We all know that online privacy is paramount whether you’re surfing the net, doing online shopping or posting something on social media. The last thing you want is to have some organization or hacker watching your online activity as that would compromise your privacy and security.
It’s important to safeguard one’s online privacy to prevent unknown parties from collecting your data without your knowledge only to sell it for nefarious purposes. The good news is there are steps you can take to protect your online privacy.
Why is Data Privacy Important?
The problem with companies that collect user data online is the fact that they’ll collect all kinds of information about you – even the stuff you don’t want to be out there. Without proper protection, anyone with the right know-how can steal your data and distribute it to anyone online.
Most of the companies don’t apply the proper measures to protect their own databases from security breaches. This leads to unlawful exploitation that affects well over 46% of U.S. companies each year. These security breaches may very well affect you without knowing.
Top Privacy Apps and Practices
Below we have a list of best practices and tools that you can apply to protect your online privacy. These tools are relatively easy to acquire and use. You can set most of them up within minutes.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 73% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.
It’s important to apply more than one tactic to ensure optimal safety and protection against potential threats.
1. Ad Blockers
In our quest for online privacy, ad blockers are essential. They’ll help you block tracking tools like cookies and web ads from affecting your browsing experience. Most reliable web browsers carry a free extension of this nature. This includes Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. But, you should also consider using third-party ad blockers as well.
Just keep in mind that ad blockers will affect your browsing experience by blocking features that you want to access such as videos, logins, slideshows and even certain blog articles. However, most ad blockers offer a “whitelist” option that allows you to temporarily disable the blocker so you can access certain websites without any issue.
2. Virtual Private Network
3. Private Email Clients
These are obviously free platforms so they don’t exactly shine when it comes to protecting customer data and privacy. That’s because most of them don’t offer encryption technology.
4. Password Managers
Password managers can help you create and store unique and difficult passwords for every website that requires credentials so you don’t have to remember them all by heart.
The only password you have to remember is the one for the password manager. For best results, avoid sharing your passwords or other credential details with anyone else.
Most password managers come with a feature that will protect your CVV codes, credit card numbers, and PIN numbers. They also feature encryption technology as well as a security question and answer for added protection.
5. Private Browsers
A web browser is basically the app you use in order to gain entry to the Internet. However, most of them don’t offer much privacy or data protection. That’s why it’s advisable to use a private browser. Some of the most used web browsers today include Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari.
Regardless of the browser you choose to use, remember that these trackers work in mysterious ways sometimes. That’s why you should learn how to use and control cookies because they’re not all created equal. Some are made for positive purposes while others might infringe on your privacy and facilitate data theft.
6. Private Messaging
Instead, look for apps that prioritize data security and privacy through encryption and two-step verification. While FaceTime and iMessage have both stepped their game up when it comes to security settings, they’re not as reliable as we’d like them to be.
7. Privacy Encryption
Encryption has the ability to convert personal data such as your online credentials into unreadable codes. That way, data marketers and hackers cannot access or even read it. This would require that you get separate encryption products over and above your antivirus software.
These products are designed to encrypt your internet traffic, folders, files, passwords, credentials and email addresses.
8. Privacy Policies
Let’s face it; most of us don’t even bother to read the privacy policies of the different websites we visit. Who wants to deal with all that legal jargon? With that said, you should keep in mind that once you click “accept” you’re agreeing to terms that might potentially compromise your online privacy.
9. Private Search Engines
A search engine is a tool that you use to look things up on the Internet, i.e. Google. However, when you search for information on the Internet using your IP address, it’s easy for third-parties to collect your search data and even trace it back to your device and location.
Other information that they collect includes the time and content of your searches. That’s why we recommend the use of a private search engine to hide your online search habits as well as your data and location.
HTTPS is the web browsing standard that was created to protect data sharing and ensure safe online browsing. A website that uses HTTPS is one that hides much of the information that you share with them, with the only details made available being the fact that you visited their website.
To make sure that the website you’re visiting is HTTPS protected, make sure it has a “lock” symbol (in green) in the address window.
What online privacy protection measures are you taking to keep yourself safe online? Share them with us below!