Pressing something as simple as a “Like” button for most people is no big deal but, believe it or not, it’s something that I have intentionally never done in my life.  I’m extremely hesitant because I know that that click means so much more than just a click.  It’s what companies are paying millions of dollars for.  It’s this permanent marker for whatever company –and the government– to know something, even if it’s personal, about you and later store that information to possibly use against you, target market something, share that information with others that you don’t want to have access to (again, this includes government agencies, such as the DEA and IRS, who “regularly collect, store, and request information from companies like Facebook and Twitter”), and much more.

Simply put, violating your privacy = big bucks.

But, as many people think, why bother to protect your privacy when, at this point in time, “Privacy is dead, right?”  Because, no matter what you do, no matter where you go, you just can’t hide from the internet age where the government and companies like Facebook and Google know everything there is to know about you.  But, this is far from true.  There are several ways to protect yourself and one of your most important and effective tool is just being aware.  Be aware of what information you are giving out online, be aware of companies that ask for your address and more in exchange for something, be aware of what you “Like,” and just be alert as a whole.  Think twice before giving information out because once it is out, it’s likely bought, collected, and stored and you don’t have the right to change it.

I will briefly mention some ways to protect yourself, but to get a complete story of knowing how to take such measures, please visit this link:  http://lifehacker.com/5887140/everyones-trying-to-track-what-you-do-on-the-web-heres-how-to-stop-them

For chrome users, as lifehacker explains “there are tons of great add-ons and tools designed to help you uncover which sites transmit data to third parties without your knowledge, which third parties are talking about you, and which third parties are tracking your activity across sites.”  Below I’ll mention some of their suggestions, but to get the full details on how to use the following tools, just take pay a quick visit to their site.

-Install Adblock Plus

-Ghostery

-ScriptNo for Chrome

-Do Not Track Plus

For Firefox users, you can use very similar features as Chrome users.  They include:

-Adblock Plus

-Ghostery

-Do Not Track Plus

-NoScript

-Priv3

Again, to get the full details, please visit the the site that I provided.  Lifehacker also provides information on how to protect your privacy if you browse the web using Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.

Just always remember that your data is undoubtedly valuable.  There is a reason that it possesses financial worth, there is a reason that it is being tracked, there is a reason that companies want it.  As the adage goes, “If you’re not paying for a service, you’re the product.”

To learn more about why should care about and defend your privacy, please visit this site:  http://lifehacker.com/5904966/why-you-should-care-about-and-defend-your-privacy

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