Internet Knows About You | IP Address, Cookies, Social Profiles!
I believe you have already read our previous article on Footprinting – Information Gathering techniques. Now, you already know that loads of information about us is available online. This article puts some light on the same – What the Internet Knows about you!
If you are the person who is always very concerned about his/her privacy online then this article might frighten you at first.
Internet knows a lot about us and the websites we visits also logs a lot of information about us. All information supplied by us, our friends, our government and other agencies on internet are enough to know anyone on this planet.
Table of Contents [Quick Links]
Internet and websites knows your IP Address!
Our IP-Address is the first thing that online website and Internet knows when we first try to connect to them. An IP address is a unique address assigned to you when you connect to the Internet. An IP addresses helps to identify anyone online.
An IP address is a 32 bit binary address which can be written as 16.12.26.04 in decimal. It reveals our geographical location (city, state and country) and Internet Service Provider name.
To know your current public IP address, take a look at http://www.whatsmyip.org/more-info-about-you/.
But don’t worry, you can hide your IP address anytime, we’ll learn about it in our next tutorials.
What your Web Browser tells about you?
When we visit any website, a simple script is sufficient to extract following information :
- Our Browser’s Details (Name, Type and Version)
- Operating system (type and version)
- Device (type)
- Address of webpage from you came
- The amount of time you will spend
- how often you came (with the help of cookies) and LOT MORE!
What are Cookies and what they reveal about you?
Cookies are small text files that are stored into your web browser by the website you visit. Usually, cookies are used to store data such as
- User Preferences!
- Likes, Dislikes and Small activities!
- Relevant ads can be displayed using help of cookies!
- Contents of shopping cart! (items remain there even if you visit later)
- User session ID (Whenever you check, you stays login regardless of internet source you use).
- or sometimes even usernames and passwords (very rare case, is considered a bad programming/designing practice).
Cookies can be easily viewed and they reveal information about website they belongs to.
Cookies help websites’ to recognize you online. Websites checks – If their cookie exists in you browser or not. If it exists, then you are surely a returning visitor else probably not.
What ‘Social Networking Sites’ knows about you?
We all know what a social networking website is. We all have personal accounts either on Facebook, twitter, Instagram or at any other website. We keep our profiles on these sites updated.
All the information that are put onto Facebook or other social networking sites are not limited to these website only. How? All these sites hosts different applications and games. When you run these applications, they ask you to access your information. Remember? Yes, at this time they get access to your details.
All programmers and companies who have their apps available on facebook are bind with Facebook policies and ‘term of use’. They should never misuse the info that they get from Facebook. But what if they do that?
Also, websites that allows you logging via Facebook or Gmail accounts, receives your basic information including:
- Your Name!
- Email Addresses!
- Occupation Details!
- Phone Number!
- Date of birth!
- and whatever you authorize them for!
But things works this way, and you can’t change everything! But you should always be careful when giving access to these applications.
Information is revealed – Is it Fine?
Information being revealed by your computer or the programs you run may sound threatening to you. But
- This information is necessary to be revealed so the things could work together perfectly.
- To connect to the internet (or any other network) there are certain protocols that must be followed for the purpose of security and compatibility.
- If no information is logged then some bad guys could misuse or ruin all these facilities.
Thus all the information that is being revealed or logged is ultimately beneficial for you.
Final Words – Precaution!
Don’t worry and enjoy the web surfing experience! Only except when- you are a celebrity or billionaire. Remember only one thing on the internet –
- Never reveal your personal details on Internet.
- Bank details, Pins and Password should never be disclosed.
- Don’t trust humans on Internet. Read Social Engineering.