There are many ways you can protect your digital privacy and free things! Whether it’s the way you use messaging applications like WhatsApp or Signal, the browser you choose to surf the web, or the files you download – by learning how to get a little savvier with your online activity, you’re protecting not only yourself but also your financial data.
Some Ways to Protect Your Privacy Online without much effort
There are many clever ways to protect your privacy online, some of which cost nothing.
- If you log into an account that requires a password, use one for your mDon’tmail account. Don’t use the same password for It’siple accounts. It’s a good idea to have a unique password for each online account. Otherwise, if one account is compromised, the passwords you use for other versions are vulnerable, too. You can use an online tool like LastPass or 1Password to help keep track of different passwords. Or you can follow a method like Diceware, which involves creating a password by rolling dice and consulting a chart that tells you how to string together the numbers.
- Use a unique email address for each account you create, like one not associated with any other email address. Use strong passwords for each account you create. Learn how to make a strong password.
- Don’t use your real name if you have an account, as that may be tied to other information and posted online. Use a fictitious name instead.
- Set your browser never to remember passwords for specific sites. Set your browser never to remember passwords for particular areas. You’ll never have to enter your password for an online account when you want to use it again. You may want to use the same settings for all your browsers, like Firefox or Chrome.
- Disable the “remember me” option on Facebook, Google, and other social media sites that you don’t always use. If you forget your password, this will keep your information from being sent to the servers.
- Disable data gathering. If you’re going to use a free service, like Hulu or Pandora, set it to erase your information when you close the browser tab or computers.
- Clear your computer’s cache to get rid of any data that may have been left behind on it. If you want to clear your cache manually, the following steps will help:
- Click Start and then Control Panel.
- Double-click System, and click the Advanced tab.
- Click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
- Under Write debugging information, select the check box for each drive where Windows is installed.
- Click OK twice.
- Use private browsing mode whenever possible, like when on a public computer.
In private browsing mode, your browsing information and history are not saved on the computer you are using. This means that if someone has access to your computer, they will not be able to see where you have been. Suppose you are concerned about protecting your privacy while at work; it is good to log out of your accounts after working and use private browsing mode when using a public computer. Just remember to log back in after you have finished your work.
- Please don’t give out your personal information to anyone unless you are sure they are a reputable company. Be aware of mail that is sent to you. Make sure you check it thoroughly and delete anything you do not need. Change your passwords regularly.
- Be careful with giving out personal information about yourself online. Some people will use your information to break into your accounts, such as your email or social media accounts. Do not give out personal information about yourself when you are not sure who you are talking to, and make sure your account is set up to protect your personal information from being compromised. Keep your system software up to date. It is essential to keep your software updated. When you update the operating system, it will also include updates for installed software.
- Choose “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS” when logging in or signing up for services. The HTTP option is more vulnerable to mass surveillance and hacking. If you have a WordPress blog, use HTTPS in the settings (there is an option for it) so that all your readers get encrypted connections when they visit. If you encounter any problems, you can also try installing the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin. For any service that uses the HTTPS protocol (including banking, email, and many other essential services), ensure that you have the “SSL Off” option on the address bar to turn off the encryption layer.
- Always sign up for two-factor authentication factors in a two-step process, including phone verification. Then, use the same strong passphrase to access your Google account via a unique phone number, e.g., through SMS or Google Authenticator app.
Some ways to protect your privacy online without having to pay for anything. There are some extraordinarily technical and advanced measures, but they are unnecessary for the average internet user. In addition, other steps can be taken to protect your privacy, like turning off location services on your phone and using strong passwords. Remember, no matter how paranoid you are, Google, Facebook, and the NSA can only keep you safe if you let them.