Every thing that goes online, voluntarily or involuntarily, has some value and thus becomes a fair game for data mining. You wouldn’t even know, but the information about what you just shared on Facebook, or what answer you just upvoted on Quora gets stored on databases which is later used for flooding you with “things you may like.” The motive behind data mining is to create a profile of how you behave on the internet; what your preferences are; and socio-economic status, even without your knowledge.
There are numerous arguments supporting data mining as a tool that helps in customizing online experience, but actually the data extracted from your personal space is purchased and sold between hundreds of companies, from online shopping portals to dating sites, whose services you may never use. This sale and purchase of data which causes a flood of advertisements can be reduced by reducing your data exhaust. Data exhaust is the amount of data you’re giving away to get mined. Exhaust can be reduced, but can’t be completely stopped. Below are some tips you should follow to reduce this cyber exhaust.
- Be As Private as Possible
Provide only necessary details, and hide as much data as you can on social media profiles, online accounts, and even on your browser. This can be done by disabling cookies, turning off location services and opting out of online trackers in order to provide as little information as possible.
- Use Privacy Add-ons
There are various add-ons and plug-ins for browsers that can help you reduce your cyber exhaust. One such tool is Privacy Badger. It is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.
- Log Out Everytime
There are trackers always tracking for your information. So, for an extra layer of privacy, log out of your social media accounts when browsing the web to avoid trackers from sending information to social media channels.
- Use Privacy Alternatives
As a result of the data mining, concerned users turn to alternative tools, such as browsers, VPN services and social media services that help to hide their online footprints.