With countless news articles continuing to surface about who or what might be watching your Internet actions, we tackle a few of the top Internet privacy tips you can take keep things a little more private on your side.
1. Watch what you search for
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the three major search engines. Be careful what you search in them. Consider using less vulnerable search engines like Duck Duck Go or StartPage.
2. Strong passwords
Don’t use “password” or “12345” as your passwords! Choose a harder password that contiains characters, numbers, and letters and is at least 8 characters long. If you don’t, then you will come to regret it one day. Use strong passwords on your email accounts, computers, and any other online services you have.
3. Location based services or GPS
Disable GPS or location based services on your smartphones. Turn off the feature or uninstall if available. This keeps most apps or social media trackers from knowing where you are at all times. Use this sparingly or better yet, not at all.
4. Turn off Bluetooth and Wireless
Turn off your bluetooth and wireless settings on your laptops, tablets, and smartphones when not in use. There is no need in advertising your exposure to being online when you don’t have a reason for them enabled. Get in the practice of disabling both when you are not using.
5. Limit social media use
The more you say and post on social media places like Facebook and Twitter, the more of a profile that is created about you and your interests. Keep conversations on social media to the topic at hand and limit the time you spend on them sharing information.
6. Cloud file storage
All of those personal documents and pictures that you save in the “cloud” can really hurt you. Especially if where you have uploaded them is ever hacked or “borrowed” without your permission. The more you save online then the more others know about you potentially.
7. Web browsing history
Become familiar with keeping your cookies and web browsing history clean on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or other web browser that you use. By cleaning up your tracks you can reduce a good amount of profile building.
8. Surf with encryption on
Consider using a web proxy to browse anonymously or similar service to browse your favorite websites. This helps keep tracking down and your location whereabouts unknown for the most part. The higher quality the proxy, the less people know about you and your surfing habits.
9. Virus and Spyware protection
Depending on where you fall in this argument, virus and spyware protection may or may not be a good thing. Some argue that such software is a spy program itself. Others claim they never leave home without. Research your options and decide for yourself if you want or need malware protection on your computer.
10. Email, email, email
There are so many things not to do with email that one could argue not to use it at all. However it is a needed element of electronic life so going completely dark on email use is most likely out of the question. The better task is to limit what you talk about in your emails and keep conversations in person. Watch out who you open emails from also. If you don’t know the sender then don’t open the email.