7 Internet Privacy Tips to Stay Safe in 2019
Hackers target a new victim every 39 seconds. While there’s no such thing as “true privacy” on the web, there are simple, effective tips diyou can use immediately that will keep your most important information private. Don’t be the next victim. Implement these internet privacy tips NOW.
A Word About Internet Privacy
Russian hackers are conducting espionage to undermine democracy.
“Anonymous” is doling out its own vigilante justice on Bank of America for predatory mortgage practices.
…if only your internet privacy concerns were this cool.
Hackers, web stalkers, weirdos, and the scariest people of all—potential employers—can see your entire life online…
If you let them.
Even if you don’t mind your life being public, it’s nice to know that shady people can’t view any photo of you they’d like, online marketers can’t track your every move, and clumsy businesses can’t expose your private info to hackers.
These Internet privacy tips are IMPORTANT. Don’t give all your data away for free. FIGHT BACK.
NOTE: A wall is only as strong as its weakest point. Use ALL of these tips or they are for naught!
7 Tips to Protect Your Privacy Online
#1 – Use Opera Instead of Chrome or Explorer
Imagine a world where no one can track your online browsing and every page opens in TURBO MODE!
That’s Opera. With a built-in ad blocker and VPN, plus advanced privacy settings, Opera blocks your identity and protects you from predatory (and annoying) advertisers!
Opera is superior to Chrome and Explorer in every way:
- Faster Load Times: The browser’s “Turbo Mode” downloads less data from web pages, meaning you can browse faster without excruciatingly slow load times (who has three seconds anymore?).
- VPN: The VPN isn’t the best, but it lets you stream Netflix without issues even if the shows are blocked.
- Sidebar Icons: This is our favorite feature. Along the sidebar are icons for your most popular apps like Whatsapp or messenger so you can answer messages directly from that page rather than switching between tabs or windows.
Verdict: Download Opera NOW.
Tip: Tor is another extremely secure browser. We just prefer the UX of Opera. Try them both and see which one you prefer.
#2 – Change Your Social Media Settings
Do you really want everyone to have access to your photos, videos, and private information?
Think about it for a second…
Didn’t think so.
Facebook, IG, Snapchat, Linkedin, and the rest of the social media that ruin… we mean… enhance our lives, give you options to protect your privacy. Most even let you go completely private so nobody can view your profile except those you give permission to.
Here’s how to do it on each network:
Remember: you don’t have to put anything in your social profiles. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t. Some basic information (single or taken!) is all you need. DO NOT give anything more personal than that. Managing your settings is one of the key internet privacy tips.
#3 – Be VERY Careful of Public WiFi
Treat every public wifi connection (cafes, bars, libraries, etc.) as if everything you do is being monitored… because it most likely is.
These networks are not secure. They’re fine for browsing, but avoid shopping, checking private email, or entering sensitive information into sites while using one. You are putting yourself at major risk if you do.
Here are a few quick internet privacy tips for public WIFI:
- Use a VPN: This creates a “network within a network” and encrypts everything you do, keeping your info private.
- Use 2FA: 2-factor authentication requires an extra step to verify your identity (usually approving actions via your phone or email).
- Only Access HTTPS Websites: HTTPS means the site has a higher level of encryption than regular HTTP.
#4 – Stop Giving Your Main Email to Service Providers
The more people who have access to your email, the worse your privacy is.
But since 99.95% of everything requires an email address to sign up these days, you’ve got to get creative.
Create a secondary email that you use only for temporary services or entertainment purposes. That way, all of those Netflix free trial “your account will be charged in 1 week” emails won’t flood your inbox and random suits at some faceless corporation won’t have your contact details.
These businesses end up selling your email address to god knows who and they’ll peddle God knows what to you. This could open you up to phishing, spam emails, or worse.
It’s not worth it.
#5 – Review Mobile App Permissions
Did you know your Facebook mobile app has access to your Amazon Prime account and can order up to $25 of merchandise per month WITHOUT your consent?
Just kidding, but we bet you had to look, right?
The vast majority of us NEVER check our mobile app permissions, leaving 3rd-party applications we barely ever use to run amok on our phones (where we store our private data).
Most apps want to access your:
This info is then either sold, used to “enhance” your experience, or used to show you ads.
It sucks, but it’s the world we live in. Go into your phone settings and check what your apps are capable of. This is one of the internet security tips that requires a bit of judgement.
Does it really make sense that your free to play game needs to access your camera? On the other hand, WhatsApp probably does need access to your mic if you want to make calls.
Note: In a world full of evil applications, the Soda PDF Merge app NEVER uses your identity to rig elections, support fringe groups, or leak government data.
#6 – Try to Avoid Giving Your Zip Code When Making Purchases
If companies can match your name to a zip code, it’s a lot easier for them to mine info about you, target ads to you, and even open you up to hackers.
Some credit cards may require you to enter your zip for extra privacy, but you rarely have to do it in stores. If a store asks for your zip code, decline to give it. If you can use a processor online that doesn’t require your zip, that’s great.
It’s not the end of the world—just an extra way to stay safe.
BONUS: The ULTIMATE Pro Tip
This is some next level, insane tier of internet privacy tips right here that we wish we had known years ago:
#7 – Lie On Security Questions
You never know where this data is going to. If it’s a non-essential site or service, make sure the answers to your security questions are FALSE. It’s possible for someone with skills to access your account and see these answers.
Lie about your mom’s maiden name. Lie about your hometown. And NEVER use your sensitive private data (e.g. your SSN) as an answer.
There may be no “true privacy” online, but with these 7 internet privacy tips tips you will get as close as you possibly can.
Another great suggestion is to make sure any documents you send are locked down and secure. Using Soda PDF you can password protect your sensitive information keeping others from accessing it. Feel free to download Soda PDF and try it out.