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Consumers dislike it, but do little about being tracked online

Most users know their online activity is being tracked. They’re not OK with it, yet most of them do nothing about it. Those are the general conclusions of a new quiz entitled ‘Are you cyber savvy?’, made by Kaspersky Lab.

The security firm says consumers don’t know how to protect their privacy online.

The majority of users (79 per cent) don’t like being tracked, but 41 per cent do nothing about it. Nine per cent didn’t even know they were being tracked.

Twenty-seven per cent use their browser’s privacy mode, and 11 per cent use a special plug in, Kaspersky Lab says, before giving tips on how to stay safe online:

  • Disable auto add-on installation. Block suspicious websites and pop-ups, make SSL certificate checks compulsory and block third party cookies.
  • A lot of software (especially freeware) come bundled with other software. That other software is sometimes called bloatware and basically installs toolbars, plugins and extensions that often collect user data.
  • Use HTTPS sites whenever you can. Dedicate a specific browser for primary online services.
  • Use VPN traffic encryption
  • Use private features offered in various security programs and browsers.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab says, “Consumers are uncomfortable with the fact that their online activities are being tracked. And who can blame them? With tracking data, it’s possible for advertisers, or even malicious third parties, to peer into the life of a person – from where they go, to the sites they browse. However, the crux of the problem is that many users simply aren’t cyber-savvy enough when it comes to protecting themselves from online tracking. They may be concerned, but do nothing about it. Even worse, they may not understand that they are putting their privacy at risk at all.”