It’s a brave new world out there. The way we use the internet is limited to browsing social media, watching Netflix, and playing games. Nowadays, online privacy is compromised by advertisers when you visit free websites or when you download apps on your phone. There are ways to protect your privacy while using the internet, though! Here are some ways you can protect your privacy when using the internet:
- Put in strong passwords and their variations:
Passwords are the first key that protects your information from being accessed by strangers. Sign in to your account using 2-step verification: this saves you from accessing your data when a hacker tries to gain access to your account through a different device or person. When logging in with Google, if a hacker wants to access it, two passwords will be required to sign in successfully, one of which is the pin you set. Take advantage of private browsing or incognito mode: this allows you to browse the internet without leaving any traces, thus protecting your information from being accessed by other people.
- Use a VPN service to encrypt your internet connection:
When you use a VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server. It can be helpful if you use public WiFi in places like cafes because when they check the sites you are visiting, they won’t even know what websites you are visiting or where to trace your IP address. Especially when using Pirate Bay site to access torrent magnets and download free content from the internet.
- Visit a website through incognito tabs:
So you’ve searched for a website before, and now it keeps on showing up whenever you search for something. It happens because your browser already has the cache of the webpage, so when you visit through an incognito tab, you can avoid it from being seen again by simply clearing your cache. Incognito is the best provision for you to protect your information. Using it while browsing through some important websites will protect you from losing anything on the internet.
FreeSpeech is a great place to start in protecting you from unsolicited advertisements. It’s also great for people who would like their online activities to be less tracked and monitored. A service lets you hide your IP address, so websites won’t tell where you are currently located. It will also unblock any blocked content/websites by routing the content through their server. All for free!
- Use Adblocker:
Using ad blockers can protect you even more than just browsing through free speech, but it’s up to the user if they want their internet experience to be more pleasing without ads or not. You can use any ad blocking service that you like, but uBlock Origin is recommended. It’s lightweight and also has a built-in tracker blocker. Other options are Adblock Plus, Ghostery, or Disconnect. These will save bandwidth when browsing the internet, which means your internet provider won’t track what websites you visit.
- Encrypting Data:
This applies to all your devices, especially your phone/tablet/laptop, etc. Encryption keeps the data on the device safe by protecting it with a password. No one can view what’s stored unless they have that password, which is why it’s good to secure your files with the best encryption software (i.e., Truecrypt or VeraCrypt) and use custom passwords on all of your devices.
- Turn off location services:
You must turn off your location on all devices, including cell phones and laptops: Location services are used to track where you go, and there is a pretty wide range of things you can use for them. From advertisers targeting ads to stalkers snooping your location, it’s best to keep your devices safe by turning off this feature. If you need geolocation services (for instance, Google Maps), then make sure you only share the information with trusted sources.
- Make sure you delete cookies regularly (don’t let them pile up):
Cookies are files that save your activity on the internet. For example, if you search for a recipe on Google and then go to Pinterest and look at recipes using the same ingredient list, Google will remember both things and serve ads related to it. It is one-way advertisers track what you like/want/purchase online. You can delete cookies at any time by going through your browser settings and deleting the ones you don’t want.
- Keep changing your passwords:
Having a unique password for every site is crucial to protecting yourself from threats such as phishing, keyloggers, and more. However, it can be stressful to remember ALL those different passwords! A way around this is to use a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password to generate random passwords for you. It is an easy way to remember all your passwords with just one master password!
- Check what permissions you’re giving apps when installing them:
Some apps require a lot of permissions which is not typical of them. Before downloading an app, check its permissions so you can decide whether or not to download it. If it’s not something you’re comfortable with then, don’t download it. When using the app, make sure you are being careful about what information you give away.
Nowadays, online privacy is compromised by advertisers when you visit free websites or when you download apps on your phone. But you can use the above tricks to protect yourself. These are ways to protect your privacy while using the internet! It’s a brave new world out there. The way we use the internet is limited to browsing social media, watching Netflix, and playing games.