In this day and age, it is normal as humans to track our routines—whether it’s how much money we spend, our calorie intake, or even our sleeping patterns. In our modern era, there’s an app for that. Rather than the old paper and pen method of recording your dream when you wake up, you can record your voice, stating exactly what you saw and felt in the subconscious. Say goodbye to paper maps, because the navigation app Waze tells you exactly which route you should take based on its tracking GPS system. So why are we so obsessed with tracking our lives?
Routine Is Innate
When it comes to tracking, many people are trying to improve their health and overall well-being with the help of apps. They gather data on eating habits, sleeping habits, and internet usage. Tracking these and more aspects of life is actually innate to our human nature, and we enjoy the aspect of routine. According to Dr. Gail Saltz, a New York psychiatrist, “usually humans do seek out structure and there’s something to be said for that. It gives some predictability, a comfort you know what’s coming.”
Living a routine lifestyle keeps us stable, and creates a sense of familiarity. While this can be a positive way to keep track of our day-to-day, it is also a risk in cyberspace. Read below to learn what apps you can use to track your life, and how to use these apps safely.
What Do People Track and Why?
A survey in the United Kingdom polled 1,336 adults between the ages of 18 and 34 across Great Britain and found that eight out of ten millennials are tracking at least one aspect of their lives. The young generation uses their devices as a second source of checking in, keeping track of their successes, goals, and aspirations.
So what are people tracking the most? Some of the top choices for millennials and younger generations are workout scheduling apps, calorie counters and weight loss apps. Other popular tracking apps include sleep, language learning, and money.
What Are Common Tracking Apps People Use?
As listed above, some of the most common tracking apps that people use center around health, finance, language learning, and sleep. We have compiled a list of some of the most common, and a few miscellaneous favorites by users.
How Can the Internet Track You
While using tracking apps can be an excellent way to stay organized, they are also mainly used through the internet, which in turn is tracked by your ISP/internet service provider. Your ISP provides a path for all your internet traffic, and it can be possible that they can monitor or log your internet activity.
Your ISP may track your clicks for a variety of purposes. They can sell your browsing logs to marketing companies, even if the browsing was done in incognito mode or anonymously. If the websites you visit are unencrypted, aka they still are HTTP form and not HTTPS, your ISP can know the exact sites you visit. It can see if you purchase online, what your username and password are and payment information you enter.
Your device has an IP address, which is a unique segment of numbers that identifies your device based on internet protocol. That also means the internet can see where you are and where you have been. It can also track if you’re searching for new destinations. It’s important to stay safe and avoid using public or free wifi when you can, as the ISP may track and record websites you visit.
What You Can Do About It
It is important when downloading and utilizing the apps to also install a VPN system on all of your devices. A VPN is essential for keeping your data protected, especially if you have a money tracking app or one that contains highly personal information. A VPN is a connection between a group of discrete networks that exchanges encrypted data between your device and a distant server.
Especially when using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, VPNs can guarantee that your bank app and GPS tracking app are inaccessible to hackers. If hackers try to pry into your internet activity, the VPN connection will be the only thing they see and your tracking app information can remain confidential.
To stay secure, download our free and secure VPN here.
If you’re using a computer, make sure to backup your data regularly using an antivirus system. With the many risks and threats of the internet, it’s important to keep your data secure and backed up in case you are hacked on one or more accounts. Avoid backing up your data onto your initial hard drive, as this could be incredibly harmful if your computer suffers a malware attack. Try an online backup using a secured internet server, or a local backup to store your data on a physical location like on an external hard drive.