In the age of Big Data, it is important to practice good “digital hygiene”
Digital data is the currency of the internet. Your data tells companies where you go, what you do and what you buy.
Wherever you go online, you can bet companies are tracking your every move. They are always looking to find a way to make money off of the information they can get from you.
Here are some steps you can follow to minimize the data you may be unknowingly giving away to companies.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs connect you with a secure server that gives you online privacy and anonymity. It hides your IP address, physical location and makes sure no one can look at your communications.
It is especially important to use one when you browse on unsecured public WiFi. Without one, it is much easier for third parties to spy on your traffic there.
Some popular VPN companies include NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.
Pay With Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are digital money that can be used to pay for goods and services online. They use cryptography to secure and ensure transactions are valid without needing a third party like a bank. Some cryptocurrencies are better than others at keeping your identity private.
Monero is currently the most popular privacy focused cryptocurrency. It uses multiple types of cryptography to make sure the user stays anonymous as possible. You can use websites like Shapeshift to convert Monero to other currencies if vendors only accept Bitcoin, Litecoin or others.
Opt Out of Tracking
Some advertising groups allow you to opt out of their tracking programs, or “cookies”. This will not completely stop tracking from all groups, but will decrease the number them actively tracking you.
Some browsers, like Chrome, will allow you to send a “Do Not Track” request while you are browsing, as well. It must be manually turned on in the options, however.
Network Adviertisiing Initiative:
Digital Advertisitng Alliance:
Use the Tor Browser
Using a Tor is the secret weapon of private browsing. It is a browser like Chrome or Firefox, but it bounces your communications all over the world. It prevents people from watching your internet connection and learning what websites you visit as well as your physical location.
While it is very useful, it has drawbacks too. It is much slower to use than a regular browser, so most people only need it when they need extreme privacy.
You can download the Tor Browser here:
Companies are getting more brazen in how they invade the privacy of individuals every day. Take care to protect yourself from being exploited by their invasive tracking practices.