A Beginner’s Guide to Online Privacy

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Online privacy can be costly when not protected. This is evident in recent privacy and security breaches. Protecting one’s online privacy can be a hard task as privacy is a vast entity and it involves taking care of internet security issues too. But worry not, in this article we’ll show you some basic checklists which will ensure your privacy is protected at all times.

What is Online Privacy?

Online privacy/digital privacy can be termed as keeping sensitive information about oneself (identity) from the internet. Online privacy involves lots of entities which can be categorized as personally identifying information such as your full name, address, etc. and also non-personally identifying information such as a person’s behaviour when browsing a specific site.

Below is a beginner’s guide to online privacy.

Password management

Nearly everything we do online will probably start with a sign-up process, and this involves passwords. Protecting your online privacy begins with proper password management. Poor password management will result in a breach, and your privacy will be at risk. Password management entails the art of making strong passwords, keeping them safe, deleting them or changing them regularly. As a rule of thumb, strong passwords have various characters such as numbers, letters, special symbols and must be eight to 12 characters and as long as you please and also unpredictable. This is pure stress, but with password generators, everything is smooth. It’s also advisable to use different passwords for different online accounts to minimize the risk of exposing them when a single account is breached. To avoid the hassle of cramming long passwords which you will forget at the end, use a reputable password manager.

Secure browsing

To access/surf most of the internet, you will need a web browser. Most popular browsers include Chrome, Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. These browsers can be made secure since they are vulnerable and can leak your privacy in their default state. To improve a browser’s security, you must first optimize some of its settings. The most common settings are about cookies. Always choose to keep cookies until your session is over if doing away with them will affect your browsing experience. The other thing you should do is block ads, pop-ups, JavaScript and even Flash. Lastly, disable the autofill and password saving options and also turn off tracking. You can also opt to use more privacy-minded browsers.

Secure messaging

The internet opened many possibilities, and one of them is online messaging. Online messaging has become popular since its cheap and the apps involved work with all platforms. In cases where apps are not applicable, the web browsers step in. Online messaging contains the raw form of our privacy; what we say to each other may include sensitive information which we may not want prying eyes to see. To ensure secure messaging, ensure the apps or platforms you use have an end to end encryptions.

Tweak your Operating System

Some operating systems such as Windows 10 can be a privacy risk if not set up correctly. This is because they have an advertising ID which they let apps use, the integrated Digital Assistants collect your data, and also there are a lot of agreements you might have checked that permits the OS to collect personal data.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that ensures all your internet traffic is protected by using encryptions. This means that your internet traffic is not only secure but is also safe from prying eyes hence private. After you’ve taken care of all the above, the last step is using a VPN whenever you want to go online.

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