Every time users log onto a website, various parties are on hand to track habits, browsing, and shopping patterns. This poses a serious internet privacy issue since no one wishes for their private activities to be tracked by third party or software.
Cyber criminals and hackers employ various tools to collect private information to gain access to banking accounts or for other purposes.
This is particularly common with unsecured public Wi-Fi connections.
Users’ ISP providers also log all activities each time you use the internet, including the IP address, the device used, operating system, websites visited, and all the emails you send.
Nothing can be scarier than this, especially considering that authorities may demand records.
The other internet privacy threat is could be your employer, who can monitor your online activities while at work.
The government also can actively spy on citizens as well, as the NSA scandals on privacy breaches have brought to light in recent years.
It can also happen through official channels, such as when the government orders companies like Google and Facebook to hand over your files.
The other culprits are the corporations and advertisers who actively seek private information to help them strategize on how to target their market audience.
Some companies mine this data without your consent to sell to the advertisers to help them determine your location and which products to advertise to you.
To protect your internet privacy against these trackers, here are some effective tips:
1. Assess your online activities
The first step should be evaluating all the activities you do online to identify the security loopholes in your habits.
Do you share, store, or post private or personal information on your device, through emails and social media sites or even cloud storage like Dropbox? Consider the consequences of your private information falling into the wrong hands; ask yourself how safe the sites you visit are and how they handle your information.
All these assessment questions can help you prepare to protect your internet privacy.
2. Install ad blocking plugins
When you install Adblock Plus or Do not Track Plus on your Chrome or Firefox browsers, you take a great step in keeping sites from collecting your personal information and browsing trends.
The Antisocial subscription available for Adblock can likewise prevent social network sites from sending data about you from after you leave those sites.
3. Install Ghostery
To block the invisible tracking cookies and the many plug-ins on websites, Ghostery is an excellent tool.
It gives you a choice to block the shown websites individually or all together.
It does not limit its work to social networks, but targets ad networks and web publishers, too.
4. Use a virtual private network
Using antivirus is good for protecting your computer and smartphone; however, it does not protect the network.
This is where a VPN can complement your antivirus solution perfectly.
VPN services are created to protect your internet privacy by creating secure sessions between the VPN server and your device.
This ensures all data transmission is encrypted therefore, protecting data while it is in transit.
It also enables you to hide your IP address by replacing it with the VPN server IP address.
This provides the needed anonymity from trackers and anyone seeking your sensitive information.
It’s advisable to use a VPN, especially with public Wi-Fi connections at the airport or local cafe.
5. Use advanced tools
To shore up your online defense and ensure internet privacy, tools like disconnect.me add-ons can help identify and block tracking requests during your online sessions.
A search engine like DuckDuckGo does not collect or share your personal information as Google or other major search engines do.
You can also consider using the Tor browser, which allows you to browse anonymously if it is properly configured.
6. Log out of social media sites
While browsing, it is important that you log out of any social media site.
This will limit the amount of data sites can collect about your web activity.
It also pays to be careful what you share on these social media sites.
Facebook, for instance, is modeled on levering your personal information for its advertisement.
7. Change smartphone privacy settings
Limit ad tracking on your phone by adjusting the privacy settings on your smartphone.
Advertisers are known to target your mobile browsing activities, and this is a relatively easy step in mitigating third-party tracking.
8. Clear tracking cookies
Regularly delete or clear the tracking cookies sent by websites to collect your browsing activities.
This is an effective way to ensure your internet privacy, and can be done for all major browsers.
Your Internet Privacy is crucial in this age when every organization is targeting your private information to for marketing or financial activities.
Implementing these tips to protect your online privacy from third parties are easy for the average internet user, free, and pay back the effort in spades.
Your internet privacy and security can be largely in your hands.