Many people around the globe still don’t understand the importance of keeping their online data and information private and secure. This allows for different nefarious acts to be conducted, leaving your personal details and info exposed for political or personal gain.
Hackers, advertisers, internet service providers, NSA and other governmental groups are all constantly lurking and trying to use the information they collect to their advantage.
So, if you don’t want to become the victim of metadata gathering, phishing, password leaks, 3rd party cookies, website trackers, tracking links, e-mail trackers, browser fingerprinting, and so on – we strongly recommend you to protect your privacy. Here’s a beginner’s friendly guide on how to achieve this.
Take Care of Your Cookies
The reason why cookies exist in the first place is the sheer convenience: by storing certain information in your local browser, you make web browsing more comfortable and fitting. But cookies have become a double-edged sword in terms of their ability to track and report back your online activities.
The simple act of managing your cookies can mean a great deal when trying to protect your online privacy. Make sure to clear out your cookie list as frequently as possible, but also consider various browser extensions that can help you regain control of your online presence. This way you can add, block, change, or delete any cookies you like.
Opt for Two-Factor Verification Whenever Possible
This is a feature that more and more websites and services are offering today. It revolves around adding an extra layer of protection when trying to fend off and halt any possible attacks that can jeopardize your personal data.
What you’re essentially doing when you’re using a two-factor verification is adding another ’lock and key’ that can prevent up to 80 per cent of violations and malfeasances that happen online. It’s a pretty staggering percentage that can’t or shouldn’t be overlooked by any means.
Use a VPN
Probably the most efficacious, powerful, and successful way of dealing with all these issues is by using a virtual private network (VPN). If you’re looking for something of a Swiss army knife for keeping your personal data hidden and your online privacy at the highest level, look no further.
A virtual private network protects you by allowing you to create a secure connection to another network. It basically creates an encrypted tunnel between you and some remote server that’s operated by a VPN service. This way your internet traffic is routed through this encrypted tunnel.
Your IP address will be masked by the VPN server along the way, which means that you (your personal information and private data) become virtually impossible to track. So, it’s highly advised to browse the internet safely – that way your data will be kept safe from prying eyes.
There are many resources online, but I found this comprehensive list of free VPN services to be very useful. I recommend you check it out.
Get Rid of Flash
Some things belong in the past and should be left there. You don’t need a better sign that Adobe Flash is in this group than Google’s decision to entirely pull the plug on the once most famously known plug-in, by 2020. What once was an irreplaceable rich content medium has now become something which many websites are aggressively trying to get rid of.
Now, you might be wondering why this is the case, but you’ll actually be significantly less exposed to different risks if you get rid of flash. Disabling Flash on your web browser will eradicate one more potential vulnerability. In order to do this, just follow these steps, depending on the browser you’re using.
Identify and Block Trackers
At the very beginning of our article, we’ve mentioned that trackers can be a real nuisance and can endanger your online safety. That’s why it’s of utmost importance that you deal with these ’uninvited guests’. Every tracking program is essentially designed to collect and relay back information on your online wonts and practices.
Fortunately, there are available options that can help you both identify and block website trackers. Browser privacy extensions make sure that ads and trackers are blocked, while simultaneously speeding up websites. As a result, not only will you stay protected against these attacks, but you’ll also speed up page loads and optimize page performance.
The Bottom Line
Protecting your privacy has become increasingly important these days since personal information and data that different parties try to collect all the time can be used to your disadvantage. That’s why we recommend you to follow our beginner’s friendly guide which helps you stay as anonymous as possible on the web.
By taking care of your cookies, opting for two-factor verification, using a virtual private network (VPN), getting rid of flash, and identifying and blocking trackers you’re most certainly making a huge step towards staying protected online at all times. Even though it takes some time to set everything up, rest assured that it’s all well worth it.