Five Easy Ways to Guard Your Privacy Online
Now that we spend endless amounts of time online for work, school or entertainment it is important to know how to guard your privacy from data thieves online. Everything online can be traced and tracked if not actively secured and encrypted. While there is no foolproof security online, there are ways you can reduce data theft and invasion of privacy. Here are some of the ways;
Be Mindful of every app you install
Every application you install on your computer or phone will ask you for permissions to access your data like contacts, camera and even messages. If an app is free, you are usually paying for it in some other way, usually it is with your data. Only have necessary applications on your phone and computer to avoid breaches in your privacy. Additionally, be wary of apps that require unlimited access to your devices such as voice, camera, phone dialer and the likes.
Avoid public wi-fi networks
Using any public network exposes your personal information including your usernames and passwords to the host of the network. Every website you visited can be monitored and tracked with the right tools, if you need to do something important on your phone or laptop you are better off using your phone’s data or using your phone as a hotspot for your laptop for better security.
Reduce your online footprint
There are many websites that crawl the internet for your personal information and post it for the world to see. These websites known as data brokers include Mylife, Whitepages and Spokeo and they make millions by selling access to your private information. Deleteme is a website offering services that remove your personal information from leading data broker websites. There is a free guide on how to do it on your own instead of paying for the premium services.
Secure your browsing
Most of what we do on the internet involves browsing through web pages. Ad networks can easily track you from site to site, your internet service provider can log which pages you visit enabling hackers easy access to you. No browser is perfect but there are some like Tor which are better. Tor enables users to browse the internet anonymously by bouncing traffic through multiple relays. Additionally, it hides a user’s internet history and can be used to go around sanctioned network blocks in your country. Another alternative is using Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) which make it difficult for others to eavesdrop on browsing habits or pinpoint a person’s real location. However these methods are still not foolproof as all your internet traffic is funnelled through a third party.
Secure your servers and clouds
Be careful what you store on the cloud since some services such as Evernote allow their staff to read and access your content. For this reason, you should ensure your various clouds are secure. Most countries have no laws to protect you against unreasonable searches and seizures; Kenya is among those countries. Find out how to encrypt your cloud files here.