Online privacy should be easier to achieve, but sometimes, it’s challenging. In this guide, we explain how to protect your privacy online.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, over 90% of Americans feel as though they have lost control over their privacy online. With cases of cybercrimes and other forms of online insecurities on the rise, it is important to know how to keep your online activities private.
Whether you are shopping online, using social media, or doing some research on the internet, online privacy should be a priority. While most people think that they have lost the privacy battle, there several things that one can do to remain invisible online.
Here are some tactics, tools, and other practices that will help you stay incognito.
Clear Your Search History
All web browsers store user’s search history automatically and indefinitely. Depending on what you search and who is peeping on it, you can find yourself in a very embarrassing situation. It can be even worse if someone gains access to your tablet, computer, or smartphone.
The good news is that deleting your search history is a very simple step. You can visit the history section of your browser and clear all your recent digital footprints from your device. Once you know how to delete searches, no one will be able to view your browsing history.
This is especially important if you are using a shared device. Remember to always clear your search history as you continue to surf the internet.
Secure Your Router and Wi-Fi Network
If you use Wi-Fi in your home or office, you need to secure it as soon as you set it up. This is because; several routers come with a default name and password. Therefore, you should change your username and password to make it hard for anyone to guess it.
Use a complex password that contains symbols, numbers, and random letters. You may also want to use the right security option. Though there are three options to choose from; WPA2, WPA, or WEP, it would be best to choose WPA2 if it is available because it offers the best encryption method and will offer more security when it comes to keeping hackers away.
Use Private Browsers
Browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer might be more popular and easy to rely on. Still, they also track your search history even when you try to use the incognito mode. Individual websites or ISP can still track your online activity when you use them.
There are other browsers; however, like the Tor browser that offers a very private browsing experience that will ensure that your personal information is not exposed easily. These browsers might not offer the same features that popular browsers offer but will keep you safe and invisible.
Use a VPN
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the commonly used tools to browse incognito. It can hide your IP address, protect your online identity, and encrypt your internet browsing.
VPN providers offer users several servers through which you will route your internet traffic. Whenever you surf the internet, your device will connect to that server first before it can connect you to the internet.
With VPN, no ISP can be able to track your online activity, and hackers will not be able to steal your personal information or access your passwords.
There are numerous VPNs available. However, not all VPN providers can encrypt your data, and some share it with independent third parties. Ask for referrals and beware of questionable companies that sell fake VPNs.
Use Ad and Tracking Blockers
Turn off the personalized ads on your device, and you can also download ad and tracking blockers. This will reduce the risk of malware and also give you a smoother browsing experience.
Avoid Websites That Do Not Use HTTPS
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the standard for web browsing that ensures that the data shared between the website visited and the users are secure. It also ensures that the website is not malicious, and the visitor or user is also who they say they are.
If the website you visit uses HTTPS, it means that they can only be aware that you visited the site but cannot access your private information like credit cards, shipping address, or your purchases.
Ensure that the website you want to visit has “https” before their web address. It may be a good idea to use a private browser because various plugins can still see what you do. After all, HTTPS only prevents other providers in the middle and your ISP from seeing what you do.
If you have to visit a website that does not use HTTPS, you can convert it by downloading an extension to your browser.
Other measures you can take include:
- Using a screen lock to keep your devices safe
- Turning off the location services if you do not have to use it to stop anyone from tracking your location
- Installing antivirus software to reduce the chances of malware or spyware
- Empty cached images and files
- Avoid piracy websites or torrents
Ensure Online Privacy Whenever You Are Online
Privacy is everyone’s business; that is why it is time to take control of your online security. Get educated about what you need to do, and be proactive and consistent so that you can ensure online privacy. Even though you might not be able to secure everything at once, there is something that you can do to ensure you stay incognito.
Apart from staying incognito, there may other tech tips that you need to know. That’s why you need to go through our other posts to learn more.