5 Things to Consider About Your Security and Privacy When Watching Adult Content4 min read
Our online lives are constantly at risk of cyber attacks. Our personal data, including geographical location, emails, user names, and even medical records are highly sought-after. Relying on the experts’ warning, the issue becomes even worse, as you should expect your internet history, specifically adult sites you visit, to be leaked.
According to the Wall Street Journal, around 30 million Americans regularly watch porn. Most probably, these regular viewers do so using incognito mode to keep their search history clear. Sure, with incognito mode, your family won’t discover your sexual preferences, as your session history is not stored locally. But it is definitely stored somewhere else.
This is a huge security-and-privacy issue that tends to get overlooked. And if you think that it won’t ever affect you, you’d better think again. Even experts can make mistakes, and even one mistake can be enough to ruin your life. If this sounds too dramatic for you, go ahead and skip the following tips all together. If you don’t feel like an expert in the case, below are some tips for your consideration.
Let’s take a look at where and why viewing porn might cause trouble to you.
1. Your sensitive data may be hacked
When you use your real IP address while web surfing, hackers can steal your sensitive information, linking pornographic search data to your IP. It is their first lead. As another scenario, a porn company the website of which you view can be hacked, and the personal data of all visitors can be available to adversaries. E.g. less than two weeks ago nearly 800,000 accounts of visitors of Brazzers leaked. This is possible even when browsing in incognito mode. As this mode is not equal to the invisible browsing.
The incognito browsing is a dangerous thing, as it can mislead users into thinking that they’re entirely protected. But this is absolutely not so.
2. Beware of third-party trackers
Web browsers leave an essentially unique footprint every time you visit a web page. This means that you give a website a lot of information about your computer and your identity every time you visit it.
When you click a link on a website, besides the first-party request (to get a webpage you want to see), you also send a third-party request. This one is directed at the numerous advertising trackers linked to the site, so they can prepare “accurate” links exactly for you.
Not only your IP address is now available to these third parties, but also your location, your system hardware, the information about the browser you’re using, or even whether your device is in hand or sitting on a table. All these make the porn advertisers build detailed profiles that can be easily shared with other companies.
3. Leaks & breaches
Your viewing habits are certainly not something you want to be publicly available. That’s the right attitude. Whether it is a porn site or an online dating site, your history can affect your online reputation, and can be used against you. One visit to the “wrong” website can result in you being blackmailed, or your IP can be blacklisted by the popular online services.
The Ashley Madison case is a living proof. For those who are not in the know, this is a dating website that is focused on facilitating extra-marital affairs. In summer 2015, an unknown band of hackers hacked this service. They threatened its owners to leak the entire database unless the website was shut down. After a refusal, 9GB of data from the site was released to the Darknet website. It contained everything. Not just usernames and emails, but also corporate documents, sexual preferences, biographical data, and even GPS locations.
The adult websites are not distributing malware themselves. Of course not. They badly want users to return and keep using their websites. It doesn’t make sense to put their reputations at risk. However, there’s something called malvertising, and this is the real issue. Malware is more commonly distributed through advertising networks. One inconsiderate click and you could end up downloading a virus, Trojan, worm, or whatever else is out there that can lock down your computer. Such malware can release your browsing history to the public, report you to the FBI for pornography, etc., unless you pay the fee of a few hundred dollars to hackers.
Easily cloned, easily modified, and seemingly easy to bypass security checks, malicious malwares are masquerading as duplicate apps, waiting to infect your device.
5. Legal consequences
If you are not careful visiting adult websites, you can find yourself in a legal trouble. Even if you don’t have absolutely any intention of participating, visiting porn sites can affect you. Illegal files can find their way onto your system even without your permission.
Back in 2010, criminals stored child pornography on the computers of unsuspecting innocents through the use of a virus. If you were infected, your computer would have child porn on it without you even realizing it. The scary thing is that the “I didn’t know” defense is not a weighty argument in the court to believe you are innocent and just became a victim of cyber criminals.
If the authorities disclose you have this kind of adult video, you can spend years of your life in prison.
You can still stay safe
Unless you take the reasonable steps to protect your data, online privacy and security, your activities will be tracked. So, the next time you’re thinking about visiting an adult website, or any website that deals with sketchy subjects, make sure you’re using a virtual private network.
Our well-trusted KeepSolid VPN Unlimited will encrypt all your activities, delivering any shared information through a secure tunnel between two interfaces. Your IP address will be also hidden, so it will be a great challenge to hackers to link that data to your identity.
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