The small size of web bugs means you probably won’t notice the small size of transfers. There are lots of sneaky ways web bugs can take your data through cookies, header information and Internet Protocol addresses. Some bugs only track your current page but there are more sophisticated ones that can track your internet history.
The reason web bugs were created was to gain information about internet activities for advertising and marketing. The fact that web bugs are hidden could be claimed to help internet users through not having intrusive popups. At least web bugs can make sure you get advertisements that are relevant to your interests.
On the other hand, there is no consent from users to give their information which has caused concerns from privacy advocated. Web bugs are often used for illegitimate purposes. For example, there is not limit on how many web bugs can be on one site. You never know who is going to buy your details on the black market. Spam mailers often use bugs to check if you are getting the mail the send. This way they can test whether their emails are getting through the software your email host has to block spam mail. Bugs can also increase users’ risks of getting malware on their computer as the bugs can let malware know where your weaknesses are.
When a website says they won’t share your information, they are legally in the right if a web bug distributes your information. This is because web bugs steal your information from your web browser, not the web sites.
The first thing you should do to protect yourself is to turn off third party cookies in your web browser. This should half your risk from web bugs. You could even just turn off all cookies unless you accept them. You should also regularly clear out your internet history, cookies and cache. Make sure you don’t open emails in your junk folder unless you know exactly what they are. The email provider you use is also important. Some email providers have more protection than others.
You can also get some free add ons for your web browser to protect your browser from web bugs.
I don’t think anyone wants a bunch of random people tracking our internet use. We all want our privacy so make sure you keep yourself protected.