Maintaining Digital Privacy is a bit overwhelming; all this dire news of massive data breaches, ransomware, identity theft, and Big Tech knowing what you are typing before you even hit submit. It’s easier just to ignore it and hope it all goes away! But it’s quite easy to claw back a bit of your digital privacy without spending days doing it.
Maintaining Digital Privacy
The trick to making it less painful is to divide the process into two stages, each with a few not-too-painful steps. It’s not that hard!
First, we’ll make most of the toxic stuff go away. Then we’ll layer up with a few professional tools like an antivirus and malware removal to help you maintain digital privacy. Let’s get started!
Stage 1 – A quick Spring-Clean to prepare your devices
Our phones have become extensions of our brains that can spill our deepest secrets in just a few taps. Can you imagine what would happen if you lost your phone? Single-tap access to social media, email, banking, dating, or games is a breeding ground for identity theft.
Secure all your devices
Portable devices usually contain even more intimate information than computers, but all your devices are usually interconnected via the home or work internet. That’s a huge security risk because if one device goes down, they all go down.
You should lock that baby down and take the same care to secure every one of your devices. Control access with six-digit PINs, passwords, passcodes, and biometric authentication rather than screen-lock patterns or a piddly four-digit PIN!
Torch those toxic apps
The more apps you use, the higher the risk of spying, data theft, and virus infections. It’s easy to install a new app and forget about it after the free trial expires or when you get bored with it, but every app remains an entry point for data theft.
Whip through your apps and uninstall like there’s a prize waiting. Get rid of everything that is not critical to your daily life.
Next, check the permissions of the apps you want to keep. Why does a weather app need access to your microphone and camera? Does a game need access to your geolocation, contact list, and emails? Why does a coupon app need access to your files and photos?
If you can’t restrict permissions, uninstall them.
Make those useful apps safer to use
It’s probably too much to ask to get rid of one-click-login social media accounts, but we can make some apps a little safer.
You can – theoretically – block settings like geolocation via a single phone or computer setting. Sadly, that fine print you agreed to when you installed the app – the “user agreement” – almost always includes permission to override your privacy settings.
It’s better to adjust the privacy settings of each app individually and then use a VPN to limit the overall damage.
In particular, don’t forget about the “ultimate spyware” app: your browser. Shopping, surfing, videos – your browser knows everything!
Browser extensions for savings, coupon deals, shopping recommendations, and social media connections are as blatantly spyware as they are popular. Remove all these add-ons for a much faster and much, much safer internet experience.
Stage 2: Fighting tech with tech to maintain digital privacy
While tech is good at spying on us, tech has also created some great privacy tools. Now that you’ve cleaned up your devices adding a few layers of privacy-preserving tech is time.
Spyware, ransomware, trojans, adware … these things are multiplying out there – too fast to count. Anti-malware solutions spot malicious patterns and block them before they get to you.
You need a premium solution to stay ahead. Free antivirus solutions are generally not as effective as premium solutions, or they collect data about user activities or may even install unwanted tools on your computer.
Data protection via Network Encryption
Hackers just love to lurk around the free internet at airports or coffee shops to snag unprotected data.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts everything that passes between you and the internet. It creates a digitally secure tunnel or sleeve that completely covers up what you’re doing on the web. It converts passwords and sensitive data to unreadable nonsense to bamboozle snoopers.
Evade tracking and protect your digital privacy with a VPN
The second reason why a VPN has become a critical privacy tool is that your browser stores everything you do every time you surf the internet. This does not happen by accident. There are vast networks of interconnected companies that buy, trade, sell, and use our browsing information against us. Incognito mode is futile – you need to use special tools.
A VPN changes your public IP address to mislead those apps that sell your location data. It actively blocks cookies and wards off other advanced trackers to ensure anonymous web surfing.
Conclusion about maintaining Digital Privacy
Sure, we all know that we should avoid oversharing on social media and keep personal details private. But dang it, it’s hard not to slip up or botch our digital privacy protection!