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Have you ever gotten the feeling as you were working online that someone was watching you? Turns out you probably weren’t wrong.

According to Ars Technica: “A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted.”

So private information is inputted into these sites. The recording information may start before you submit anything. These records are made and analyzed by third party organizations, with even less oversight often without giving you any notification. Information like medical conditions or credit card numbers are multiplied across sites around the web.

As it stands today there isn’t a lot a user can do in response. Be careful and selective in where you put your true information online. Using ad-blockers and the “Do Not Track” option built into browsers stopped some, but not all such tracking. So for the most part be restrictive about where you put your personal data online.

Take Helen Parr’s advice from The Incredibles: “Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it. ”

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.