Over time, the internet has become an essential resource for everyone. People rely on the internet to send/receive, financial transactions, post/share photos and messages, social networking sites, online shopping and social networking. Free public Wi-Fi hotspots have made it increasingly convenient for people to connect to the internet whenever they are away from home. However, the way people manage information online is too casual as to leave them vulnerable to identity theft and invasion of their privacy. Below are ways in which you can guard your online privacy.
1. Ensure the site is safe before sharing information
It is highly unlikely to be sure if the site you are browsing is secure or the people who run the site are genuine. The only thing you can do here is, if you don’t trust the site, do not fill their forms with any personally identifiable information. The information can be your email, credit card number, your real names, etc. You can tell if a site is safe by passing through antivirus URL risk analyzers, also, make sure the SSL certificate is trustworthy before making online purchases.
2. Check that your wireless connection is protected from dangers
If using a wireless connection like hotspots in public hangout areas, ensure the connection is password protected. In short, enjoying free internet from Wi-Fi hotspots which are not secured puts your browsing at risk. If it is a hotspot that you created, ensure that it is protected by WPA encryption and the password is strong enough so that a hacker cannot hack into it and eavesdrop on your information browsing.
3. Your Browser Privacy
Almost all privacy threats enter your computer through your browser. It is, therefore, imperative that you protect your browser from these privacy threats since by doing so, you will be protecting your online privacy. Securing your computer against malware and other threats also protects your online privacy.
4. Use an Email Service that is Privacy-Oriented
Email service providers make profits from Email marketing. This involves analyzing your browsing history and knowing what you might be interested in, then sharing targeted ads to your email. If you are indeed concerned about your online security, then you should consider using email service providers which cares about your privacy as much as you do. There are also services offering anonymity, where you can send an anonymous email like AnoneMail.
5. Delete tracking cookies
Websites store pieces of code called cookies on your computer to keep track of your online activities. The information tracked can then be sold to companies all over the world without your consent. Always remember to remove or better block unwanted cookies on your browsers.
6. Use a Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network, (VPN), securely redirects all the connections from your computer to secure servers of the VPN you are using. The connection is usually encrypted. From there, your request is tunneled to the site you are communicating with. The site can only see the IP address of your VPN provider and not yours. No one can spy on your online activities as no one knows your IP address nor what you are browsing. Some VPNs will even allow you to choose servers in different countries than the one you are in to make it appear like you are actually in a different country. VPN services provide the true anonymity.