Does it really exist?

Many people I speak with express concerns about how private their online activities are. They are quite surprised to discover just how in-depth monitoring is out there for all of us who go online regularly.

The bottom line is that everything you do online is being logged. It's not just by your ISP, but by the individual websites you visit, the mail you receive, and also by any one of the many online marketing and advertising companies.

One of the biggest sources of tracking is the ever-present Google. Many people have Google accounts for some reason or other, such as to sign in to the Chrome browser, for Gmail email, or because they had to create one for some device.

If you have a Google account and your picture is at the top right of the Google search page, Google knows your IP address.

Any searches you do are logged to your account, and, since most websites these days use Google affiliate marketing, any time a Google ad loads on a website you visit, that is logged too.

For extra privacy, there are search engines,
such as,
which do not track your searches.

Similarly, any time you land on a page with a Facebook button on it, if you have logged into facebook on that machine and did not log out, even if you just closed the browser, Facebook now knows you visited that site, and therefore what your interests are.

Most modern browsers can run in Incognito or Private modes. A lot of people think that this means whatever they are doing is hidden. It is not.

Pretty much all these do is say 'I don't want to be advertising tracked' to websites. Again if you are logged in somewhere like Google, which knows your IP address, it can still put 2 + 2 together.

Also, even in private mode, your Internet service provider is still recording everything you do while connected to the internet through their network.

This in mind, many people use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect to an encrypted network away from their ISP. This can give some immediate extra privacy from your ISP, but for browsing, the same issues can arise.

If you are using a VPN, you also need to log out of everywhere you are logged into in that browser. For added privacy, you should disable javascript, and go into private mode before even connecting to the VPN. Additionally, there are browser plug-ins for ad and script blocking that you can install to help block unwanted trackers.

For extra privacy, there are search engines, such as, which do not track your searches.
If you have concerns with your web presence reaching your widest customer base, now is the time to look into our WebUpdate system sites, which are not Open Source and take advantage of advanced SEO, social, and responsive features to give your business the best competitive edge online.

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