The circulations of newspapers began to decline with the introduction of the internet, or shall we say with the ‘the maturing’ of the internet. People have just turned away from paying for news when they can get it online for free. Every major news organisation has the latest events online, as they have to, to be competitive with the other companies around.
A Struggling Business Model
This gutting of the subscriber base of paper delivered to homes has changed the way these media companies could make money. With this online trend, you wonder how do newspaper companies make money now? We see papers like the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal implementing paywalls. These paywalls give you a small bit of information, but then require a monthly or annual subscription to read many articles in detail. Various models are still being tested as these companies look for ways to make money.
Profiling and Tracking
One area that seems to be the growing trend seems to be something media companies gleaned from Yahoo and Google. That something is ‘profiling’. For many businesses taking data on your users nothing new as profiling has been done by credit card companies and telemarketers looking to understand their market and sell the data to others for years. In the internet age profiling and tracking users have become even more effective and precise. Profiling by portals such as Google and Yahoo gives these companies information on, who their users are, what IP address that they login from (where they live or work), what their interests are (what they search on) and much, much, more. Probably the worse thing you can do is use the same communications service (chat and email) as you use for web search.
Media companies have done a similar thing as web search companies by also implementing profiling and tracking. Not to the extent of the web portals, but still rather effectively. News companies may not be able to charge for their news, but they are selling information that they glean about you and your based on your viewing habits. Want to test it?
The Window To The Net, Your Browser
We recommend you install WhiteHat Security’s Aviator browser and visit a few news websites. You’ll see 20-30 attempts to track you blocked through this secure browser. The frustrating part is, this profiling and tracking happens even if you have paid for the news service. You have actually given them more information.
What is the users response? Use a truly secure browser. Chrome is just giving all your details to Google, Internet Explorer may be the same for Microsoft (but does anyone really use IE?). Opera’s browser seems to be built for tracking you because no one knows how these people really make money and their software tries to get into your system.
Firefox seems to be the darling browser for anyone who understands security and privacy. However, there is another choice. The best we’ve found to date for protecting your privacy online is a browser called Aviator by White Hat Security. It gives you an indicator using third party plug ins on who is trying to track you. Check out these samples of some famous news sites.
Here are some results from some famous sites.
Everyone knows CNN is the bottom of the barrel for quality news. Bias, blown up stories, and constant repetition seem to be the food for the mindless masses who believe these folks. Check out their tracking number in the top right hand side of your browser. There are 24 attempts to track on their website.
The opposite side of CNN, with a bit of hype from the conservative side is Foxnews. The business news is popular but the general news can be hyped like their leftwing brothers and just as much tracking. There were 27 attempts on this day.
If you take anything away from this AINEO Insight, we recommend one thing, get and install the Aviator browser. You can find it here. The other big point is think about using a VPN service from home. This will hide your personal IP from these tracking companies. There are many choices but we use iVPN.net as their throughput is good and they have IPs in many countries that matter.