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How to Protect Your Privacy Online?

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you have a lot of personal information on the Internet. Maybe you’re posting pictures to Facebook or tweeting about your day-to-day activities.

But if you’re not taking steps to protect yourself online, then all that data is out there unprotected and vulnerable to hackers and other criminals.

This is a dangerous group of people who want nothing more than access to your private details for nefarious purposes such as identity theft and fraud.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some ways that you can better protect your digital privacy by using password managers, two-step verification via SMS text message (if available), encryption software, Tor browser bundles, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), including those provided by NordVPN and Surfshark, and the DuckDuckGo search engine, among others.

Stick with me to the end to find out how you can bolster your online security for the better.

10 Most Common Online Privacy Threats

VPN Protected

Cyber attacks and other threats continue to evolve as the internet advances. There are so many threats to online privacy that keeping track is a fool’s errand. Some of the most notable ones to be wary of include the following:

Phishing Attacks

Phishing Cycle

Criminals use phishing attacks to steal your personal information

They work by sending you a fraudulent email or message from a supposedly legitimate source, such as your bank, credit card company, or even Facebook. The email may ask you to click on a link or provide sensitive information like your password or social security number. If you fall for the scam and provide this information, the criminal can use it to steal your identity or access your accounts.

SOLUTIONS
  • Always be skeptical of unsolicited emails and messages, even if they appear to come from a reputable source.
  • Never click on links or provide sensitive information in an email unless you’re sure it’s legitimate.
  • Use a tool like PhishTank to check whether an email or website is safe before you visit it.

Malware and Ransomware

Malware and Ransomware

Malware is a unique type of software designed to harm your computer or steal your information. It can be installed on your device through infected websites, emails, or attachments. Once it’s on your device, it can do anything from stealing your passwords to locking you out of your computer until you pay a ransom (ransomware).

Number of Malware Attacks from 2009 to 2018

To protect yourself from malware, install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date. You should also be careful about where you browse the Internet and what files you download. If you get infected with malware, you can remove it using an antivirus program or a specialized tool like Malwarebytes.

Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Identity Theft is one of the most common online privacy threats. 

It occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, credit card numbers, IP addresses, or other financial information.

They may use this information to open new accounts in your name, make unauthorized charges on your accounts, or even steal your identity altogether.

SOLUTIONS
  • Keep your personal information confidential and limit the amount of personal information you share online.
  • Be careful about where you browse and the links you click on.
  • Never give out your personal information unless you're sure that the website is.
  • Always use a strong password using letters, numbers, and symbols. Change your password regularly.
  • Install antivirus software on your computer and keep it updated.

If you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, report it to the police and contact your financial institutions immediately.

Digital Fingerprinting and Tracking

Digital Fingerprinting and Tracking

Digital fingerprinting and tracking is a process of collecting data about a person or entity’s online behavior and activities. This information can then be used to track the person’s movements and activities across the web

It can also be used to build a profile of the person, which can be used for marketing or other purposes.

How does it work?

Digital fingerprinting and tracking work using various tracking technologies, such as cookies, pixel tags, and browser fingerprints.

  • Cookies are small pieces of data stored on a user’s computer by websites. They help the browser remember information about your visits for the next time you need to check the website out again.
  • Pixel tags are tiny images that are embedded in web pages or emails whose work is to collect information and data on an anonymous user’s movements on the internet.
  • Browser fingerprints are unique identifiers created by analyzing a user’s browser settings and configuration.

These technologies are used to collect data about a person’s visits to websites, the pages they have visited, the time they spent on each page, and the links they have clicked on. This data is then combined with data from other sources, such as social media profiles and purchase histories, to create a complete profile of the person.

Digital fingerprinting and tracking are a privacy threat because they can be used to track a person’s movements and activities across the web

They can also be used to build a profile of the person, including sensitive information such as their political views, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and health information.

SOLUTIONS
  • Use a VPN to encrypt your traffic and prevent websites from collecting data about your online behavior.
  • Use browser extensions like Adblock Plus, Ghostery, and Privacy Badger to block cookies, pixel tags, and other trackers.
  • Switch to a different browser that offers better privacy protection, such as Firefox or Tor Browser.
  • Clear your Cookies & Cache regularly to remove any data that has been collected about you.
  • Use a different computer if you’re concerned about your digital fingerprint.
  • Limit what you share online as this can be used to build a profile.

Data Breaches

Global Data Breach Stats

A data breach is an incident in which sensitive, confidential, or private data is released to an unauthorized party. Data breaches can occur in a variety of ways, such as through hacking, theft, or accidental release.

Once the data is released, it can be used for a variety of nefarious purposes. Criminals may use the information to commit identity theft or fraud

They may also sell the information on the black market to other criminals.

Data breaches are rampant and very damaging to businesses. 

If customer information is released, customers may lose trust in the company and take their business elsewhere. The company may also face lawsuits from customers who have had their personal information compromised.

There are several steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from data breaches. They should, and they should also have a plan in place for dealing with a data breach if it does occur. There are websites that allow you

SOLUTIONS
  • Implement strong security measures to protect data.
  • Use Have I Been Pwned to check if your email or phone has been breached.

SQL Injection

SQL Injection

One of the most common online privacy threats is SQL injection

This occurs when a hacker inserts malicious code into a web form that uses SQL, the standard database query language. When the form is submitted, the code is executed, giving the hacker access to all of the data in the database.

To protect against SQL injection attacks, you need to take steps to prevent hackers from injecting malicious code into your web forms.

SOLUTIONS
  • Use a library called prepared statements. This library helps you create SQL queries that are safe from attacks.
  • Utilize input validation techniques to check for harmful code before it's processed.
  • Make use of firewalls and intrusion detection systems to help protect your site from attack.

Emotet

Emotet

Another common and insidious threat is Emotet. It’s a Trojan horse designed to steal your information, including your passwords, bank account information, and even your social security number. It can also be used to install ransomware or other malware on your computer.

Emotet is most commonly spread through email attachments, so be very careful about opening attachments from strangers or unsolicited emails

It can also be spread through infected websites, so avoid clicking on links or downloading files from unknown or suspicious websites.

SOLUTIONS
  • Make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer.
  • Install malware protection software to help protect you from infections like Emotet.
  • Be very careful about what you click on and download. Never open attachments from unknown or suspicious sources.

Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-site-Scripting

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) involves an attack where malicious code is injected into a website, resulting in the theft of cookies or other sensitive data

It works by inserting code into a web page that’s executed when someone visits the page. This code can be used to steal cookies or other sensitive information, such as passwords.

SOLUTIONS
  • Use input validation. This involves verifying that all user input is valid before it is processed.
  • Use output encoding to “sanitize” user input before displaying it on a web page to remove any malicious code.
  • Utilize web application firewall (WAF) to check for signs of malicious activity.
  • Utilize the “HttpOnly” flag on cookies to prevent them from being accessed by JavaScript.

Denial of Service

Denial of Service Attack

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are a common online privacy threat. 

They work by flooding a website or server with so much traffic that it can no longer respond to legitimate requests.

This can completely knock down the site or make it so slow that users can’t access it. In some cases, attackers can even use DoS attacks to steal information or passwords.

SOLUTIONS
  • Generate strong passwords and keep them confidential.
  • Be careful about the websites you visit and the information you share online.
  • Install security software on your computer and constantly update it.
  • If you think a DoS attack is targeting you, report it to your ISP or the police.

Location Tracking

Location Tracking

Most smartphones and laptops come with GPS tracking enabled by default. 

This means that your location can be tracked at all times, even if you don’t have the app open. This can be a problem if you don’t want others to know where you’re. Companies can also track your movements and see what websites you visit.

To disable GPS tracking on your device, go to Settings and look for the Location Services option. You can then disable it for specific apps or turn it off. 

You can also disable location tracking in your web browser by going to Settings and looking for the Location option. Select “Never allow websites to track my physical location” to stop them from tracking your movements.

SOLUTIONS
  • Disabling GPS tracking on your device.
  • Using a reliable VPN is another option you can explore and I have mentioned the best options for you later in my guide. But my top pick for this kind of task is NordVPN.

Staying Safe Online

There are too many threats surrounding our online activities outside the ones we’ve already covered in the previous section. Rather than be a sitting duck every time you use the Internet, here are some life-saving tips that may help you avoid unnecessary pain.

Limit the Information You Share Online

Limit the Information You Share Online

The Internet is a great place to share information and make friends. 

But it can also be a dangerous place for your privacy if you don’t take the proper precautions. You can protect your online privacy by limiting the amount of personal information available to other people on social media sites.

Social Media Platforms Users Numbers

Facebook, for instance, is one of the best examples to use because it currently has over 1 billion users worldwide. You should never post personal information on your Facebook profile that you would not be comfortable sharing with everyone.

This includes your full name, birthdate, email address, home address, and phone number. Other people can easily find this information listed in public directories or through data collection sites, making it easy to sell your information or use it against you.

TAKEAWAY
Moderate what you share online, especially on Facebook, and try as much as you can to avoid posting sensitive information that could be traced back to you easily.

Using Incognito Browsing

Using Incognito Browsing

When you go online, you probably don’t think about your data privacy. 

You might not even realize that, by default, all of your web activity is tracked and stored. But there are ways to protect your online privacy. One way is to use incognito browsing mode.

What Is Incognito Browsing?

Incognito browsing is a mode in most browsers that allows you to surf the web without leaving traces on your computer.

When you’re in incognito mode, your browser doesn’t store cookies (files that track your activity), history, or cached pages from websites you visit.

And if you use a private browsing window, then even your ISP won’t be able to track your activity on the web.

Why should you do this?

Using incognito browsing can help you protect your privacy while surfing the web. Here are some reasons you might want to do this:

  • You don’t want websites to know who you are
  • You want to avoid being tracked by advertisers or analytics companies
  • You don’t want people snooping around in your browser history when you share your computer with others
TAKEAWAY

Make it a habit to use incognito browsing every time you use the internet.

It is free and very effective at keeping sensitive info from finding its way online.

Use a Browser That Doesn’t Track or Collect Data

Use a Browser That Doesn’t Track or Collect Data

With all the hacking, identity theft, and other cybercrimes making the headlines, it’s hard to stay safe. But there’s one way to protect yourself: switching to a browser that doesn’t track or collect data.

In fact, the best browsers for privacy are those with no ties at all to advertising companies or social media giants like Facebook and Google

And even if you’re not worried about your safety, think of how much better we’d be as a society if every person had control over their personal information online.

Some of the browsers you can make use of include Brave, Tor Browser, Bromite for Android devices, DuckDuckGo, among others. You should definitely avoid Google Chrome by all means.

If your current browser doesn’t support these options, try installing a browser extension like AdBlock Plus. This is a fantastic way to protect yourself from “invisible” tracking by advertisers and sniffers who are constantly crawling the web to collect information on you without your knowledge or consent.

TAKEAWAY

There are countless browsers outside Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that have better security features and never collect any data.

Try using them more often to keep yourself safe when online.

Using a VPN

It’s no secret that our privacy is under attack. Someone is collecting your data and selling it to the highest bidder. And they’re doing it without your permission or knowledge.

But there’s something we can do to protect our privacy online: use a premium VPN. A VPN (virtual private network) is a service that encrypts your data and hides your location. It keeps your information safe from prying eyes, allowing you to browse the Internet anonymously.

There are many VPN services available, both free and paid. I recommend using a paid service, as they’re more likely to be reliable and secure. My favorite is NordVPN. It’s a reputable service with good speeds and an excellent privacy policy.

TAKEAWAY

VPNs are multi-purpose tools used for a number of roles, with online privacy and security being some of its best features. You can choose from countless options.

Find one that fits your budget.

Avoiding Unsafe and Unverified Sites

Unsafe Sites

Cybercrime is responsible for the loss of about $1 trillion every year, and most victims are nabbed when they use sensitive information on unverified sites.

If you’re looking for personalized products online, make sure you only do business with verified websites. These sites provide a secure and safe environment that’s protected against possible fraud. If the website you’re buying from doesn’t have these, then it’s best to stay away and find another site instead.

Another safer mode of online transactions would be using cryptocurrencies, and there are so many options right now. Unlike other forms of payments, it is impossible to counterfeit or make double payments with this.

TAKEAWAY

It is easy to be fooled by hackers if you’re not keen on unverified sites.

Always look for the verified badge in the site's address bar that you open.

It must have a padlock icon to signify that the site is safe for use.

Using Antivirus Software

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software will scan for any malicious code that can harm your device and keep it safe from viruses or spyware that can steal your information.

Web browsers sometimes store information about you when you’re browsing the web. All of this can be found in a file called ‘cookies.’ These cookies let websites remember you, and some store vital information like personal settings or saved account information.

Deleting these cookies if you visit many sites can be a lot of work. 

It may be easier to just use antivirus software to stop the browser from saving the cookies in the first place rather than deleting them manually.

Antivirus software can also scan for spyware and viruses on your computer. 

If a site you visit is loaded with spyware or has a virus, your antivirus software will take it out, so you don’t have to worry about malicious programs getting on your device.

TAKEAWAY
Antivirus software isn't just for keeping dealing with localized viruses on your devices. They’re equipped with robust online defenses that protect you from harmful sites. Most have premium subscriptions so consider your budget when making a decision.

Updating and Changing Your Passwords Regularly

Updating and Changing Passwords

You wouldn’t walk around your neighborhood with all of your valuables in full view, right? They’d be locked up somewhere safe.

And yet we do that online every day with our passwords without a second thought.

It’s time to rethink how we handle our personal information and data on the Internet. To make sure you’re keeping it private, follow these four steps:

  • Update passwords regularly.
  • Create unique passwords for each site.
  • Avoid public WiFi unless it’s necessary.
  • Keep devices secure with encryption software.
TAKEAWAY
A good hacker can go past a seven-character password in about 0.29 milliseconds. This should tell you how dangerous they can be. Update your passwords regularly and incorporate Two-Step Authentication for extra protection.

How to Use Wi-Fi Networks Safely

When using WiFi networks, adhere to the following tips to be safe.

  • Avoid accessing sensitive sites or logging in to important accounts while connected to an unknown network – this is just asking for trouble.
  • When using public WiFi networks, make sure you don’t log into any accounts or type passwords while connected. You may think that just because you’re in a coffee shop with dozens of other patrons, no one knows who you’re – but that’s not the case. The data on these networks is often
  • Even when you’re not connected to WiFi, make sure that your own wireless service is encrypted. You don’t want any intruders getting a free pass into your personal network.
  • Only use your devices in a trusted location, and make a habit of deleting files, cookies, and browsing history with every connection. It may seem like a lot of work to stay safe, but it’s worth it.
TAKEAWAY
Be wary of public Wi-Fi. Never use sensitive apps like banking and don’t input any passwords when on public Wi-Fi. There are too many vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of to steal from you.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Use Two Factor Authenticator

Protecting our online privacy is essential, but it can be hard to know where to start. One way to protect yourself is by using two-factor authentication

This security measure requires you to provide two forms of identification to log in.

For example, your password and a code are sent to your phone before any access is permitted. With this, even if your password is stolen or hacked, potential intruders won’t be able to access your account. The code will only be active for a few minutes at a time, so even if you lose your phone, it’s unlikely that anyone would have enough time to get in.

TAKEAWAY
Two Factor Authentication should be standard procedure for all your online accounts. It will protect any unauthorized access when your passwords fail.

Updating Operating Systems on Your Device

Updating Operating Systems of your Device

It doesn’t matter what OS the device you’re using has; you’re still at risk. 

Only updating the OS on the device will ensure online privacy since updates come with vital security patches that further fortify security. 

Make sure to keep an eye out for updates yourself.

The most common way someone’s privacy gets breached is by not setting their devices up correctly. Therefore, make sure to always stay updated with new software releases. Although these aren’t the only steps required to protect online privacy, they are the most important ones and will keep you safe for a long time to come!

TAKEAWAY

Updates come with important security patches that address new threats.

Therefore, keeping everything up to date will protect you from a lot of potential online threats across all your devices.

Only Use Messaging Apps With End-To-End Encryption

Use Messaging Apps With End-To-End Encryption

As technology advances, the need for privacy often gets left behind. 

This is because it is very difficult to balance someone’s right to privacy with someone else’s right to know.

The biggest threat when it comes to sharing private information on apps without any encryption concerns what happens after you send a message.

With no privacy protections in place, it is possible for anyone to take that message and do whatever they want with it.

This means that companies can easily store people’s private information so long as they agree not to share any of it without permission. 

It also means hackers are more likely to get their hands on your personal data if they have access to the right software or hardware.

Then there are spam messages, which marketers use everywhere to spread false information. Even if they show up in your inbox rather than your messaging app, you never know whether the person at the other end is actually who they say they are.

Examples of messaging apps that have end-to-end encryption include Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Wickr, Silent Phone, and Wire, just to mention a few.

TAKEAWAY

End-to-End encryption is now an irreducible minimum for any messaging app.

It is the only thing that stands between your private messages and other people snooping on them using clandestine means.

Deactivate Autofill

Deactivate Autofill

There are many ways you can protect your privacy online, from encryption to cookies. But there’s an easy way that most people miss: deactivating autofill.

Autofill saves all of your information in a browser, so when you go back and visit the site again, it automatically fills out forms for you with the same info. 

It’s great if it works properly — but what happens if someone hacks your account and changes all of those saved passwords? They may have access to everything else on that website!

Luckily, there’s a simple solution: disable autofill across all browsers you’re using. If you’re using Firefox, follow these steps:

Settings > Privacy & Security > Advanced > Manage Passwords in Chrome or Preferences > Saved Passwords.

Then click the trash can icon next to each password entry and delete it.

If you want even more security, use a strong password and enable two-factor authentication for your most sensitive accounts like Gmail.

Finally, make sure your browser is updated with the latest bug fixes, as companies release patches all the time that resolve vulnerabilities.

TAKEAWAY

Autofill is a handy feature for people who tend to forget their passwords or those that don’t want to fill in details over and over again in websites.

However, storing this kind of sensitive data in your browser isn’t safe.

Use a password manager instead.

Delete Spam Emails Without Opening Them

Delete Spam Emails without Opening Them

Spammers are relentless in their attempts to get you to open their emails, but there’s a very simple way to protect your privacy and keep them from succeeding: delete spam emails without opening them.

If you don’t even give spammers the opportunity to display their messages, they can’t entice you with offers or infect your computer with malware

And if enough people take this easy step, spammers will eventually stop targeting us all.

When you receive spam emails, just delete them immediately

That’s all there is to it. You don’t need to read them or look at any of the pictures they contain. Deleting a message without opening it ensures that spammers can’t access your computer and keep sending you more junk mail.

Furthermore, If you aren’t currently using a spam filter on your email account, now’s a good time to start. Spam filters work by blocking certain words from ever reaching your Inbox or identifying specific senders known to send too many unsolicited messages.

TAKEAWAY
Nothing good ever comes out of spam emails. When your email provider designates mail as spam, then there's a good reason for that. Never open or click on any links inside spam emails. This includes unsubscribe buttons as they are traps.

Enable Cookies Only When Required

Enable Cookies Only When Required

Cookies are data files that websites store on users’ computers and browsers.

These files can be used by advertisers or other third parties to track user behavior without the knowledge or consent of the individual.

It should be noted that the use of cookies isn’t illegal if they are used for security purposes such as remembering log-in information.

However, they can also be used to profile an individual’s browsing habits.

Privacy advocates recommend using cookie-blocking software like Ghostery, which blocks most types of tracking cookies from being installed in your browser. 

It also erases existing cookies when you close the program accordingly.

It is also recommended that users disable third-party cookies in their browser settings so they can maintain control over what type of tracking takes place on their computer while still taking advantage of most browsing functionality.

TAKEAWAY
Cookies is how your online footprint gets tracked, and every website you open always asks for permissions to allow cookies. Only garnet this when necessary; otherwise, disable them or use a private browser.

Deactivate the "Save Password" Feature

Deactivate Save Passwords

Many of us are already aware that security is essential when it comes to our online presence. After all, we can never be too careful! It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves from identity theft or worse.

Passwords are often used for this purpose, but if you’re not careful, your passwords could end up being stolen by anyone who has access. 

This means even a stranger could have control over your accounts and personal information. That’s why it’s vital to deactivate the “Save Password” feature on every account you create so no one will have access once they enter your computer system.

TAKEAWAY
Learn to find other ways of storing your passwords or remembering them to avoid the need to save them on your browser. Make use of a password manager instead.

Use Different Email Addresses

Use Different Email Address

Most people use the same email address for all of their online accounts, from social media to shopping to banking. This is a mistake, as it makes it very easy for hackers to gain access to your personal information if they manage to hack into one of your accounts.

Instead, set up different email addresses for each type of account

That way, if someone does hack into one of your accounts, they can’t access the others. And use strong passwords for each account and change them regularly.

Keep social media and banking email addresses separate.

TAKEAWAY
Using the same email address for all your online accounts and social media isn’t recommended. All it takes is for the email to be compromised for everything tied to you to get hacked. Use separate email accounts all the time.

Avoid Facebook if You Can

Avoid Facebook if You Can

It’s no secret that Facebook has been sharing user data with third-party companies. However, what may come as a surprise is just how much information the social media giant has been handing over – and how little users have been able to do about it.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this news, there are some concrete steps you can take to protect your privacy online.

A lot of people who use Facebook probably don’t think about what they’re giving up when they agree to the site’s Terms of Service (TOS). That’s because, in most cases, they aren’t actually aware of everything they’ve agreed to.

While Facebook clarifies that it reserves the right to share user data with third-party companies, most users only agree to display their name, profile picture, content, and information when signing up for an account or updating their settings.

It’s not illegal for Facebook to share your data – at least, not yet. 

But it can be harmful to you and your personal security, especially if you’re targeted by an adversary with advanced knowledge of how Facebook uses that data.

TAKEAWAY
Facebook has had its fair share of controversies in regards to privacy, and there isn’t much that has changed. If you can avoid Facebook, then you’ll eliminate a huge privacy and security threat from your life.

Avoid Phishing Scams

Avoid Phishing Scams

A Nigerian prince asking for your bank account so he can deposit $500m from his inheritance should ring alarm bells rather than making you drool. 

It’s a scam that may look simple at face value, but engaging such people will lead to problems.

Sometimes the best defense is being cautious. Just like spam emails, the moment you see phishing emails or messages, simply delete them on the spot and report them as spam. Prevention is way better than dealing with the fallout that usually follows in the wake of these phishing scams.

TAKEAWAY
Be on the lookout for scams that use cash as bait. If you have not applied for any service, then regard any email or message as spam and delete them as soon as possible.

Top 10 Online Privacy Tools

Privacy is a right, not a privilege. It’s one of the fundamental freedoms we need to protect if our society is going to function and thrive in an era where everything can be tracked and traced.

It seems like there are few places you can go on the Internet without having your privacy violated these days. Luckily, it’s not hard to take simple steps to keep yourself safe online. The following sections will cover ten tools for staying private while browsing or interacting with other people on social media platforms.

Virtual Private Networks

A VPN is a service that creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the Internet. This means any data you send or receive while using a VPN is hidden from prying eyes, making it a great tool for keeping your online activity private as well as keeping malicious software hacks at bay. 

There are many different VPNs to choose from, so research before deciding which is right for you. Here are three of our favorites:

  • ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services on the market. It offers high-quality encryption and a host of features, including unlimited bandwidth and server switches.
  • NordVPN: NordVPN is a great option if you’re looking for a VPN that offers a high level of security. It uses military-grade encryption and features a strict no-logs policy, meaning your data will never be tracked or monitored.
  • Private Internet Access: Private Internet Access is one of the most affordable VPN services available. It offers near the same level of features as some of the other services on this list, and it’s a great option if you’re on a budget and would like to hide your internet protocol address.

Private Web Browsers

Did you know you’re leaving a digital trail of your activities every time you go online? Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see everything you do on the web and even track your physical location.

If you’re looking for an extra layer of privacy when browsing the web, consider using a private web browser. These browsers delete all your browsing history and cookies as soon as you close them, so no one can track what websites you visit.

A private web browser keeps your activities and data hidden from your ISP, so you can keep your online privacy protected. There are many different private web browsers available for internet users, but the three most popular are

  • Tor Browser: Tor Browser is a free and open-source browser based on Mozilla Firefox that uses the Tor network to encrypt your traffic and hide your location. It also includes several security features, such as built-in malware protection and tracking prevention. One downside of Tor Browser is that it’s slower than other browsers due to the encryption process.
  • Firefox Focus: Firefox Focus is a fast, private web browser from Mozilla designed for mobile devices. It automatically blocks trackers and ads so that you can browse the web privately and securely. Firefox Focus also includes several privacy features, such as a built-in cookie blocker and tracking prevention.
  • Brave Browser: Brave Browser is another good option for private browsing. It is based on Chromium, the same engine that powers Google Chrome. It includes a number of privacy features, such as ad-blocking, tracker blocking, and HTTPS Everywhere support. One downside of Brave Browser is that it doesn’t have as many features as the other browsers listed here.

Secure Search Engines

When researching online, it’s important to use a search engine that keeps your privacy in mind. Secure search engines use encryption technology to keep your searches private. They also don’t track your activity or save your search history. This makes them a great option for anyone who wants to keep their online activities confidential.

There are a number of different secure search engines available, so it’s important to choose one that meets your needs. Here are three of our favorites:

  • DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo is one of the most popular secure search engines. It offers strong encryption and doesn’t track your activity. It’s also very easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners.
  • StartPage: StartPage is another great option for anyone looking for a secure search engine. It offers the same level of security and privacy as DuckDuckGo but has a few additional features that make it worth considering. These include the ability to set up proxy websites and encrypted email services.
  • Disconnect Search: Disconnect Search is a relative newcomer to the secure search engine scene, but it’s quickly gaining popularity thanks to its powerful features. It offers encryption as well as anti-tracking and antivirus protection. It’s also one of the fastest secure search engines available, making it a great choice for people who need to search frequently.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is essential for keeping your computer safe from malware and other online threats. But many antivirus programs also come with privacy features that help protect your data from being accessed by third-party companies. 

So if you’re looking for extra security and privacy, choose an antivirus program that offers both.

There are a number of different antivirus software programs available, including Malwarebytes, which is very efficient at protecting your machines and maintaining your internet privacy. But if that doesn’t cut it for you, here are three other recommendations:

  • Bitdefender Antivirus: Bitdefender is a well-known and trusted name in the antivirus world, and its products are some of the best on the market. Bitdefender’s Antivirus software is no exception – it’s fast, easy to use, and highly effective at protecting your computer from malware and other threats.
  • Norton Antivirus: Norton is another trusted antivirus software provider, and their products have been used for years by computer owners. Norton’s Antivirus software is designed to protect your computer from hacking, phishing, and other common online risks.
  • AVG Antivirus: AVG is a well-respected name in the antivirus world, and their Antivirus software is widely used. AVG’s Antivirus software is designed to shield your computer from a wide range of online threats.

Encrypted DNS

One of the easiest ways to improve your online privacy is to switch to an encrypted DNS service. This means that your computer will automatically connect to a DNS server that encrypts all the data it sends and receives, making it harder for anyone to track your online activity.

There are several different encrypted DNS services to choose from. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1: This encrypted DNS service is fast, reliable, and easy to use. It also has several security features, including DNS firewalls and malware protection.
  • DNS.com: This encrypted DNS service is secure and reliable. It also has many features, including website filtering and parental controls.
  • OpenDNS: This encrypted DNS service is free and easy to use. It also has some efficient features, including parental controls and website filtering.

Secure Messaging

If you want to keep your conversations private, consider using a secure messaging app like Signal or Telegram. These apps use end-to-end encryption to protect your messages from being accessed by third-party companies or hackers.

What Is Secure Messaging?

Secure messaging is a type of communication that uses encryption to protect your data from being seen by others.

This means that only the people who are supposed to see your messages will view them, and no one else will be able to see them or access them.

Here are three of our favorite secure messaging tools:

  • Signal: Signal is a free and open-source secure messaging app widely used by journalists, lawyers, and doctors worldwide. It is available for Android and iOS devices.
  • Telegram: Telegram is a free messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to protect your messages. It is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia devices.
  • Wickr: This is a secure messaging app that allows you to send encrypted messages to your friends and family. It is available for almost all types of smartphone and tablet devices.

Encrypted Email Systems

A regular activity for people when they’re online is to send and receive emails. Emails can contain personal and confidential information like addresses, social security numbers or private medical records. Sensitive data can also be included in attachments, such as scans of important documents

There are numerous Encrypted Email Systems that can protect your privacy when sending or receiving emails.

  • ProtonMail: ProtonMail provides a secure email service that uses end-to-end encryption. This means that only the sender and receiver can read the email contents. ProtonMail also has a desktop and mobile app so that you can access your encrypted emails anywhere.
  • Tutanota: Another encrypted email service is Tutanota. Its end-to-end encryption is based on open-source software, making it very secure. It can be used on both smartphones and desktop PCs.
  • SpiderOakONE: If you’re looking for an Encrypted File Storage System that isn’t email-based, consider SpiderOakONE. It’s a cloud storage service that provides robust security features, such as end-to-end encryption and zero-knowledge privacy. This means that your data is encrypted before it’s uploaded to the SpiderOakONE server, and only you have the key to decrypt it.
  • Boxcryptor: If you’re looking for an Encrypted File Storage System that isn’t cloud-based, consider Boxcryptor. It’s a software application that encrypts your files before saving them to your hard drive or cloud storage service. Boxcryptor is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and there are mobile apps available for Android and iOS.

Password Managers

One of the most important things you can do to enhance your online privacy is to use a password manager. A password manager is a great way to keep your online passwords secure. These programs store all your passwords in an encrypted database, so you don’t have to remember them yourself.

Most password managers also come with built-in privacy features that protect your passwords from being accessed by third-party companies

There are several different password managers available, and each has its own features and benefits.

Here are four of the most popular password managers:

  • LastPass: LastPass is one of the most popular password managers available, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, mobile-friendly, and allows for collaboration with other people. LastPass also has a number of security features that make it a top choice for password management.
  • 1Password: 1Password is another fantastic password manager liked for its user-friendly interface and robust security features. 1Password also offers the ability to share passwords securely with other people.
  • NordPass: NordPass is a password manager that’s bundled up with a NordVPN subscription. It is quite robust and features state-of-the-art encryption that adds double the security by saving your passwords well without undermining your personal access to them.
  • KeePass: KeePass is a more security-conscious option than the other two managers listed above. It offers more robust security features, such as the ability to create multiple password databases and backup your passwords. However, KeePass may be less user-friendly than some of the other options.

All of these password managers are free to download and use.

They all allow you to create unique passwords for each of your accounts, and they all store your passwords in an encrypted format.

This means that if someone gets access to your passwords, they can’t read them.

Ad Blockers

One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your online privacy is to use an ad blocker. They’re tools that help you block unwanted ads and trackers from appearing on websites every time you have an internet connection.

They can be especially useful for keeping your online activity private since many ads and trackers can collect your personal information without your knowledge. There are a number of different ad blockers available, so it’s important to choose one that fits your needs.

Here are three of our favorites:

  • uBlock Origin: uBlock Origin is a free and open-source ad blocker that’s been downloaded over 10 million times. It’s easy to use and can be customized to fit your needs.
  • Ghostery: Ghostery is a popular ad blocker that blocks trackers, cookies, and scripts. It also has a built-in privacy scanner that lets you see what data companies are collecting about you.
  • Adblock Plus: AdBlock Plus is one of the most popular ad blockers on the web. It’s easy to use and can be customized to fit your needs. It also has a built-in filter list that blocks ads from over 30,000 websites.

Ad blockers are a great way to protect your online privacy, but they’re not perfect. They can sometimes block legitimate content, so it’s important to customize them to fit your needs.

Tracker Blockers

Tracker blockers are almost similar to ad blockers but focus specifically on blocking website trackers. Tracker blockers work by identifying and blocking the trackers used by most advertising companies. 

This can be a great way to keep your online activities private and stop companies from collecting data about you without your consent.

There are a number of different tracker blocker programs available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are three of the most popular tracker blocker programs:

  • AdGuard: AdGuard has a vast library of filters that can be applied to block all kinds of online trackers. It has over 5,000 rules that the user controls when browsing their Internet.
  • Disconnect: This is a free anti-tracking tool that can be applied to every popular browser. It’s also compatible with smartphones and tablets and puts an end to aggressive tracking by advertising companies.
  • Privacy Badger: This is another free anti-tracking tool that works on all browsers. It utilizes powerful algorithms to block cookies and other tracking elements used by companies online.

A point to note, tracker blockers are an efficient way to protect your online privacy. However, they can block legitimate tracking software, and they can also slow down your browsing speed.

Why Is Online Privacy Important?

When you share your information online, you lose control of it

It can be accessed, used, and shared by anyone who wants it – including corporations, hackers, and the government. And once your data is out there, it’s virtually impossible to get it back.

That’s why online privacy is so important. By taking steps to protect your privacy online, you can keep yourself safe from identity theft, fraud, and other scams. 

Here are seven reasons why online privacy is important:

1. Shields Against Identity Theft and Fraud

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world.

Every year, millions of people have their personal information stolen by criminals who use it to commit fraud. By protecting your privacy online, you can make it much more difficult for criminals to steal your identity.

You can also reduce the risk of being scammed or targeted by a phishing attack.

2. Keeps Personal Information Private

One of the main reasons people choose to protect their privacy online is to keep their personal information private. By using a VPN or encryption software, you can keep your identity and personal information hidden from prying eyes

This is especially important when you’re sharing sensitive information, such as your Social Security number or bank account details.

3. To Avoid Being Targeted by Scammers

Scammers are increasingly targeting people online, and they often do so by obtaining personal information through phishing attacks or data breaches

By protecting your privacy online, you can make things hard for scammers to get you in any way or form.

4. To Keep Your Browsing History Private

Your browsing history can reveal a lot about you, including your interests, political views, and religious beliefs. It can also be used to track your movements and activities online. Therefore, keeping this private is a very vital step towards protecting you every time you use the internet.

5. To Avoid Being Tracked by Advertisers

Advertisers often track people’s online behavior in order to target them with relevant ads. By using tracking cookies and other tracking technologies, they can build a profile of your interests and preferences. You need to keep your online behavior confidential and stop them from building a profile of you.

6. To Keep Your Email Inbox Free From Spam

Spammers often use personal information to send spam emails

By sharing your email address with others, you’re opening yourself up to being targeted by spam campaigns. But if you observe the right online privacy practices, you can keep your email inbox free from spam.

7. To Avoid Being Monitored by the Government

The government often monitors the online activities of its citizens in order to track down criminals and terrorists. It uses more sophisticated means to pull this off, and this means you also need something strong like a VPN with a strong encryption to keep the government out of your business.

What Are 5 Things You Can Do Online to Protect Your Privacy?

The following are the things you can do to protect your privacy when surfing the web on your phone, computer, or any other device.

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) – When you use a VPN, your traffic is sent through an encrypted tunnel to a VPN server, instead of directly to the internet. This makes it difficult for anyone else to see what you’re doing online.
  • Use a Password Manager – A password manager helps you create and store strong passwords for all of your online accounts. This way, you don’t have to remember multiple passwords, and if one is compromised, the others are still safe.
  • Use Two-Factor Authentication – Two-factor authentication requires two pieces of information in order to log in to an account: your username and password, plus something else, like a code that’s texted to you or generated by an app. This makes it more difficult for someone to access your account if they manage to get your password.
  • Be Careful With Public WI-FI – Public Wi-Fi can be dangerous because it’s easy for someone to steal your information. When you’re not using public Wi-Fi, be sure to disable file sharing and turn off your automatic connections to known networks.
  • Use a Private Browser Window – When you’re browsing the internet, always use a private browser window rather than your regular browser. This will help keep your browsing history and cookies hidden from others.

What’s an Example of Online Privacy?

There are countless tools you can use to ensure you’re safe when surfing the web. But the best defense, as we have already illustrated, is you. 

So what are some examples of online privacy activities you can undertake to ensure you’re safe throughout?

  1. Control what you share online. It’s okay to post a milestone once in a while but pairing that up with too much personally identifiable information only opens you up to scams and phishing. If you can keep your social media accounts private and only share things with a close circle of people, the better it is for you.
  2. Don’t open spam emails or anything that looks suspicious. Sometimes clicking a link in your spam folder could be the trigger that starts a series of attacks. Make it a habit to clear your spam box every time anything pops up.
  3. If you choose to use tools like VPNs, or antivirus software, ensure they’re premium. Most of these tools have free versions, but they’re never that well equipped to deal with cyber attacks. If you choose to go down this route, you might as well go all in.

Final Word

The Internet can be a beautiful place with unlimited resources. 

But it can also be terrifying and dangerous if you don’t take the needed precautions. Each threat described in this article is real, and people have paid dearly for not properly protecting themselves.

Therefore, take every recommendation here seriously and start using the Internet without worrying about anything.

For more detailed information on VPNs and other online privacy tools, kindly check out our website.

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