The internet it is infancy learned early on how to take advantage of the user, and exploit it into selling data. Now if you are internet connected at all you are public. And they have a trace on you. Not to mention your provider, and how much they do.
Lets back up to early days. Without early the new things called search engines that sent out crawlers to discover sites, index them, and provide you a link, you literally had to know the entire web address, or the IP address. And back then you had to type in HTTP://www.myweb.com/index.htm to get anywhere. Or the IP formed like http://255.255.255.255/something.htm. Us old people were very happy when things got simplified. Like when www was assumed and never have to type it again. If you do have to type it, that website is stuck in the 90’s. www was mainly required to get you to the public web, and out of the US Military web. Then the index.htm or index.html became automatic, as the main page. That simplified things to company.com. So much easier. And everything was still open network. Originally some of us spent a months income or more on a desktop, and more for dial up internet access.
Then people started using and visiting stuff that now included photos, photos on pages, formated stuff in the new HTML and other things. Evolution of the internet brought us up to even those servers, that cost a lot, can track a person found a page, and went there. Bingo, data we can make more money from. And the internet bubble and collapse followed.
Fast forward to today. Now we have internet connected devices to spare in a phone, tablet, TV, Streaming, Car and even A/V equipment, we are totally connected. What you connect to and what permissions you give, are now more critical than ever.
I am a very safe user, used every parental control I could in the early days for my children. I backup and save every file, and never lost one since my first windows files. I do read the EULA and today walk away from a lot of apps and websites. That is where they get you. If you agree, they take what you agreed to. I do my best to stay as private, tracking free, ad free, and virus free personally and at work.
If a web site wants me to remove my ad blocker, I move on, I have no use for them. Just the amount of data not blocked is huge, and I just do not want to see it or load it and they are a pain to stop. If my web protection and AV programs blocks a site, not worth visiting.
Two new things popped up that I feel needs to be said
First: I have trusted Trend Micro for over a decade for AV, intrusion, etc protection and have stepped up with it at work with protection there. Because it is a corporation, I browse the personal or business sides often to see what is new or update info, etc. On the personal side I found the free program House Call for Personal Networks that will evaluate your home network vulnerabilities showing you what device needs to be updated, open access, password changed etc. Since I now have many I think are secure devices in my home, worth a try. It found everything and did as advertised. But more. Ran into problems with my MS Outlook program soon, turned out it was reading the data files. Only because of my admin level and knowledge was I able to discover everything. I will never recommend that free tool and question any free tool from anyone. Trend Micro, you went to far harvesting my personal information. Not sure I can trust you again. And anything you install to do one job, uninstall it when done, because it may back do you like Trend Micro did to me.
Second: Recently a few Facebook friends posted photos of them as much older. That app called FaceApp now has permissions like you would not believe. I don’t know if a user can back out, but glad I have never used any of them like that. But if what I read in Forbes is true, they have any photo they ever stored of me, etc. So you gave away my image also.
If you really wanted to be anonymous, you would never be able to read this, because you would be off grid. To be protected the most, never be friends/connected with fools online.
Facebook and many others have been slammed and punished by money or changes in many countries for these violations. Until there is an international standard on privacy that works, everyone is at risk.