“How do I protect my privacy online”?
Online privacy has become a lot more important to ordinary people these days especially after the aftermath of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Do you feel that your private information is really private?
Don’t worry. In this post, I’ll show you how to improve internet security in just 13 steps!
So, let’s begin!
Lock your screen
This one’s a no-brainer. By locking your screen every time you’re not using your phone, you’re making it a harder for other people to access any of your online accounts should they get a hold of your phone.
Protect your password
Use strong passwords especially for sensitive accounts (like email, online banking, and cloud storage).
When choosing a strong password, always remember that while longer is better, most times a complex password is better than a long one.
That said, why not have both and make your password long and complex!
Use capital letters, numbers, and symbols (if allowed) and randomly place them in your password (Here’s an example: Compl3xity_>_L3ngth!).
If you find it hard to memorize all your different passwords, consider using a password manager app. It will keep track of your passwords and you’ll never need to write them down on a piece of paper that could get stolen.
Consider turning on two-factor authentication to make sure that you are informed each time someone logs into one of your accounts.
In case you do suffer a privacy breach, remember to change your password ASAP.
Watch out for apps that request permission for things that are more than necessary for their function.
Weigh its importance before you download it.
Why would a photo editor app need access to your location all the time?
If you find apps on your phone that request these permissions, consider uninstalling them.
Update operating systems
Operating systems will release updates when they discover security issues. Hackers will quickly exploit these opportunities before the users install the updates.
Most users often forego installing these updates when they become available– most of the time because of inconvenience.
If you want to protect your private information, always install updates when they become available.
Clear Cookies regularly
Cookies are text files on your computer that contain little packets of your data connected to your activity with a website like your preferences, your shopping cart, and keeping you logged in to a site.
You can’t avoid cookies altogether as it would make certain sites (like social networks and online shops) impossible to use but you can always clear cookies regularly to prevent websites from accessing older cookies– thus making it harder to track your online activity.
Use a Guest Account on Windows
By using a guest account instead of an administrator account, you’re limiting any malware damage to that specific guest account.
Keep your User Account Control on
Your UAC monitors the changes that happen in the system and asks for your permission before allowing these changes. It also alerts you to important events like installing or uninstalling an app.
It makes sure that these events don’t make changes to your computer without your permission thereby nipping untrustworthy software in the bud.
Block location data
Sites these days can use location data to target you with advertisements. Even mapping apps can be used to identify you based on your whereabouts.
To avoid this, see if your browser allows you to toggle location data off.
Browsing the Internet
Use SSL connections
SSL connections prevent prying eyes from viewing your web traffic.
By using sites that support SSL, you’re making sure that anyone sniffing around for your packets will go home empty handed.
To check if you’re using an SSL connection, check for a closed green padlock and “https” before the URL.
One of the easiest ways to protect your online privacy is using “incognito mode” on your browser.
This prevents people who use the same device from seeing your activity like your browsing history, cookies and site data, and information entered in forms.
Use the TOR browser
If you want to know how to stay anonymous on the internet, using the TOR browser should be at the top of your list.
The TOR browser bounces your connection three times before it arrives at the server you’re looking for. By doing this, the TOR browser makes sure that whatever site you visited will not be traced back to you.
Use a VPN
Another way to protect your online browsing is by using a VPN.
The connections your computer makes on the web is usually public, easily intercepted, and viewable by every server your connection makes contact with.
Using a VPN ensures that your IP is kept safe from prying eyes by routing your connection to the VPN server before arriving at its destination. This makes it that much harder to track you down.
Don’t trust free public wifi
Using free public wifi raises many privacy concerns because you don’t know who runs the hotspot, what the setup is, or what information it logs. It may even be a duplicate of the real wifi that you wanted to connect to.
At the end of the day:
These internet privacy tips are just the methods I’ve used to improve my online privacy and I hope that by sharing them I have helped you to better protect your online browsing.