Because of what I see as degrading internet conditions, security/privacy wise, I'm doing my own evaluation of how I need to react towards this in order to keep such crap out of my life, overall. I'm not living my life in such a way that it is likely to happen. But I'd like to be a little more ready and informed for it than I am today, and at the same time reduce the digital target area if possible.
I'm not too concerned about being traceable by national military surveillance, or authorities in federal/unitary states, because I'm not in any way involved in stuff that would motivate them looking into me - certainly not as a primary object. Their logs of me will just forever sleep deep down their databases, probably never to be seen. My political convictions on surveillance policy overall, that's another discussion.
What I am concerned about, are private actors or organizations, partly in the shades, even some legit security firms, which could be targeting me, or can be hired by companies who .. for example, wish to get rid of their competition (me) using ugly methods, or simply take what I got or do extortion of several kinds (the opportunity makes the thief). Or I might just happen to step on the toes of an extremist organization (like Scientology etc) who will then be set to destroy my life, frame one for crimes etc. Overall some actor which decides to seriously mess up one’s life, take one's assets etc.
One way it is possible to find a person, or find out about a person, is by likability; to interconnect data stored in different systems and services through time, and build a 'digital paper trail' and/or profile from it. To reduce any risk of that, it would make sense to make this 'digital paper trail' difficult to compile, by adjusting one's usage of the internet and services in accordance. My question here is: To what degree?
Surveillance- and police authorities of nations use likability as part of what they do, but it is useful to them basically because they are hooked into lots of different databases and pools of recorded data, plus access to either logs or actors who will provide them with info that they don't immediately have their hands on.
But as mentioned, I'm not concerned about that. So in order to answer "To what degree", I'm trying to inform myself about what other actors in society - and how many - might have or get access to enough numbers of large database systems that likability would be a feasible option for them? Such linked information could then possibly be used, sold, or conveyed because of threats, or loyalty of different kinds. I imagine there could potentially be a lucrative market selling information of that kind, even if it is borderline illegal, sometimes even if strictly illegal.
Overall I’m trying to learn about what digital probing resources are there out there, legal or shady, for a determined but non-governmental actor with low morality and cash to spend? This, in order to answer to what degree would I need to adapt my internet service usage, in order to minimize the possibility of gathering a papertrail?