How to protect your privacy online

  • 02 November 2020
protect your privacy online

To protect your privacy online, one needs to understand why it is obligatory. Protecting the data while surfing the internet is a sensitive issue. Although it is quite difficult to protect your privacy, it is not impossible to stay anonymous at the same time, with fewer precautions. 

The amount of data shared on online platforms can be easily theft and misused to put anyone into some serious trouble. So, whenever anybody is doing any internet activity, it is necessary to see what kind of data they are sharing with that platform. However, It is mandatory to secure personal and financial data while surfing or consuming any services over the internet.

Online privacy is a serious concern as it can speak a lot about anyone and his/her desires. Hackers are often looking for this kind of data to take advantage of you by any means. But there are quite a few ways that one can do to secure the data while browsing the favorite sites, social media, or doing transactions online. 

Here is a practical guide on protecting your privacy while you’re busy with your online activities. These online security tips can protect your privacy to help you keep your data private to yourself. 

Online privacy contents

  1. Choose Browser Carefully
  2. Use Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
  3. Use Encrypted Instant Messaging Platforms
  4. Encrypted Email Service
  5. Password Managers and 2FA
  6. Use Application Firewall
  7. Encrypt Your Cloud Data
  8. Clear Cache
  9. Use Premium VPN
  10. Check URL and SSL carefully(https://)
  11. Update Softwares Regularly
  12. Use Genuine Internet Security Suite

1.Choose Browser Carefully

Secure Browsers

Selecting the perfect weapon leads to a glorious victory. The same goes for your online privacy. The more secure browser you have that is less tracking or customizable tracking, the safer you keep your data. They provide super-secure access to popular sites. 

Trackers are present almost everywhere on the internet. So one needs to have a more secure browser that helps in blocking ads and scripts, managing cookies, or shielding data. A good browser can block any unwanted things before they appear on the screen. Some browsers are even so powerful that they can deal with malware without the intervein of any security software. 

Some good browser examples are:- Brave, Mozilla Firefox, Tor.

2.Use of Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps

If you’re unfamiliar with PWAs, then it is a website that feels like a native mobile app. Unlike native apps, they don’t install on your phones. You can get the same functionalities that of a native app without actually installing it on your phone. Instead, PWAs use advanced technology to deliver an app-like experience to its user, right in the browser. They run in your browser, store cache for offline use. In simpler terms, PWA is a mixture of Website and Mobile App Technology.

There are few benefits of using PWAs as it saves a lot of space on smartphones, especially those having low space capacities. They protect your privacy online, don’t run background services all the time, means more free RAM for other applications or games. Push notification support, means you don’t miss any info from the app that you’re using. 

PWAs keep your data safe because it doesn’t ask for permissions like social media apps. They don’t have access to your data like contacts, messages, locations whenever they need it. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, UBER, Telegram all have their PWA available to use.

3.Use Encrypted Instant Messaging Platforms

Encrypted IM Providers

Most of the modern chat messengers use encryption methods to secure their metadata. Which means they can’t read your messages that are present on their servers. But some popular IM platforms do track your activities and metadata, store messages even after you delete them. They don’t encrypt everything like timestamps, locations, and contacts. 

In this regard, you should avoid using such IM providers to keep your data safe from others. “Signal” and “Telegram” are two of the most secured IM providers for safer & secure messaging service. Many users have been using these chat messengers now for a while. In case you don’t find your contacts using them, share a download link message from the application to get them started using it.

4.Encrypted Email Service

Encrypted Email

Emails have been a while now, and they serve no other purpose than registering into any online service in the majority. They are there for creating accounts for banking, subscriptions, e-commerce, and many more that make it paramount to keep safer like others. Choosing a secured email provider can save your data in an encrypted format on their servers. Hence it is unavailable for advertisers and the Government to see your data, unlike any mainstream email providers. 

For more online privacy, consider creating and using multiple email accounts for shopping, social media, and personal communication. Some extremely trustworthy email providers are Protonmail and Tutanota for their encrypted email service.

5.Password Managers and 2FA

Protect password use 2FA

Using the same passwords on multiple platforms can be dangerous and often leads to putting into trouble. That’s why it is a good practice not to repeat the same password on different platforms. 

Here comes the use of password managers to store your passwords safely and recalling when you need it securely. Don’t think of storing passwords on browsers default password managers. Use third-party password managers like BitWarden or KeePassXC to store passwords. 

Enable Two Factor Authentication for all your accounts that have the potential to expose your online privacy. Don’t use Google Authenticator as it has encountered some major issues in past years. Use FreeOTP or OneOTP to generate a one-time password and avoid using SMS for OTP. Protect your privacy with this software easily online.

6.Use Application Firewall

Application firewall

An application firewall is a piece of firewall software that monitors all incoming and outgoing requests of a system. Using firewall software can significantly enhance your online privacy by letting you gain control over the traffic sent or received from your system. It contains pre-configured policies to allow traffic from an app. As a result, prevents hackers from executing malicious codes on your system. A potential weapon to defeat cyber attacks by protecting your online privacy.

7.Encrypt Your Cloud Data

Data Encryption

 If you are using any free cloud storage platform to store your data, encrypting your data before uploading it to the cloud is a good practice. Remember, when you’re not paying for it, you become the product of them. They can use your data to earn massive revenue for themselves. Consider using a paid cloud service that provides enough encryption mechanisms to guard your data. 

NextCloud provides state-of-the-art secure cloud storage for all your important files with a small fee than other primary cloud providers. VeraCrypt is a file encryption tool to make your data encrypted for anyone else with numerous features and easy to use UI for novices. For maximum online privacy, always encrypt data before putting it on the cloud on paid ones too.

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8.Clear Cache

Clear cookies

Have you ever wondered how Google and others track you? The answer to this is via Cookies you create while browsing your favorite sites. Cookies stored on client computers reveal an individual’s interest. The good thing is it doesn’t get stored on servers. Hopefully, we can get rid of these cookies by clearing it from our browsers. But that doesn’t make you untrackable. 

By tweaking your browsers settings, cleaning cookies, and other relevant information with or without the help from other cookie clearing software, you can make yourself free from trackers. In most cases, try using browser add-ons like AdblockPlus, NoCookies, and those block trackers from tracking you.

9.Use Premium VPN

vpn

Nobody can deny how useful VPNs are nowadays, especially when using public Wi-Fi. We can’t think of anonymity and security without a VPN. A virtual private network creates a shield around the network layer, gives you online privacy and security at the same time. It builds a Private network layer by masking the original IP address that makes you virtually untraceable. 

A premium VPN provider ensures security and speed while free alternatives have some compromisation on speed and bandwidth. Some of the premium VPN providers are:- Windscribe, NordVPN.

10.Check URL and SSL carefully(https://)

check domain and ssl

Often phishing attackers use similar-looking domains to fool users by creating the same designs used for an accurate webpage like Facebook/Twitter Login Page. However, to avoid such attacks, all we have to do is, looking at the domain and its spelling. A single character spelling mistake can create a whole new phishing page ready to sniff your data. 

Newbie phishers are not that great at making a perfect clone of a particular website. They don’t use SSL on phishing pages that mention “Not Secure” to enter any details on that page. Try to avoid such URLs and do not share any data.

11.Update Softwares Regularly

update softwares

Updating software and operating systems block the vulnerabilities and loopholes present in the system. It significantly improves Online privacy by putting restrictions on particular areas that process your data. It removes the bugs and enhances operation speed quite faster. They also boost the stability of that software and remove outdated features for a better user experience. It provides a higher degree of security to your data, reduces the risk of getting hacked by bettering the protection from cybercrime.

12.Use Genuine Internet Security Suite

genuine softwares

Don’t get confused between Antivirus and Internet Security Suite. They both work up to a certain level to secure the system. While antivirus can check for viruses present on the system, it can’t guarantee protection from internet-based attacks like Phishing. A good internet security suite can protect you from dangerous threats, like ransomware and other unknown attacks, ensuring online privacy to its maximum.

Paid Security Software often provides world-class security and anonymity, securing all your data on your system. It significantly reduces the risk of getting infected by worms or trojan viruses. Use only established security software solution providers to keep your data safe and private. In our opinion, ESET, Kaspersky, and BitDefender is a suitable choice. Running a cracked security software can put your data at risk.

Conclusion

Protecting online privacy is a big concern not to get into any trouble by cyber attackers. On the other hand, it is not difficult to stay anonymous and enjoy the content at the same time. All we have to do is follow the above mentioned online security tips to protect our data online. Internet security and keeping data private is possible if we pay enough attention it. We discussed quite a few best security tips to protect your privacy online. Apply them to your system to take control of your data.

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