In a recent article published in Canada Newswire titled “Pledge to Protect Your Online Privacy: Five New Year’s Resolutions”, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian said:
“Through web browsing, posting on social networks, and the downloading of applications, personal information about individuals can be easily collected and stored indefinitely, making protecting our online privacy a growing concern. I encourage everyone to make a commitment to protecting themselves by incorporating these five resolutions into their online habits.”
One of the reasons behind the commissioner’s decision to write this is the number of users who purchased new mobile devices over this past holiday season. And guess what? Most users will be installing apps on their new phones and tablets without ever reading the underlying privacy policies.
Commissioner Cavoukian thinks consumers should be smarter and suggests the following New Year’s resolutions to keep your online privacy safe:
1. I will review my social network privacy settings regularly.
2. I will think before I click.
3. I will always consider the five W’s of personal information:
- Who wants the information (and who will be able to access it?)
- Why do they want it?
- What will it be used for?
- Where will the information be stored?
- When will the information be used and discarded?
4. I will make my passwords unique.
5. I will carefully read the fine print.
We can’t but agree with Mr. Cavoukian but we would add another item:
6. I will use a VPN at all times.
With a VPN, it is much harder for tech giants to follow you online. You get to choose your virtual location and that could help you unlock parts of the Internet that could otherwise be outside of your reach. This is especially important in high-censorship countries where governments can block entire parts of the web, like social media and global news organizations.
With a VPN running on your devices — not just your computer, but also your phone and even a tablet — you don’t have to accept any limitations and browse the web without anyone knowing what you’re doing. In case you wonder, that’s how we roll. 😉