Do You Know Who’s Watching You? You Won’t Like The Answer

We are surrounded by technology every minute of every day – from our cell phones and computers to cameras in every store.

We may know that we are being monitored at times by security cameras, or that certain sites use our locations to help us find information.

But it goes far deeper than that – it is far more sinister and most people don’t know the half of it.

The website Listverse shares all sorts of fascinating, strange, and creepy information with its readers.

And according to a recent report on the site, there is something going on that affects all of us every day – and “creepy” is an understatement.

Some of us are careful about sharing our information, perhaps parents most of all, as we research and learn how to keep our children safe online.

Mommy Underground has warned parents about many of the dangers of technology, and we want families to protect themselves in the digital age.

You’re probably aware that we’re often being recorded in stores or by traffic cameras, presumably as a way to keep us safe.

We are told to monitor our credit cards and reports for signs of fraud or identity theft.

But the truth is, nearly everything we say and do at every moment is being recorded – either by video or audio – and this information is purposely used to help companies make money.

While it appears Facebook is the worst offender, partly due to its popularity and the frequency that people use it, all websites and social media track our moves.

Where we are going, what we are buying, where we live, and who our children are.

It’s disturbing, and it will only get worse.

Maybe you’re not on Facebook or other social media sites.  But when you go on a website to make a purchase or book travel, Facebook knows it.  And if you do have a Facebook profile, it’s a safe bet they know everything about you.

Everything you “like” or “share” is stored, and this information is sold to other companies in order to target you for marketing.

One such example was a story we brought you about a woman who continued to be targeted with marketing about her pregnancy and newborn products – after her son was stillborn.

While Facebook was under scrutiny last year in the Cambridge Analytica data leak, they promised to improve customer safety and security.

But there are always loopholes and many ways to gather our personal data.

Listverse reports that Facebook employees have contacted hospitals in the past to sell them confidential patient information in the name of a “research” project.

We’re legally protected by medical confidentiality, right?

Not so fast.  Facebook knew that even if they couldn’t connect a name with this information, that they could probably “connect the dots” with all the other information they already had on their customers.

Facebook didn’t proceed with the plan, but other medically-based companies (CVS and Rite Aid are mentioned) admit to selling patient data, and companies like GE and IBM have purchased this data.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about something you wanted to do or buy, or a place you wanted to visit, and then suddenly your Facebook newsfeed was full of ads for that good or service?

It’s not a coincidence.

Facebook and other sites can hear literally everything we talk about.   With PCs and cell phones, our every word is available.

In fact, part of what was disclosed when Facebook was caught in a data leak last year is that they recorded every single one of our phone calls when using an Android device.

Every single call.  Every text.  The length of call, time it was placed, who it was made to.

They claimed not to “listen” to the calls, but the fact that is was done without the knowledge of the public makes us wonder just what else we don’t know.

Most stores have surveillance systems for loss prevention and safety of their customers, but cameras and free wi-fi in places of business can be used to track our every purchase, down to the color of the shirt we bought and the amount we spent.

This information can be sold between companies for profit and used to improve marketing strategies on the public.

Companies like Amazon are also developing facial recognition technology – supposedly to assist law enforcement in tracking criminals.

But soon, this technology may mean that we are photographed and our image put into a database any time we leave the house.  It’s already happening.

And speaking of cameras, you may notice that some people have tape covering the camera lens on their computers.  What do they know that we don’t?

Well, anyone in the tech industry knows that we can be spied upon – even in the privacy of our own homes – by tech departments all around the world.

Hackers and criminal predators do it, as well.

Every website we use, email and phone call we send, and photo or message we put on social media is saved, tracked, stored, and sold.

While it may be impossible to escape, some common-sense rules can help minimize your data being exposed.  This is especially important for families who want to protect their children.

First and foremost, be careful what you share online, from social media to retail sites.

Don’t ever post personal information about your children, your finances, or when you will be out of town.  This is like gold to thieves and predators.

Make sure when you make a purchase online that the site says it is “secure,” and never allow passwords or credit card information to be saved by the site.  They like to make us feel this is convenient but is not a good idea.

Avoid using sites that must track your location.  We all use the GPS to find our way, but using weather and traffic apps are avoidable.  It’s better to just listen to the news on the radio or TV.

Place tape over cameras on computers, especially when in use by kids and teens.

And if you are having a personal conversation about finances, medical issues, or anything else that you don’t want to become common knowledge, do it away from your cell phone.

It may sound paranoid, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

And, of course, if you use Alexa or Google Home or any similar products, be aware that they can record everything you say or do in your own home.  Make sure an adult is always around the children when these products are in use.

The technology of old science fiction movies has become a reality, and as technology advances, we can – and will – lose more of our privacy.

Practice common-sense to keep you and your family safe.

What do you think of how frequently we are monitored by companies looking to use our data for marketing and profit?  Leave us your thoughts.




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