Online tracking – are you affected?

Businesses track everything we do these days, it’s almost ridiculous how easily our information is gained, and our privacy is breached. What we don’t realise half the time, is that our online footprints for marketing projects to track is often left by us so easily and unknowingly that it leaves us not understanding how companies gain our information. Here are five ways businesses are tracking you, and using that information to show you ads, and access your information for their own marketing use.

Website and app preferences

The settings on your apps that provide online content are massive on tracking. I’m not talking emails or messaging apps here, instead more news apps and online magazines. For example, set your favorite topics on the BBC NEWS app. It will then use your tastes and preferences reflected by those topics to show you ads of what you are interested in.

Account Information

Telling twitter what country you live in, or even the simple things such as setting your age or gender on email services and other accounts you make online can influence which ads are brought to you. If you are a 17-year old boy living in Australia, then the companies paying wil bring you ads that they would expect a 17-year old boy living in Australia would find appealing.

Social Network Activity

Be careful what you hit the like button on folks. When you hit the like button on a sports page, or music page on facebook, you then tell the networking advertisers that you are interested in related content. What to de-bloat your account? Like less stuff. Connecting your apps also does this. If you listen to EDM on Spotify, and connect it to Facebook, you will then be shown more musical posts on your feed.

App Permissions

Here’s where your phone really does track everything you do. Added in with the preferences mentioned above, the tracking done on your phone through your apps is astounding. If your Operating System allows you to customise this, I would urge you to do so. It will save more than just battery..

Where you live

Your location determines a lot about what content is brought to you. Unlike the rest of the mentioned tracking methods, this one can actually come in handy. And makes sense. Using your location brings you ads that are intended for your country. That way if you use an American site advertising American-only products to Americans, you won’t be at any loss if you say live in the UK. Because the ads you will be brought will be for the UK and so on.