Internet users should be aware that privacy is a very important factor. Every time we use the network of networks, our personal and confidential data may be compromised when we enter a website or use a program. However, we also have methods and tools that we can use to protect ourselves and prevent our information from falling into the wrong hands. In this tutorial we are going to learn about a series of services to check who is spying on you on the Internet.
Much of the content we enjoy on the Internet is free and financed by advertising. We must also be aware that, if we do not pay for something, the product is us. We are going to start by learning why it is important to maintain privacy and then we will show a series of services to find out who is spying on you on the Internet.
Reasons why privacy is important
When we browse the Internet we must be aware of the importance of ensuring our privacy. Our personal data is of great value to both us, companies and cybercriminals. Thus, they could be used to get us into Spam campaigns, send us personalized advertising, sell our data to third parties, and even become a victim due to identity theft.
The moment we enter a website, the services and platforms where we are registered, may have interests in obtaining our information, in order to obtain economic returns. To achieve this, they use different methods and strategies that are sometimes legal and sometimes not.
Therefore, on the Internet we must be cautious, and not offer data about what device we use, what programs we have installed or personal information. Currently, it should be noted that our personal information is collected using web trackers and social networks. In that sense, we must be aware that, for each site we pass, we leave a digital trail. Next, we are going to see a series of services so that you know who is spying on you on the Internet.
Check if your browser is protected against tracking
On its website, EFF, which comes from the acronym in English Electronic Frontier Foundation, we can review to what extent our browser is prepared against tracking and fingerprinting. We will do it using your web tool in our Internet browser through the following link . Once pressed, a screen like this will appear:
With the test that we are going to perform next, we will see how the trackers see our browser. In addition, it will provide us with a general description of the most unique and identifying characteristics of our browser. To start the test, we will click on the TEST YOUR BROWSER button that you have marked in a black box. Once the tests with the browser are finished, it will show us results like these:
Here the tests indicate that we have some protection against web tracking, but we have some shortcomings. While it blocks tracking ads, it doesn’t block invisible trackers, and the browser has a unique fingerprint.
Check your browser’s fingerprint
This website aims to study the diversity of browser footprints, and provide developers with data to help them design good defenses. In that sense, it should be noted that browsers are relatively unique and are frequently used for our identification. Its way of working is by collecting the fingerprint of your browser through a cookie in the browser for a period of 4 months. Later, we can go back to the web in a few weeks and see if the browser’s fingerprint has become more or less unique.
If we want to access AmIUnique , we will do so through this link . Then this screen will appear:
In the second black box or by clicking here , it offers you some tools such as browser extensions to maintain privacy. On the other hand, if we want to see our browser fingerprint, we will click on «View my browser fingerprint » and we will obtain results like these:
Here he tells us that they have had 2 older identical fingerprints from our device. Then below, you have marked the button with a red box to download its extension for Chrome and Firefox so that we can check if there are changes.
Find out who is spying on you with Trackography
Thanks to Trackography we will be able to discover who spies on you on the Internet when we read our favorite news. To start, you have to click on a blue country on the map. Next, we choose the web of the media that interest us to see:
- Who tracks us
- Which country does our data travel to?
- How your data is handled each time we access this media website.
This is an example from Spain, using the 20-minute information web, although we could put more at the same time:
As you can see, 30 unwanted connections have appeared from the request of a media outlet. In addition, we can observe how we have been tracked from France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States and more. In short, it helps us to know from which places the trackers collect the information when we do something as simple as checking the news.
Block trackers with Disconnect
The first thing to say is that Disconnect is a browser extension that we can install in Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. If we have it installed, it blocks more than 2,000 individual trackers from following our steps on the Internet. In addition, blocking a large number of trackers according to Disconnect would load websites 27% faster. Installing it is very simple, we go to the Disconnect website and click on the Get Disconnect button.
Thunderbeam-Lightbeam for Chrome
Another way to find out who is spying on you on the Internet is by installing the Thunderbeam-Lightbeam Chrome extension. If you want to install it, you can do it from the following link in the Chrome Store.
This extension uses interactive visualizations to show users the relationship with third parties. Once installed it begins to record connections. For example, to view our interactions online, we open a new tab, navigate to a web page, and then open the extension by clicking on the Lightbeam icon in the upper-right corner of the browser.
How to block trackers online
With a series of tools and extensions you have been able to see who is spying on you on the Internet. However, not all of the ones we’ve talked about block trackers. One of the ones we could use is uBlock Origin which blocks trackers, malicious ad servers, and malware. Another good tip would be to use the HTTPS Everywhere extension that enables HTTPS to protect your data in transit.
We could also use these tools to block online trackers:
- Privacy Badger to block trackers and unwanted cookies.
- NoScript that blocks background scripts.
- PixelBlock blocks tracking pixels in Gmail.
We must not forget either one of the best browsers to maintain privacy, which is none other than Tor Browser . Thanks to the use of built-in script blocking and onion routing protocol to protect your privacy we can rest easy. On the other hand, to search the Internet without the trackers collecting information from our searches, a good alternative is DuckDuckGo .
Finally, thanks to the tools presented in this tutorial, you can who is spying on you on the Internet and also install tools that block those trackers that affect our privacy.