There’s no denying that social media is widely popular. Right now, there are nearly 4.7 billion social media users worldwide. Moreover, some people share their most intimate experiences online. For others, the Internet is a primary source of income.
Having an online presence does not come without its challenges. Due to extensive online user data mining, people look for ways to protect their online privacy. After all, who wants to share their personal experience with unknown third parties?
Keeping your online social presence private is straightforward if you know where to start. That’s why we gathered a few helpful tips to protect your online privacy. Let’s dive in.
Use Additional Encryption Software
Encryption is the golden data security standard. Unencrypted data poses privacy risks because anyone monitoring online communication can see everything you do. For example, Internet Service Providers collect user data. Cybercriminals use Man-in-the-Middle attacks to spy on online communication. In 2014 Apple’s iCloud leaked the most sensitive celebrity pictures online.
These examples illustrate that it’s up to you to protect your online presence. Undoubtedly, social media companies are doing their best to protect user data. On the other hand, cybercriminals go the extra mile to steal it. Additional encryption software applies an extra layer of protection, which could repel most hackers.
Firstly, using Cloud service is comfortable. It allows storing data online and accessing it from any device. Whether pictures, phone numbers, or work-related stuff, cross-device accessibility is beneficial. Cybercriminals target Cloud storage because they know there is information worth stealing. We recommend using services like NordLocker that provide secure Cloud storage. It will hold your files in an encrypted format. Even if the Cloud storage leaks, nobody will be able to decipher the data. Furthermore, the service is end-to-end encrypted, providing data protection at all stages.
Cybersecurity experts worldwide also recommend Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for online privacy protection. Each connected to the Internet device has a unique IP address. Many data-mining companies track user IP addresses to monitor their online activities. VPNs obfuscate the original Internet user’s IP address, substituting it with an alternative. Moreover, VPNs apply additional encryption to online communication. They are highly advisable when connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Public Wi-Fi hotspots often lack sufficient cybersecurity protocols. A VPN will guarantee your communication on public Wi-Fi remains hidden from prying eyes.
Privacy protection-Oriented Web Browser & Extensions
A web browser is your gateway to the Internet. Regarding online privacy, web browsers significantly differ. According to statistics, more than 65% of people use Google Chrome web browser. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most comfortable options. Yet Google is renowned for gathering extensive amounts of user data – using Chrome is synonymous with sharing your personal data with third parties.
We highly recommend choosing an alternative browser to protect your online privacy. For example, Brave browser is a Chromium-based privacy-protection-oriented software. Chromium-based means it uses the vast majority of code that fuels Chrome. However, its significant changes strengthen online privacy. Brave provides much more customization options to control what information websites gather. You can limit cookie-gathering policies. Brave, as a company, does not store or record user browsing history. It also limits location sharing with third parties.
What’s more, because it’s Chromium-based, it supports the same browser extensions. There are numerous privacy-protection extensions, but here’s a list of the most popular:
- Privacy Badger. Privacy Badger is a free and open-source browser security extension developed by the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. It blocks third-party trackers that secretly gather user-data on the websites. Moreover, it will also disable some ads, increasing website loading speed. Privacy Badger will automatically send do-no-track and global privacy control requests to websites to decrease data-gathering.
- Password manager. Passwords are your first line of defense. If someone obtains your social media passwords they access your most private information. Instead of using insecure passwords, invest in a professional password manager extension. It will store your unique and complex passwords in a securely encrypted vault.
- DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials. DuckDuckGo is the main alternative to Google search engine. You can use it for private browsing that will not collect your search history. It will also disable trackers and force HTTPS encryption on every website. It takes some time to get used to, but it’s very much worth the effort.
These tips are more than enough for casual Internet user privacy protection. They will establish boundaries on what online data you share with third parties. Moreover, by disabling trackers and ads, it will increase the website loading speed. But more important is knowing your data is safe from unauthorized misuse.