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Do You Know How to Protect Your Privacy Online?

In the past couple of years, we’ve been exposed to lots of news about data abuse on social media, election interference, massive data breaches, and privacy issues. When people think about online privacy, they imagine “bad people” looking to hijack their data.

However, in reality, many social media and web companies are continually collecting the personal data of their users. What’s even worse is that they share this data and sell it to government entities, political parties, and advertisers.

We’ve reached a new age in which our information isn’t abused directly. Big organizations manipulate our habits and actions to change our opinions and make us purchase specific products. Luckily, there’s good news. There are ways you can still use the web while remaining private.

Stop using Google and switch to a privacy-focused search engine

The first place to start is your browser. More specifically, your search engine. Each time a person searches for something on Google search engine, Google also searches information on them. It tracks all of your searches and information about what you do online.

All your personal information, IP address, and activity history are stored and shared with various third-parties. Of course, there are many things you can turn off if you take the time to find all the settings. However, you can never avoid all the tracking entirely.

The best option is to stop using the Google search engine and switch to a privacy-focused one such as DuckDuckGo, MetaGer, Qwant, and so on.

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Protect yourself from insecure wireless connections

We are living in a digitally connected world, and everyone is online most of the day. We want information right away and are in contact with many people every day for various reasons. A lot of people use different Wi-Fi connections daily.

However, most public wireless connections are a hotbed of risk. You never know who else is connected to that Wi-Fi nor how secure that network is. If your connection is not secured correctly, someone who knows can easily intercept data you are sending or receiving.

The best thing to do is to avoid these kinds of networks. However, if you have to, it’s generally a good idea to get a VPN tool. VPNs encrypt your connection, make your data safe when going online. It is not only useful for Wi-Fi connections but any other connection as well.

Use Tor to surf the web

Apart from getting a privacy-focused search engine, you can also use a browser that protects your privacy to surf the web. Even though browsers from big companies such as Safari and Chrome include incognito modes, it doesn’t mean that your activity isn’t tracked while surfing.

If you want to have anonymity while browsing the web, use a browser like Tor or Brave. These browsers have already gotten a lot of followers, and they are entirely safe to use. When browsing the web using these platforms, you will be connected to several relays or nodes when trying to access a site. At the same time, Tor doesn’t gather any personal information about its users and gives them an utterly anonymous surfing experience without any requirements.

Stop using Facebook and WhatsApp

Facebook is one of the most popular social networks, along with Instagram. However, both social networks are owned by the same company, so they are the same in terms of private data. There are a lot of indications showing that Facebook uses personal data of its users.

First, there was the scandal with Cambridge Analytica. On the other hand, Apple has banned Facebook Messenger from collecting data from chats and even outside the app.

WhatsApp was fined several times, including a $120 million fine by the European Union. It was also discovered that the app was hacked with an unknown number of spyware being installed on people’s devices.

Try and switch to Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies are no longer a taboo. Everyone is using bitcoin, mainly because it’s a secure payment method. When it comes to internet payments, these transactions are more secure. Bitcoin can be used for instant transactions without any issues.

You will have to get an e-wallet for your bitcoin. Then you will have to buy some bitcoin, and you will be able to use it anywhere where these kinds of payments are supported. Nobody can see any personal details when you make payments this way or track the transaction back to you.

Conclusion

Personal data is probably the most crucial security asset online. All the things we mentioned today require a bit of effort but will significantly protect your privacy and your data. You will get several layers of protection, ensuring that your information isn’t abused in any way.

 

Staff Writer at CPO Magazine

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