CAN THEY TRACK ME?



By Samson k okemakinde

The answer is: YES, they can.
So, who are they, and why do they want to track me?
I wish I could tell you that “they” simply refers to the big tech companies (such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.) and big Government setups (such as the NSA and GCHQ). As it is, “they” refers to basically anybody that really wants to track you, including me.
You use tech, like it or not. You make calls. You use the internet (probably a lot) and you can definitely not resist the allure of free Wi-Fi. So, anybody that really wants to know, can know where you are, what you have done, what you are doing and possibly predict what you are going to do. According to activistpost.com (2010), it is estimated that computers know to a 93% accuracy where you will be, before you make your first move. That’s really scary.
The number one entity that knows so much about you is your browser (with the assistance of cookies and other related software). Take a look at this screenshot I just took:


Take note of the last line that says “You’ve visited this page 2 times, Last Visit: 5/12/16”. I didn’t even know the last time I visited the page, but my Google chrome browser knows (and so does the website).
Try this simple experiment. Get on google and run a search for a particular product ( might be wristwatches, cellphones, etc.). Make sure to visit a couple of the links shown to you and spend about 5 minutes just surfing around on that product.
Then switch to your facebook account and take note of the ads you will start seeing on your pages. There is a 95% percent probability that those ads will either be about the products you just searched for, or related products. So, they know what you just did, and they are using your interests (gleamed from your searches) to serve you with targeted ads.
The websites you visit have an idea of where you are also, they just don’t let you know they do. Here is another screenshot:



That is from a simple webpage that too me less than 5 minutes to setup. So, think about the tracking capabilities the big tech firms have.
To the lovers of free Wi-Fi (myself included), a technology called IPS (Indoor positioning system) allows pinpoint tracking of any Wi-Fi enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet, within a building. This means that IPS technology could easily track you right down to the table you are sitting at.
Sometime in 2016, the New York Times published a story about Mark Zuckerberg covering his webcam and audio ports. (You might want to check that out). Of course, he of all people knows that almost any device that connects you to the outside world can be used to track you.
I’m almost at my word limit. I will continue this soon.



 

Editor's Note:Samson k Okemakinde is a recent graduate of computer science,university of Ibadan. He is tech savvy, a songwriter, singer and freelance writer.The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

 

 

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