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Yes, get over it. Because in today's knowledge obsessed world, data is priced commodity. And any organization—or individual—who wants it will. And sad thing about this is that we most times give it away without knowing. Did you just ask how? Simple. You are kind that likes to download lot of free stuff—music, games, softwares and what have you. But what you never knew that you are actually paying for those programs with data—your personal information. Surprised? Don't be. (There is no such thing as a free lunch.) And when this data is taken and used for marketing purposes it can also be sold to a third party, who may use it for whatever it pleases.
And if you're not tricked into giving your data away, there are always insidious programs like Cookies and Trojan horses. A Cookie is a program which you sometimes download for better viewing of certain websites. (It is a security loophole and can be used by skilled hackers and crackers to infiltrate your system.) A Trojan horse—like fabled wooden horse which Greeks used in infiltrating Troy—is a back door to your computer which a cracker can use whenever he or she desires to steal data. Or simply take over your computer to cause mayhem. (To discover a Trojan horse—it works invisibly—a good antivirus like Norton, MacAfee, or even Panda is required.)
They are a lot of compromised websites out there embedded with Spywares and Trojan Horses. But problem is—it's impossible to tell a normal website from a compromised one. So what do you do? The best bet is to browse without downloading anything you don't trust. I personally prefer this advice from Bob Kane's and Bill Fingers' Batman: "Trust nobody." Because your friends' computers or E-mails maybe compromised without them ever knowing it. (Never open an attachment you are not expecting, even from those you know.)
With Net and Web came good things. Like exchange of knowledge and ideas (a student studying micro electronics somewhere in Srilanka maybe reading latest development in nanotechnology published by professors in MIT.) People interact today from far corners of globe who would not have met ten years ago (a boy from South Africa chatting with a girl from Philippines). We can download latest music through Mp3s. We can send and receive pictures and home movie videos. But for all this freedom which web gives we pay a price—we forfeit our privacies. Because anyone, anywhere on Web, who is interested, can trace us. (Our digital tracts are everywhere.)
So even if you choose to move unnoticed like a phantom by using an Anonymizer—software which masks your identity—it's all a means to make us feel better. Because fact is no matter what we do on Net, no matter how we try to conceal our movements or even use softwares to protect our privacies—Big Brother is watching us!
Val .K. is a poet, and a nature lover. A collection of his poems "Without a Name" will soon be published by AuthorHouse, U.S.A. For personal contact, send mails to: email@example.com
Val .K. is a free lance writer, a book reviewer, a poet, and a nature lover.