Simple Steps That Will Increase Your Online Privacy
2018 was the year of we saw the biggest attack on our privacy. Whether it was the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal affecting 87 million of its users or hackers gaining access to 150 million of MyFitnessPal user’s personal information or by authoritative regimes attempting to control all information within its borders our privacy has been systemically withering away.
We are well into 2019 and it seems that data breaches, hacks and attacks continue without any signs of slowing down. According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in 2018 there were 635 breaches made public (“made public” are the key words)
In this digital age the only way to keep your privacy safe is to totally unplug and live off the grid. That means no credit cards, no internet, no telephone and probably no electricity. Since this is not a convenient option for most of us the best we can do is minimize our risk.
Let's Increase Your Privacy
Firstly, you need change your mindset. You need to understand that no one cares about your privacy, only you do. You cannot rely on companies that make money by selling your private information to the highest bidder to care about your privacy. These entities want less privacy and less rules and regulations. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Secondly, you need to understand that there is no product or service that you can purchase that can protect you 100%. In fact, there’s no way to be protected 100%. The best approach is by layering many smaller things which creates an onion-like effect of protection.
In part 1 and 2 we will go through basic steps we can all take to enhance our privacy and reduce the risk of getting our personal information sold or stolen. In part 3, we will go into a little depth.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Every time you surf the web your internet service provider knows where you’ve been, collects information and may sell it to a third party. A VPN service like Private Internet Access allows you to securely access the internet all while spoofing your physical location. This greatly enhances your privacy. Never ever use a public WIFI without using a VPN. When choosing a service never use a free service. Always go with a reputable company. Also, make sure that your VPN provider does not keep logs. On a few of occasions when government agencies requested customer’s records from Private Internet Access they were unable to provide any records because it does not record them. There are several reliable VPN services but none are ever free
Whether you’re using a Windows or Mac OS they come with a preinstalled firewall. Set it and forget it.
For Windows - Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Firewall & network protection. Choose a network profile, and then under Windows Defender Firewall, switch the setting to On
For Mac – Select System Preferences from the Apple menu, and then select Security & Privacy
> Firewall tab > "Turn On Firewall".
Part 2 Coming Soon!
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