How to Increase Privacy Online?


Online privacy is a major talking point in this decade as we move into a golden age of digital systems. Data is a prized asset with several social networks and online platforms handling tons of users’ data.

This has also made the internet a dangerous place where situations like data breaches and hacks have increased in recent years. In addition, malware and viruses can expose your log-in details. In this article, we will look at the different ways through which you  prevent security breaches on your computers and internet devices thereby increasing your privacy online.

Check the Privacy settings on your social networks

Social media accounts typically contain a lot of information and you would be surprised at the amount of data that is visible to other users on the web. Therefore, we recommend that you look at privacy settings on your social media accounts.

It is up to you to decide the kind of information to share online and who can view such information. Many popular social media networks like, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin allow users to edit privacy settings to their preferences.

Use a VPN when using unknown internet connections

One of the best ways to stay safe on the web is to use a virtual private network or VPN. VPNs use an encrypted network to ensure that your location and internet connection is safe from hacks and snoops.

It is also important to use a VPN when you want to connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network such as in the Café or at parks. In addition, VPNs have servers across the world which enables you to access information from geo-locked websites. This means that you can access online services that you’ve paid for in your native country even when you travel to other parts of the world.

If you’ve never used one before, or want information on the best VPN service providers, we’ve got you covered with detailed information on the best VPNs in the market.

Do not store sensitive information in public storage services.

It is very common that we use exchange services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs or similar to share files. They are free and provide us with fast service. What you should not do is upload confidential information, personal data, password list, etc. on these storage services etc.

Use private browsing to surf the internet

When you visit a web page, your browser leaves information about you and your browsing history in the form of cache and cookies. One way to avoid thi is to use private browsing or incognito modes on your browser.

Privacy browsing features enables you to browse online without the fear of releasing cookies or other browsing history on the web.

Keep your primary email address and telephone number private

One of the problems of sharing your email addresses and phone number carelessly online is a lot of spam in your emails and tons of automatic calls to your phone.  Although you cannot avoid sharing this information with some services on the internet and online stores, do not share it with anyone on social networks.

Another way to achieve this is by considering getting a specific phone number and email account for online purchases and websites that require such information.

Create strong passwords

We don’t get tired of repeating that a weak password is highly hackable. Use strong passwords on all sites (8 characters or more) different for each device and change them from time to time.

If the service allows it, enable two-step authentication so that you can only access the website once you enter the code you receive on your mobile device.

Be Careful of the Permission you grant Online Platforms

Examine the permissions you give to mobile applications that require your permission to access device files, contacts, camera, microphone, geo-location etc.

We know that some of these applications may not work without these permissions. However, some do not need access to your archives and could be malware in disguise, built to steal vital information.

In addition, install browser extensions only in case of real need and check what permissions you give them.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.