Privacy is generally defined as the ability of a person or a group of people to isolate themselves or their knowledge of a third party. We can loosely define privacy on the Internet as the ability for every user to retain and control information – any information that can be disclosed and any information that could prevent it. For example, a user can restrict access to pictures on an album on the Internet, but many interested experts on privacy and security believe that there is no privacy on the Internet.
The Internet Service Provider (ISP) function is an intermediary between the user’s PC and Internet space whereby all user information passes through. This means that in theory, the Internet Service Provider can see all your information that you send and receive on the Internet. Most Internet Service Providers do not do track the information that passes through their servers for moral and legal reasons. Whilee there are some Internet Service Providers who are using Packet Sniffing technology programs where they can track and analyse user information passing through its organs in order to see tendencies Profile for the user to browse the Web, and therefore sell this information to other advertising companies for profit.
But Keyloggers is a programme that can track user clicks on the keyboard. This type of software is downloaded into the user’s computer when visiting malicious sites or carrying unknown open attachments with electronic messages. Keyloggers is high risk to the privacy of the user especially when a user is regularly accessing banking and financial sites.
“Privacy is at the heart of freedom and autonomy… It’s up to all of us to get involved and speak up so that it stays that way.”
— Michelle De Mooy, Deputy Director, Consumer Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology
Furthermore, there is also Web Bugs. Web Bugs are small programmes placed on web pages and e-mails which the user can’t see. And the task of monitoring the user view it in the event of a certain part of a web page or email, which was intended to deliberately cheat the user to draw it to the deceptive and malicious sites.
Social engineering has become a very serious issue of privacy during the past few years. They are used on the Internet to manipulate people who disclose their confidential information. Phishing is a subdivision of social engineering which has become commonly used in phishing sensitive information of Internet users. Phishing programmes are working to gain the confidence of the user and send an email to look like the official websites of banks and credit card firms by requesting confidential information such as bank account numbers and passwords. Additionally, some phishing programs can redirect the user without his knowledge to fake sites – quite similar to some legitimate sites in order to fool the user and make them reveal their private information.
Moreover Spyware (Spyware) on the Internet that would be responsible for compiling information about the user without his knowledge and control of the user how to surf the Web. Spyware programs are able Forward browsing on the Web without any user intervention.
Search engines also record all searches carried out by the user and it also maintains a network address (IP address) for each user. Some countries are using the information stored with the search engines in case the user in the irregularities.
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“Each of us should have a meaningful choice about where and how our data is stored and managed.”
— Mitchell Baker, Mozilla
Author : Saif Ahmed