Almost everyone knows computers need virus protection. Knowledge about safety and privacy-friendly online behavior is much less widespread, though, and extensive media coverage of Edward Snowden’s leaks regarding U.S. government surveillance didn’t even change the situation. We’ve asked ordinary people, what they think about online tracking, how they protect themselves and what kind of tracking is more irritating – government, commercial and advertising entities, or spying relatives and employers.
Occupation: undergraduate student
Tracking bothers everyone. No one wants to disclose special moments in his/her life. Most people gladly share data, but the active collection of other information is a bad thing.
All types of tracking worries me. However, consequences are different. The Government never acted on me, but if your wife spies on you – you’ll probably see the results very quickly. To protect my privacy, I don’t publically share information about my whereabouts and current intentions; I tell important stories only in person, not online. And I use an antivirus.
Occupation: software testing specialist
Hobby: biking, ping pong, billiards, snowboarding
I don’t care about online tracking. I doubt anyone bothers to track me, personally. The only possible exception is an ex-girlfriend, which might be annoying – especially on social networks. To protect myself, I use complicated passwords to prevent others from prying into my accounts.
Occupation: purchasing manager
Hobby: rollerblades, parenting
It’s almost impossible and pointless to hide anything on the Internet today. If someone has interest in your affairs, he will be able to dig everything up on you very quickly. So I don’t even try to hide anything – it’s easy to Google me, I have a blog full of details about my life – you’re welcome to visit! I only try to avoid malware and use my email address wisely to receive fewer spam messages.
Occupation: IT administrator
Hobby: photography, hiking
I pay more attention to commercial tracking performed by Facebook, Google and others. We are bound to those IT giants. They provide free services, but in reality, we pay with our personal data. Then our data is sold to unknown third parties, so it’s difficult to predict long-term consequences. Consequences that are more obvious come from corporate monitoring. I know this very well because I am responsible for such monitoring in my company. If you “misbehave,” you’ll learn about ongoing surveillance by your wife or employer very quickly.
I don’t implement specific anti-tracking protection, but I pay attention to network threats in general. For example, I don’t use open Wi-Fi hotspots without activating my VPN.
Occupation: dairy products manufacturing technician
Hobby: Kaspersky Lab fan club
Honestly speaking, I don’t have much to hide. However, I don’t like when someone spies on me. It’s especially unpleasant to read new revelations about NSA analysts using U.S. surveillance databases for personal reasons. In real life, the most irritating thing is advertiser tracking because it constantly shows the same irrelevant ads. To protect myself, I use strong passwords and Kaspersky Internet Security – Multi-Device, of course.
Occupation: undergraduate student
Hobby: Formula 1
I don’t really worry about government tracking. I have nothing illegal to hide. The thing that shouldn’t be possible is a simple data collection on me using Google searches or other tools. That’s why I try to avoid using my real name on random sites, I use several temporary emails to reduce spam, etc. I’m not married, so I don’t have a wife spying on me yet . However, my ex used to track my messages with friends, which was the cause for some conflicts. We shared the same computer, so it was almost inevitable. You can see the consequences of spying almost in real time!