Protecting your privacy online - | WBTV Charlotte

Protecting your privacy online

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We have told you before that companies go to great lengths to know what you do online.  Sometimes you don't mind because it helps you mark your place or go directly to a logon screen to your favorite site.  But what about when your information goes outside the sites and companies you do business with, and without your knowledge?   

$300 billion is the estimated size of the online advertising industry and it relies heavily upon being able to track you and where you go on the internet.  Until now, other than deleting your computer's cookies, you did not have much control.  However, WBTV's Cyber Expert, Theresa Payton, says there are some new tools you can use to protect your surfing habits from nosy companies and maybe even cybercreeps.


One study showed that out of 127 sites, 84% tracked its visitors

Sometimes these tracking tools got access to information stored in social networking sites, including names


  1. Be mindful of surfing the net and keeping those sessions open while alternately visiting social networking sites if you are worried about being tracked.
  2. Consider updating your browsers to newer versions, like the latest Google Chrome, or the soon to be released Firefox and Microsoft IE9 products.  They are not foolproof, but will help you manage your privacy settings better.
  3. Go into your current browser's settings and review how your cookies are set up.
  4. Network Advertising Initiative has opt out tools that you can use.  Go to: .
  5. Google has a privacy center to help you navigate their features.  Go to: .


This Week's Word of the Week:  PIXEL DUST

This is techy slang to describe the nasty coat of dirt you might have on your computer screen.  You might want pixie dust to cure your workday woes but you definitely don't want pixel dust!



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