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Keeping your Information Private from Big Data Companies

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Data collection is ranked as one of the most important factors for decision-making in the technological age. With an extensive amount of data, we can analyze, create risk profiles, and make near-accurate predictions.

For clarity, big data can be defined as a significant amount of data utilized for drawing up patterns for the prediction of trends associated with human behaviour. This analysis is performed by computers and can take a very long period to process using analogue methods.

Privacy Intrusion- The Masked Disadvantage

Big data can be used across several sectors. In the telecommunication sector, helpdesk agents use big data to process requests quicker. In healthcare, it can be used to determine chronic illnesses that a patient may develop.

However, despite these benefits, big data poses a threat to individual privacy. Firms that collect a lot of data about consumers have a hard time hiding personal identities. Even if the company abstains from storing the names of people, any person’s identity can still be ascertained.

The risk of privacy breaches is also getting higher. Even the biggest organizations with their advanced cybersecurity techniques still get hacked. This has led to the exposure of sensitive consumer information too. To secure your information from ending up as big data, you can observe the following steps.

Guidelines for Protecting Sensitive Data

Utilize the Tor Network

If you don’t want to get tracked, you can utilize Tor’s network. Tor’s network is widely considered to be the safest form of private browsing. It facilitates access to the deep and dark web where almost everyone is anonymous.

Tor’s network improves your anonymity through encryption and bouncing of your traffic through numerous servers. Even your ISP finds it impossible to track you once you use this network. Because of extended rerouting of internet traffic, using the Tor network makes the browsing experience seem slower.

However, if you need to ‘go dark’ or keep your identity secret online, Tor is your best bet. You can access this network using the Tor Browser.

Download a VPN for your Devices

A Virtual Private Network routes your internet traffic via a server of your choice. If you are not sure what a VPN is, the app prevents your ISP from getting information about your internet activity.

Compared to using the Tor network, a VPN protects you from all forms of internet spying on all browsers. Tor network only protects your internet activity in the Tor browser. For protecting our privacy online, combining the Tor browser with a VPN is the best practice.

VPNs also prevent your IP address from getting seen by another party. This dynamic IP change makes it harder for advertisers and big data companies to track you on the internet.

Use a Privacy-Oriented Chat App

Earlier in 2021, Whatsapp released its new privacy policy mandating users to share their data with Facebook for continued use of the messenger app. Considering the privacy violations associated with Facebook, data on Whatsapp is most likely getting stored.

You’ll need to switch to a chat app with encrypted messaging to secure your communications. You can use Signal or Jabber/OTP to communicate securely with your friends. Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk touted the Signal chat app after Whatsapp’s new privacy policy, causing the app to trend.

Signal has a track record of not giving up messaging data to anyone, even the government. In 2016, the company received a subpoena from the US government and was only able to provide non-crucial information.

Final Thoughts

Consumer data is being collected en masse in a bid to simplify certain processes. However, even though this data can serve its purpose, it could also lead to privacy infringements. Sensitive data about individuals could get stolen and used for harmful purposes.

To protect your data, you can use the Tor network, get a VPN, and use an end-to-end encrypted chat app.

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