Is Online Privacy a Thing of the Past?

With our data being pinched at by every company under the sun, many just assume that there is no such thing as privacy on the internet anymore.

Is this over-generalized statement true?

Yes and no. There is privacy to be had online, the key to obtaining it is to not use the web or interact on social media. That means no Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for you. Not only can you not use social media, how would you like to stop using cloud services such as Dropbox or your favorite and arguably the best email service, GMail.  If you fret about privacy — online is NOT where you want to be.

However, at the price of disclosing information about yourself to certain trusted services, which typically force you to agree to the terms of the service, you get to use the service for free.  Examples include every Google service, every social network, any online shopping destination and more.  However, web services collecting information about you and your data (surfing habits, email, articles in your email and more) only make your experience better. How? Instead of getting ads that do not relate to you, you can have ads served that actually make you want to click or entice you to try a new product that you’ve been looking for. In addition, if you’re in the Google ecosystem user your shipping information can be pulled from GMail so that you can track your packages easier, your emails can be monitored for spam or Google Now can tell your how far you are from work and let you know how light or heavy the traffic is. Now those are details that you should want to know! Just think, by you providing a little bit of your data you get a great user experience in return. So, why the bellyaching?

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Bottom line: Unless you want to lose free and convenient services on the internet, you might want to think twice about complaining.

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