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The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - Protecting Your Privacy

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley Romero

“By continuing to browse or by clicking ‘Accept’, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device.”

When you go online, you’re prioritizing your personal recipe of which ingredients will pertain to your wants and needs during that specific time. Well, associations are thinking of their own recipe online as well. They prioritize their ingredients of wants and needs when they put out their information online. These associations’ websites are eating up your privacy and security.

Cookies aren’t just delicious desserts, but pieces of information saved about you while you’re online. Vox explains that if you go to a weather website and type in your zip code, the next time you visit that website it will remember your location – simply because of first-party cookies placed by that website. Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are often sold to advertisers tracking you, even after you leave that website.

Have you noticed that when you visit a website, you’re not offered a choice to either accept or decline their cookie policy? Instead, you’re commanded to accept or continue browsing, or else you lack access to information? By accepting or continuing to browse, you’re essentially accepting advertisers and other associations to invade your privacy on your device.

The FTC offers vital information to help ensure you understand the purpose of cookies and a step-by-step recipe for protecting yourself online, including:

  • Changing the privacy settings for your browser, smart phones/mobile devices, and Internet-connected TV
  • Opting out of targeted advertising
  • Considering using an ad blocker
  • Opting out of data brokering sites that sell your personal information

Everyone loves a warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven, just as much as the next person. That said, businesses and organizations have a responsibility to be up front, allowing their customers to choose for themselves if cookies are tracked back to them. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea for all of us to stay educated on what we’re participating in and accepting online.

On a positive note, CNN Business explores Google’s recent pitch for the future of tracking-based web advertising; something that could be viewed as inevitable and, at the same time, is an opportunity that offers some potential.  Their plan is to rely less on an individual’s browser history and more on “cohorts” of internet users with similarities. It is more crucial than ever before to not only understand how to safely navigate the internet, but to understand what exactly you are accessing and possibly giving away. Companies are willing to make effective change for your privacy, and we encourage you to be proactive in doing what you can to protect yourself.

To learn even more about privacy policies and how they work and additional resources for helping you keep your personal information secure, visit the Indiana Cyber Hub and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.