5 Ways the Modern World Makes You Extremely Easy to Stalk

#2. All of Your Wireless Cameras Are Easily Hacked


You can get wireless video cameras at any Walmart these days, and people use them as baby monitors, as security cameras and to record their hit one-man shows on YouTube. So what, now are we going to tell you that total strangers outside your home can tap right into that and use your own cameras to spy on you?

You bet your ass they can.

So take off the bathrobe, guy. You might as well put on a show.

In a manner that shocked even the police, a news station in Indiana teamed up with a private investigation firm and, armed with nothing but cheap handheld devices, they found that they could tap into home security cameras basically at will. The world was their reality show, but with presumably much less sex and more people sitting at their computers looking at Facebook. The problem is that once people set up their wireless security systems and see that the cameras work, they think they're done, never bothering to take the next step and secure the network.

And if you have a video baby monitor, guess what? Creepers everywhere can watch your child sleep. Don't be too alarmed, though, because some baby monitors are secured and can't be tapped into. And just when you thought your child couldn't be any more expensive, you find out those fancy-pants monitors cost around $200.

Or you can just get a wired webcam for like six bucks.

We'd say it's worth it.

#1. Your Shopping Habits Reveal More Than You Think


Look, you know by now that if you order a vibrator on Amazon, the next time you show up it's going to recommend Fifty Shades of Grey to you. With the ability to track what you buy, often across different sites, retailers know how to predict what you're going to buy next. But where it gets really creepy is when they start trying to predict your every move, and then follow you into real life.

"Customers who bought Ass Glazers 9 also liked Steel Magnolias."

Even when you shop in the real world, retailers track when you start developing patterns in what you buy. Then they'll start sending coupons for things you're more likely to buy next. So let's say you have a big change in your life, like, say, a pregnancy. And you're going to immediately drop everything to take care of that baby's needs, because if you don't it will shit all over you. There's a good bet that your nearest department store will know about it before you've even told your friends.

For instance, in 2002, Target made it a goal to figure out when their customers were pregnant. If they could capture a woman's loyalty when she was preparing for the big event, they'd have her forever. So Target figured out 25 products that pregnant women were likely to buy (vitamins, unscented lotion, cotton balls, etc). And then when they saw a customer buying those things, they started sending coupons for, say, baby cribs and nipple cream.

Buying frozen pizzas gets you coupons for antidepressants.

That's why one angry dad accosted a Target manager for spamming his teen daughter with their baby ads. As if his little girl was having sex!

Then said dad had to apologize a few days later when he found out that she actually was pregnant, and that Target had figured it out before he did. Yes, this corporation knew how to pick up on cues about this girl's most intimate behaviors better than the father who lived with her. Her pregnancy was a secret to her family, but not to this $70 billion a year retailer.

"Also, your son has herpes."

And the creepiest part of all is that they're trying not to be creepy about it. Much like when you stalk someone's Facebook before meeting them and then pretend not to know things about them, Target is now hiding the baby ads next to things like lawnmowers, to pretend it was all just a coincidence. One of their experts put it this way:

And we found out that as long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn't been spied on, she'll use the coupons. She just assumes that everyone else on her block got the same mailer for diapers and cribs. As long as we don't spook her, it works.

So ... yay for not spooking anyone, Target.

Eric Yosomono writes for GaijinAss.com and has a Facebook page here. You can startle Itzhak back into happiness at czukori@yahoo.com. Follow Lee Phan on Twitter at satiricalrhythm.

For more reasons to be careful online, check out 5 Wacky Internet Pranks That Can Get You Jail Time and 5 Seemingly Innocent Ways You Risk Your Identity Every Day.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Explosive Breaking Bad Alternate Ending You Didn't See.

And stop by LinkSTORM to see the trash bed that Daniel sleeps on.

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