Online privacy is becoming an issue of concern given that in 2020 alone, about 69% of data breaches were related to identity theft. This means that cybercriminals have perfected their art of stealing people’s personal information hence the need to adopt ways to stay safe when browsing. Here are five ways to boost your online privacy:
1. Using proxy servers
Proxies act as an intermediary between the internet and your device. So you know, a proxy server is a computer on the internet with its unique Internet Protocol (IP) address which is known by your device. This computer receives all the requests that you make on the web, forwards the requests for you then collect the response, and shares it on your browser for you to see. Proxies act as web filters such that when you send web requests, the proxy can make changes to it and send you the information that you expect to see. Proxies can also change your IP address so that the webserver does not know your location. Certain types of firewalls like Residential Proxies offer homeowners high-level protection by encrypting data in transit so that it is unreadable to unauthorized persons. Additionally, they can block your access to certain websites considered risky based on the IP address.
2. Going incognito
Each website that you visit monitors your activity, interests, and touchpoints that can be used to tell a story about your online activity. The data trail you leave behind is what makes items pop up on your browser when you begin to search. While this data is essential as it is used for precision targeting, it can leave you vulnerable hence the need to protect your online privacy. Incognito Mode helps prevent your browsing history from being stored. This privacy is essential when you use a public computer to check your email or shop because the next person that logs into that computer will not tell what sites you have visited. Incognito Mode also deletes cookies such that your browsing preferences are kept private. Lastly, this mode enables you to sign in to multiple accounts at the same time. For example, you can log in to your work account incognito and to your account on the normal window.
3. Employing ad blockers
With most businesses shifting their operations online, ads are everywhere! While ads can be good especially when they target the whole population, there are others such as interest-based advertising that can compromise your online privacy. This is because they thrive by tracking your online activity and leveraging it to tailor their advertising. Some of these ads may contain malware that can infect your device and make it difficult for you to use it. Depending on the browser that you are using, you can use ad blockers to minimize threats to your security and anonymity. Suppose you are using Opera, you can use uBlock Origin, Opera AdBlocker, or Adblock Plus. For Google Chrome, you can use either AdBlock, uBlock Origin, or Adblock Plus.
4. Using VPNs
Like the proxies, VPNs help you hide your IP address and internet activity. They work by authorizing your browser to send a query linked with your IP each time you search for an item online. Your IPS takes up this query and sends it to the DNS server which then directs you to the correct website. While your ISP is likely to view and monitor all your data including personal information, a VPN will protect your identity by encrypting your data and allocating you an anonymous IP address. Doing so will ensure each query you send to ISP remains encrypted and your real IP will not be displayed. Although not all VPNs are designed equally hence you have to choose the best if you want tight security. Ensure that you avoid the ones offered for free because some of them make money from selling your data.
5. Adopting the use of fake emails
A fake email helps you not only conceal your identity but protect you from malware and phishing emails that can be sent to you. Such emails are important when you are shopping online, for signup, forwarding an email or when receiving a confirmation link. Creating a fake email is easy because you simply need to sign up for an email without using your real personal information.
Your online privacy is facing threats from all corners. With hackers stealing your information and ads legally tracking your online activities for their gain, you need to leverage the above tips today to ensure you have a private and more secure browsing experience.
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