, or Snapdeal for instance, the moment you exit the app and start using your social media platforms, you are popped with tons of ads offering great deals but most of them are unsafe sites and adware in case of PC users. How can you differentiate between a random person visiting your home and the ad service? You are “tracked” each and every time you are online by these social monsters and offline by your cell towers. I give you another example. I recently bought a domain and the very next day I am received tons of emails and spam calls for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Web designing, and bla-bla. I mean they are so greedy for work that even if you simply search for headphones on Flipkart, the very next hour you will be receiving ads, pop-ups flashing headphones at the cheapest price from “unknown sources”. I term all these practices as “DARK PATTERN” marketing.

Now the shocking part is that every one of us has opted for these services! Do you remember the last time you read any policy regarding data sharing and usage analytics? We as users are only concerned about our work and don’t bother about Data sharing and Analytics. We all use Android devices (nearly 94%) and all these are powered and tracked by Google whether you have MIUI, Oxygen OS, Color OS, etc and it further uses that data to get advertisers. Here is an example of Gmail.

You can never be alone. You are tracked every time, every day and that’s a harsh reality.

Any solutions?

Though these solutions will not fully protect you they will decrease the risk of fraud and online tracking.

  • Try to browse through Tor Browser. Tor project’s main aim is to protect users from unwanted activities and trackers. (Comment down if you want a separate article regarding the why part)
  • Always have a go-through of the user policies you are opting for. Make a habit of checking each and every tick-mark you are giving while signing up on any platform.
  • Never synchronize all your devices as they become major data miners about your behavior and your search history.
  • Try to avoid Google for searching and opt for DuckDuckGo. (Comment down if you want a separate article regarding the why part)

These are some of the solutions which I think can help you get out of this loop.

Kaustubh Gupta
Kaustubh Gupta That Data Guy, Habitual Writer and Tech Enuthusist