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Internet privacy has become a major concern as millions of people worldwide log online every day. At best, internet privacy is the attempt to exercise some control over the type of information and amount of information a person reveals about themselves online. The concern of privacy also extends to who may access that information. However, there is some debate among many experts in the field of internet security over what constitutes internet privacy. Some believe that internet privacy does not exist. According to Steve Rambam, a private investigator who specializes in internet privacy cases, “Privacy is dead.” In an essay titled “The Value of Privacy,“ security expert Bruce Schneier writes that "Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance."

Millions of individuals are subject to internet privacy threats. Not everyone, however, has the same level of concern over it. For those with a concern, privacy can be somewhat protected through controlled disclosure of personal information. In other words, simply be careful of how much personal information you reveal online. Try to keep as much personal information as possible private. In today’s technological world, companies are hired to gather information about sites that you visit online, then send information or “SPAM” to you based on your browsing history. Other more malicious threats to internet privacy include spy ware and various “software bugs.

According to Wikipedia:
Spyware is a piece of software that obtains information from a user's computer without that user's consent. A “web bug” is an object embedded into a web page or email and is usually invisible to the user of the website or reader of the email. It allows checking to see if a person has looked at a particular website or read a specific email message.

Phishing is a criminally fraudulent process of trying to obtain sensitive information such as user names, passwords, credit card or bank information. Phishing is an internet crime in which someone masquerades as a trustworthy entity in some form of electronic communication.

Pharming is hackers attempt to redirect traffic from a legitimate website to a completely different internet address. Pharming can be conducted by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by exploiting a vulnerability on the DNS server.

Malware is a term short for "malicious software" and is used to describe software to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network whether that is through the use of a virus, trojan horse, spyware, etc.

Social networking sites are very popular today and pose another threat to internet privacy. Privacy settings are provided for all registered users of these websites. The settings usually involved the ability to block certain people from seeing your profile, the ability to choose “friends,” or block people from becoming your “friend.” Other settings involve the ability to limit who can access your pictures or videos. It is entirely up to the user to choose which settings and to apply them when setting up your account. You can always go into your account at any time and change your settings.


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