Aside from the cost of data that you pay for to access the internet, you do not pay anything extra to use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and other big tech companies.
Google -one of the big tech companies- is also a generous search engine that is free to use, but the truth of the matter is that, in as much as these platforms offer free usage, except for paid advertising, there is something they usually get in return for their generosity.
What do you think these might be? Well, your guess is as good as mine; the information we supply to these platforms when we initially signed up on their platforms and subsequent actions we have also taken on them afterward.
This information gathered from you might not mean much to you, but to these tech companies, they mean a lot, as they use it for marketing purposes.
You might be familiar with some of them already, like location, relationship status, educational background, work status, ethnicity, and religion, etc.
According to data from Visual Capitalist, here are a few of the information they have about you.
To gain access online, your device has to be connected. With an internet connection, you will be assigned a unique IP address.
As long as you are connected, your online activities get tracked by these online platforms and this can, even, open ways for hackers to get vital information from you if you are not that lucky.
Even though you cannot control the big tech companies from obtaining your IP address, you can do well not to make it public to people around.
Have you used the calendar app on Google Calendar before? The information you provided gets stored after the event is over.
Online tech platforms use this information afterward to determine how you spend your time and how well organized you are.
Every search query you make on Google or other search engines gets stored in their database. This information tells the big tech companies what you are interested in.
The devices you use in accessing the internet are very important to these companies. This tells them how to structure the way their media formats appear on your device.
With the wider use of mobile devices to access the internet than PCs, desktops, and tablets these days, these online tech platforms have been structuring their ads to be more mobile friendly.
What you see on YouTube and all other video channels say a lot about your interests. With this information, big tech companies will target certain products and services to you.