Happy Wednesday AMA!
As the semester is ramping up and winding down at the same time, I thought it would be fun to share what our Tuesday Speaker, Pete Knowlton, had to say about internet privacy for consumers AND professionals. Take a break from studying (or procrastinating) and read about some of his best insights!
He graduated from Roanoke College with a music degree, can play over a dozen instruments, and once toured in a band (and played in Austin!).
Fast forward a bit…
Pete is now the Director of Community and Support at Ghostery’s Tallahassee office. After working at an advertising startup in New York and Yahoo, he found himself at Ghostery, a digital privacy company that builds products to protect, educate, and empower users to take back control of their online experiences.
Who is Ghostery?
In the internet world of advertisements and data scraping, Ghostery works as the largest ad-blocking extension in the world. Some might call it counter-cultural, some may say it’s a safer way to browse. We’ve covered Ghostery before, but to give you refresher, here are the four services they offer:
- Ghostery Browser Extension: lets you see who is tracking you and gives you the power to block or unblock advertisements.
- Ghostery Insights: professional website analytics tool that allows you to see tag behavior and website performance.
- Ghostery Midnight: gives you complete data protection and shields your activity over a VPN.
- Ghostery Mobile Browser: integrates ad blocking and tracker protection on your mobile device.
For you, the consumer.
Pete discussed the importance of our digital footprints for advertisers and companies. They provide so much important consumer information, and oftentimes, we are unaware of the data that they collect about us!
He suggested that we consider these questions regarding internet privacy:
- What are your privacy preferences?
- Which types of information are you okay with being collected? Which types are you not?
- Do you think consent should be required?
- Opt-in or opt-out?
As you are online holiday shopping, watching last minute lectures on YouTube, or reading the news online, consider these questions & how they could impact your internet experience.
Debunking Common Internet Myths!
You might have heard of some of these, or even fallen for them. Pete talked about some common Internet privacy myths that are actually not true.
- Private Browsing Mode Protects You from Hackers
- Popular, but not true. It only disables your web cache and browsing history.
- Complex Passwords Protect You from Hackers
- Strong passwords rock! But hackers can still crack them.
- You’re not an Important Target for Hackers
- Anyone can fall victim to hackers, not just rich people or big companies!
- Data Collected by Websites isn’t Sensitive
- Websites can capture your “footprint,” which can be easily accessed.
- You’re Safe if You Stay Away from Unsecure Sites
- Anytime you’re online, you are at risk! Not just on risky sites.
So what can you do?
Here some tools (like Ghostery!) that can help keep you safe while you are online.
Data collection should not be scary. In fact, when it is accompanied with data protection, responsible data collection can exist! It is important for us, both as consumers and professionals, when we are browsing or running our own site, to know how to stay protected.
That first step to protecting your browsing could be getting the Ghostery Browser Extension for yourself! If you want to add the Ghostery Browser Extension, here is a link to get you started!
BY GRACE LI