More than ever, people are wary of their privacy; and they’re right as tech giants and government agencies are both looking to get ahold of our personal data.
Many of us remember the infamous Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and Edward Snowden’s revelations, but (unfortunately) a few are doing something proactively to stay anonymous online.
Luckily, the solution is rather simple, just…
Use a VPN to protect your privacy
More than any other tool, a VPN will help you stay anonymous on the web by letting you spoof anyone who wants to track you online. Just select a server in a different country and as far as the rest of the Internet is concerned, you are located in that other country. Also, it will encrypt all data traveling from your devices and the rest of the Internet so that no one can snoop into your traffic.
The same method, in case you wonder, is used for accessing websites and services that could otherwise be outside of your reach. For instance, there could be a company policy that prevents users from accessing sites like YouTube and Facebook; or, if you’re traveling to a country that blocks access to major news sites – with a VPN you can bypass these restrictions.
Furthermore, with a VPN you get to access services in their “native land” and this is fairly important for some users who, for example, want to access US Netflix’s catalog rather than what the service has to offer in their local market.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here; the point is – a VPN will protect your privacy while also protecting you when accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots. Plus, it will open the entire Internet for you in case you can’t access it in its entirety.
But a VPN is just one piece of the puzzle, there are…
Other things you could use to protect your privacy online
Getting a VPN is a good start, but it should by no means be the last one. You should also try the following:
Check settings on social networks
Specifically, look for privacy settings on all social networks you’re using and see what can you do/change to protect your identity. See what kind of details you don’t have to share with them, cause otherwise – they will get ahold of all the data they can swallow. And these guys (namely Google and Facebook) have big mouths and will be collecting every tiny trail you leave behind. So make sure to see if anything could be done about that.
Again, the likes of Facebook and Google track all of us on the Internet even when we’re not using their services. The two companies have their tracking codes (trackers) placed on millions of websites, allowing them to keep watching you even when you’re on some other place on the world wide web. Luckily, you can do something about this by using a web browser with privacy filters that will automatically remove all tracking codes from websites you’re visiting. These would include browsers such as Brave, Epic Privacy Browser and even Safari. For other browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer – there are add-ons and plugins that can accomplish the same thing.
Be careful what you share online
And by this, we mean your personal information. You don’t have to provide your phone number and email address for all services on the Internet. Even though many of these services could perfectly work without those details, they keep insisting we give them as much data as possible. Think twice before inputting your email address and phone number, as well as other personal information. Yes, you will have to do that if you want to sign-up for some services, but even then – we suggest using some other, secondary email address. For this reason, it is a good practice to have multiple emails.
Review app permissions
Quite a few mobile apps require many permissions during the installation process or when you initially start them. Again, there is no need to comply with everything except if you *really* need that app. Think twice before doing so and explore alternative solutions — cause there are many other apps out there and chances are you will find the one that also gets the job done, no matter what you need an app for. And do the same with the browser extensions – read what kind of permission they require before letting them “in.”
Hopefully, this article has helped you be more educated about your privacy on the Internet. If you have any related questions, feel free to send us an email or leave a comment below. We’d love to help. 😉