There are many steps you can take to make sure that your accounts and information are as private as possible. Furthermore, make sure that any information you post online is safe. Following these steps your online privacy and security should be well enhanced.
Online Privacy on Internet Browsers
Disable third-party cookies
- First party cookies. Which are usually exclusive to the website you are on and will not affect your future online browsing sessions
- Third party cookies. Which gather and track your information for advertising purposes
If you have ever encountered an oddly specific third-party advertisement while surfing the Internet, that’s the result of cookies. Consequently, disabling third-party cookies can help to protect your online privacy. Disabling third party cookies keeps advertisers from using your information and demographic data as a part of their marketing. To do this, change the settings within your Internet browser under the Security and Privacy settings.
Try a private search engine
Use a private search engine like DuckDuckGo to keep your search history and personal information even more secure. DuckDuckGo and search engines like it automatically block hidden trackers and encrypt connections from tracking your information.
DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect your private information for their own use. They keep your searches, preferences, and data as private as possible. Search engines like Google, know a lot about you and your browsing history.
DuckDuckGo can be used as a search engine on its own or even added as an extension to Chrome or FireFox. This allows you to keep surfing the Internet as you normally would with an added element of privacy.
Install privacy spyware and anti-virus software
Spyware, often installed without the user knowing, can monitor all your online activity, record your passwords, track what you type, collect personal information, and damage the quality of your computer’s performance. You can protect yourself from spyware by investing a solid anti spyware product. PCMag, a very reputable source, has several spyware products they recommend. These anti-spyware programs block spyware and keep your privacy from being violated.
Keeping Your Information Safe Through Encryption
Check whether or not the website encrypted before entering your information into any website. This is shown by a locked padlock icon next to the website’s URL. A locked padlock means that the website encrypted and has a secure connection with the browser. Clicking on the padlock can tell you information such as cookies that the website has stored and permissions you as the user have given the site.
See whether or not a website is using encryption by checking whether it starts with HTTP or HTTPS. In short, HTTPS is an encrypted version of HTTP, meaning your information is much more private on an HTTPS website. Understanding the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, HTTPS will win the privacy battle between the two.
Also, any information you put into a public computer should not be expected to remain private. This means work computers, library computers, or any device that is shared by more than one person. You don’t have exclusive access to these kinds of computers when they’re shared by many users.
This means you have less control of your privacy when using them. Make sure to log out of all accounts on public computers and never put in or search for any sensitive information.
Online Privacy on Social Media
Social media is now a huge part of our everyday online presence. Because we have become more comfortable with sharing on the Internet, it’s sometimes easy to forget what is and isn’t safe to share online. Remember to never share personal information, including bank account info, current location, home address, social security numbers, and other private data online.
If you post a picture with others in it, check in with them before making the picture public to make sure they’re comfortable with their image being on the Internet. Online privacy and social media are almost an oxymoron. Be proactive and take the necessary steps to make online privacy a priority with your social media accounts.
Online Privacy and Apps
Using the Internet isn’t the only way that companies can invade your privacy online. Be aware of apps for phones or tablets, which can gather information, track your location, and more.
Knowing how to keep your information and online activity private can be confusing. Taking time to understand Internet cookies and how they work, by disabling cookies, use private search engines, and check the websites you use can help to maximize your online security and privacy.
Continuing to be safe as you surf the Internet should always be in the fore front of your mind, even before opening your browser.
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