Learn about data leakage and ways to stop it

Over the past time, the technology has considerably been improved and reached its new innovative and powerful potential. People are now more dependent on their electronic devices than ever, which means they carry it with them everywhere. Given the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, it naturally comes with downloading third-party apps without checking their safety. Data can get leaked in every possible way, no matter if you’re using a public Wi-Fi or your own phone’s cellular data. Most of the times it is seen as a harmless thing that phones or other electronic devices do, but it has the potential of getting out of hand very quickly. Now here are a couple of ways your data is getting leaked without you possibly suspecting it.

1.      Sharing Location

Apps can get downloaded over 4G connection when you’re outside your house, and given the powerful smartphones that we have, they, of course, include location data. In case of bad connection, it is possible to use signal boosters to still be able to strengthen the signal and download through cellular data. The trouble with this is that third party apps often bring up a list of permissions that they need and particular points such as location may not be absolutely necessary. This is how most of the time the apps track down where you go and what you do as you take your phone with you. Your location can also be tracked through the photos that you take with your camera and use later to post it on any social media platform. It makes it easier for other people to be able to track you since the location stays in the metadata. In order to avoid such things from happening, make sure you grant access of your location to the apps that are verified by Play Store and App Store, and the apps that truly need location, instead of the third-party apps that have nothing to do with it.

2.      Connecting Online Platforms

Many people use social media platforms to talk to friends, share important events, memories and personal information about them. Social media platforms are powerful but what makes them even more powerful is the fact that you can link them to one another and often times some things you share in one platform may get shared yet one more time on another platform, without your permission. This can happen when you grant permission of linking your accounts but not taking into consideration which accounts are private and which ones are public. If a private account gets linked to a public account, some personal data from the private account will inevitably end up being shared as well. It seems like a minor issue, however discovering this after a certain period of time may be irritating. A way to avoid this is to check which accounts have what permission and which accounts are public/private in order to understand whether you want them linked to each other.

3.      Trusting

Regarding the social media platforms, there are also certain issues regarding trust and how people end up unconsciously leaking their personal data through those trusted social media platforms. In fact, whatever that is once posted in social media will always remain in the social media. This can be explained by the phenomenon that people are free to commit any actions for their own benefit, and whether they decide to screenshot a certain post, comment, conversation, it can always be found and leaked. Of course, there are millions of people using popular social media platforms and the conversations they have with their friends can naturally be encrypted to avoid others from reading it, however there is no guarantee that either of the talking sides won’t take screenshots. The only thing you can do to avoid these types of situations is to use social media carefully and make sure you know the people you are talking to and trust them enough to share information.

4.      Being Online

Another common habit that people have is logging in to their social media platforms or apps from other phones, computers and electronic devices, most of the time from public devices as well. Now it doesn’t seem as dangerous, however often times you may forget to log out before you move on, and other people will be able to watch your profile and have access to all your personal data. Now if you remember that you have done something similar there are ways to actually distantly log out from your social media account from a specific device. All you have to do is go to the settings of your profile and depending on the social media platform you use, find the currently logged in devices and end their session. Another quick proactive option you can opt for is using incognito or private windows so that even if you forget to log out, the browser will do it for you once the window is closed.

5.      Forgetting about cookies

Most of the websites use cookies in order to make your experience with the website more comfortable and fast. This is also the case with social media platforms as well. Moreover, social media platforms can also use cookies to be able to track your browsing behavior and consequently be able to offer you with corresponding advertisements that are more likely to interest you. The more you stick around and the more you browse, the higher the risk that more of your browsing data will be noticed. So in order to stop this from happening, you can make it a habit to regularly delete cookies from your browser.

These are the least of the ways that your personal data usually gets leaked and causes trouble for you, however they are still important to look into. Privacy is a major issue and it’s being widely discussed over the course of the past months, so it’s important to always be on guard and watch out for the leaks.

Incredible Planet Staff

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