Who is spying on you on the internet?

spy on the internet
spy on the internet

Last updated: December 26, 2022

In this article, we will introduce you to those who monitor you on the internet and then we will tell you their objectives, their means and the type of information collected.

Finally, we will show you the methods and remedies available to you to protect your privacy.

The pirates (or hackers)

Of the individuals, generally autonomous, who seek to gain access to the greatest number of given computers, many go there "for sport" others have much more harmful aims.

Their goals

Breaking into your system just to do some sort of owner's trick and take control of your computer, collect confidential information (credit card number stored in a file for example), hack an account Facebook or applications, destroy contents of your hard drive.

Their means

One of the favorite tools of hackers is a form of malware called a Trojan horse.

Installed without your knowledge on your computer, it allows hackers to very simply come and visit it and do whatever they want.

How to protect yourself?

Several measures are needed. First, if you have a permanent Internet connection (ADSL or cable in particular), install a firewall software (firewall), which will prevent intrusion attempts. Number'free antivirus know how to eradicate Trojans, take advantage!

Internet service providers

These are their computers that you connect to to connect to the Web.

Their goals

Cross name data with surfing behavior in order toenrich marketing databases. This kind of information comes at a very good price.

Their means

Especially if it makes you go through a proxy, your ISP has all the technical means in its possession to record the elements of your navigation. And we won't even talk about the emails that necessarily pass through its facilities.

In addition, French ISPs will soon be legally required to keep the technical data of each Internet connection for one year (data whose definition is surrounded by the most total vagueness...).

How to protect yourself?

Difficult. You have to go through an ISP to connect to the Internet. So obviously give it the possibility of tracing your navigation. However, there is a solution to being anonymous on the web: using TOR network.

Tor software works as a bridge between you and the website you are connecting to. The website server will therefore not see who is actually connecting, and neither will your service provider..

In addition, spying on the network by an intruder (like the government) will be virtually impossible.

To find out how to use the Tor network, I invite you to read the following article: how to use TOR and remain anonymous.

Your employer

Whoever signs you a check at the end of the month for the work you do!

Her goals

Check that you are doing what you are paid for rather than surfing on "hot" sites, download movies or exchange jokes Facebook with friends. But also ensure that no corporate secrets leave their walls.

Its means

Technically, it's easy for the corporate network administrator to monitor what sites you visit, how much time you spend on the Internet, read your email, or even see what you are doing on your computer (playing games). place of work for example).

How to protect yourself?

First of all by respecting your employment contract: do what you are paid for, nothing else! In addition, your employer can only legally establish this type of monitoring if he has informed you beforehand through the internal regulations of the company that you must have signed.

Your correspondence remains in all cases private, therefore confidential. But attachments (files) can be viewed.

To protect your emails, use an encryption utility or, if the network administrator prohibits its use, a steganography tool (which allows to insert a text in an image file for example).

In the USA, three-quarters of large companies monitor their employees' surfing and emails.

In France, the practice tends to spread. The measures taken may go as far as dismissal.
But if you have nothing to be ashamed of, you will have nothing to fear! And be aware that the content of a private email cannot be held against you.

Merchant sites and software publishers

The first sell products and services via the Internet, the second sells behavioral data on Internet users.

Their goals

For merchant sites, this is gather as much information as possible about your online behavior (but not only there): purchasing habits, type of sites consulted, etc. This is to provide you with “targeted” advertisements.

As for publishers, they are mainly looking to find out if you have pirated versions of their software.

Their means

Cookies, Web bugs, spyware, they are numerous, insidious and dangerous. All these tools aim to gather information on your mode of operation or your identity (email address, user name, etc.) and transfer it to their recipient without your knowledge.

And just logging on to a site can tell its publisher a lot about your computer and its content.

How to protect yourself?

First, by using the services of a site that allows you to surf anonymously, such as the TOR network, the proxy or VPN. Then in managing your cookies, via software if needed also using software like Ad-aware, which will get rid of any spyware or keylogger.

Un firewall will also protect you against many intrusions. And not owning pirated software is the best way to avoid trouble with the publishers of these programs.

If not, never respond to a spam: this is the best way for the sender to ensure the validity of your email address ... As for filing a complaint, the chances of tracking down the intruder are slim.

Thanks to cookies your surfing habits virtually always monitored. As long as this information is not linked to data that can be identified (name, address, email address, etc.), it is not too serious.

Otherwise, expect to be pestered with advertisements. If you have pirated software, the publisher will certainly try to encourage you to regularize your situation.

cropped cropped Ahmed el jaouari
Ahmed is a computer systems administration engineer, author, and trainer. He has a deep passion for IT security and new technologies. Through his tutorials, he has helped a large number of people effectively master today's IT tools.