Online privacy has somewhat become an oxymoron these days, especially in light of all the hacks, security breaches and allegations of riskware being silently installed onto unsuspecting users’ computers. Now more than ever, with a little bit of IT help, we as inhabitants of the World Wide Web, need to be more vigilant when it comes to our privacy and security.
We’ve listed a few ways you can tighten up your online privacy:
- Go Incognito – Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari all have a private browsing mode, which when activated, will ensure that no cookies or internet histories get stored onto your computer.
- Disposable is the way to go – Does a particular website need you to provide them with an email address before you can proceed? Avoid the inevitable avalanche of spam by using a temporary email address. DEAs or disposable email addresses are both temporary and more importantly, anonymous. Pro tip: DEAs are not meant to be used to send sensitive information as for the most part, they are not secure.
- Beef up your password – Seriously. This shouldn’t even be a tip. Logic dictates that passwords should be random and not at all related to anything that resembles personal information like birthdays or phone numbers. This is particularly essential to remember if you’re one of those who only use one password for everything across multiple websites. IT help specialists recommend using password managers if you can’t be bothered to remember multiple passwords.
- VPN is VIP – By using Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, you are basically keeping your IP address secure by keeping websites from being able to track your online activity. What it does is, it runs all your online date through a secure and encrypted virtual tunnel that essentially thwarts any sort of tracking.
- Don’t hoard cookies – At least not the online kind. These cookies are bits of code that are automatically downloaded from a visited website and then stored on your system. What they do is allow those websites to remember if you’ve visited before. Most of the time whilst this seems helpful, cookies can also used for data mining information which can potentially be sold off. Periodically clear your cache or use an external cleaning application like CC Cleaner.