Online privacy seems to be non-existent in a connected world. Websites, Internet apps, and other online platforms let people connect through easy engagements. However, some of these actions tend to be at the cost of losing layers of privacy.
It’s up to online users to practice safe Internet usage to protect their data and identity from prying eyes. Stay smart online to help keep your information as close to the chest as possible.
Why The Need For Online Privacy?
Privacy is like keeping yourself isolated as you take a bath or shower. It’s also when you close your bedroom curtains, doors, and windows as you sleep at night. These concepts tend to be quite similar when looking at the digital space. However, you can’t close physical doors or windows to protect yourself from the Internet’s meddling eyes. But, you still need to practice safe and smart Internet usage to avoid getting your data and identity stolen.
Hence, you might be wondering, “How to erase your digital footprint?” Continue reading to know five tips to ensure you’re using the Internet as privately as possible.
How To Use The Internet Privately
Adjust Social Privacy Settings
Social media portals allow online users to post photos, videos, and other types of content about themselves. If you don’t adjust your social privacy settings, your selfies might fall into the wrong hands. In this case, the privacy settings of your preferred social media platform will be your best friend. Customizing these settings helps prevents these apps from capturing data and letting your information leak across the online realm.
Note that each social media platform has different privacy settings. But, these apps tend to follow industry-standard settings, despite the different names for the various fields.
For instance, here are the steps to change privacy settings on Facebook’s web app:
- Click the down arrow in the upper right portion of the page.
- Click ‘Settings,’ then, select ‘Privacy Settings.’
From here, you can change different settings about your activity and data on this social media platform. For example, you can change the people who can see your posts. You may also limit the views for past posts so other individuals can’t dig into past content.
Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is a secure virtual tunnel that connects your device to your desired online location. A VPN encrypts web traffic through a secure tunnel, allowing you to hide your IP address from potential cyber attackers.
A reliable VPN provider promotes numerous benefits, such as browsing the web anonymously, hiding your geographical location, and masking your IP address. Hence, online apps and websites may save the wrong information about your browsing history, allowing you to mislead others by leaving fake digital footprints.
Use Private Browsing
As the name suggests, private browsing allows you to use browsers without leaving behind traces of your digital activities. Many browsers already have this feature, although they tend to have different names. For example, Google Chrome has Incognito Mode, while Brave uses a Private Window. Despite these different names, you can browse the web anonymously as you’re using these browsers.
Use Different Passwords For Different Accounts
Many people like to use just a password for multiple accounts for convenience. However, using a master password can become detrimental to a user’s online privacy. For example, if a cyber attacker hacks into your email address, there’s a good chance that the illicit individual can also steal your other online accounts.
If you don’t want to change passwords, you may use a password reset software. You may have your computer reset passwords on the Internet. The app should also record these changes, so you’ll know the right password that goes to the correct online portal.
Don’t Save Financial Information
It can be a grueling process to input your financial information over and over again when you’re doing multiple online transactions. But, avoid letting browsers and websites save your financial information.
You can’t disregard the risks of hackers stealing your online information. So, save your financial data in a separate offline document instead of saving them on a web portal. That way, you can paste the information you need from the file to reduce the time spent inputting sensitive data. Moreover, your information stays uncompromised.
Don’t disregard the importance of online privacy, especially if you’re accessing websites that use your sensitive information. Use reliable VPNs, private browsers, and password reset apps to ensure you’re browsing the web as anonymously as possible. Also, adjust social settings and don’t save financial information, lest they might fall into the wrong hands. Follow these tips, and you should have peace of mind, knowing that your private information will always be safe.