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6 Outstanding Ways You Can Use To Safeguard Your Online Privacy

From online banking services to social networking sites, the internet has indeed become a part of our daily lives. Apart from laptops and desktop computers, we are also using our smartphones, tablets and other portable devices for connecting to the internet. Therefore, it has become extremely important for us to know the correct way to safeguard our online privacy whenever we are connected. There are a lot of people out there who believe that online privacy is nothing less than an illusion as websites use subtle methods for infringing on it so much so that we are unable to realize it. This uncertainty is even a greater reasons to take the necessary steps for protecting and guarding our online privacy.

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What can you do to ensure no one invades your online privacy when you are using the internet? Here are some effective tips you can use:

1. Turn on private browsing

There are numerous websites on the internet that use technologies like cookies for identifying the IP address of a specific computer in order to collect information about their online activities. They claim to use this data for providing personalized and optimized services and to better understand the preferences and behaviors of visitors. However, this is not all they do. Some websites also sell these ‘digital profiles’ to interested parties without our consent and for the purpose of marketing research. Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening, most browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer now offer ‘private browsing’ settings that keep your activities private. They prevent websites from storing cookies and other details.

2. Don’t forget to log out

Facebook may be your favorite social media network, but you might be alarmed to know that it can actually keep track of your online activity if you stay logged on to your Facebook account. This means that if a Facebook tab is left opened in your browser while you are opening other websites that have the ‘like’ button, the social network will be able to collate and track data about your activities. The worst part is that they don’t use the traditional cookie tracking system that only shows your identity as an IP address; they base it on your Facebook ID. Hence, it is crucial for you to log out to ensure you are not robbed of your privacy.

3. Stay updated on privacy policies

Most websites provide visitors with their privacy policies, which tell them exactly what information will be collected and with whom it will be shared. As these policies are full of jargon and lengthy, a lot of people decide not to go through them at all. Lots of visitors assume that when a website has a privacy policy, it is actually protecting your privacy, but this is not the case. The truth is that the purpose of the policy is to spell out how far they will go to protect their user’s privacy in order to excuse themselves for violating it. Rather than just accepting, it is best for you to go through the policies and ensure it will not be used in a way that leaves you uncomfortable.

4. Avoid open Wi-Fi Hotspots

You might be overjoyed when you go somewhere and there is public Wi-Fi, but this can actually do more harm than good. These connections have absolutely no encryption, which means anyone who is near your location will be able to capture the data you are transmitting online such as bank accounts, passwords and your emails. This can be a huge problem if you tend to use the same passwords for most of your online accounts because this means the hacker can access everything without any problem. The best way to prevent this from happening is to not use such public and open Wi-Fi hotspots.

5. Use stronger passwords

To you, it may seem like the most convenient option, but keeping the same password for most of your online accounts is a major risk. If one account is compromised, all others will be put at risk as well and this is something you want to avoid at all costs. Remembering passwords may be tough, but it is still safer to set individual passwords for different accounts. Furthermore, you should also ensure that your passwords are strong and cannot be easily guessed. For instance, using your mother’s maiden name or your pet’s name as the password is definitely not a good idea.

6. Don’t share personal information

Any website that asks you to provide your personal information such as your banking information or similar sensitive data should be avoided. Never make the mistake of giving up the information for something they are offering because it is probably going to be a scam.

Follow these tips and safeguard your online privacy effectively.

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