When you are online, you can shop, download apps, watch videos, chat with friends, and so on. All that is fun, but we often forget that all our online activities are tracked by different advertisers, companies, governments and our internet service providers. That is why it is essential to learn how to protect your privacy, and here are going to talk about the strategies and techniques you can use to do just that.
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How to protect your privacy
There are many things you can do to protect your privacy when browsing the web, and keep the bad guys, advertisers and different companies away. The bad guys are looking for a way to steal from you, while advertisers and companies are trying to sell their services and products and earn more money.
How to protect your privacy: Clear history and cookies
As you probably already know, your web browser will collect all kinds of information, so we should start our “ how to protect your privacy “when online discussion here. The browser you are using remembers your browsing history and it also creates cookies. Cookies are stored in your browser, and they are mostly used to keep your preference settings. However, there are tracking cookies as well, set by advertising networks that will track your activities when visiting a particular site, so they can target the ads more precisely when you visit the site next time. You may see the ad with your location, and some may address you by name. When you want to delete history and cookies, open the browser’s main menu, go to the Privacy tab, and you will easily find these two options.
How to protect your privacy: Block third-party cookies
In every web browser, you have the option to block third-party cookies:
- Firefox – Open the main menu > Privacy and next to Accept third-party cookies, select Never.
- Safari – Preferences > Security > Accept cookies, and click on the box located right next to “Only from the sites I visit”.
- Chrome – Go to the main menu > Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Privacy > Content Settings, and in the cookies section, select “Block third-party cookies and site data”.
- Internet Explorer – Internet Options > Privacy > Advanced and select Block under “Third-party cookies”.
- Microsoft Edge – Click on the main menu (three dots in the top right corner) > Settings > View Advanced Settings and under Cookies you can select “Block only third-party cookies”.
How to protect your privacy: Enable “Do not track” option
Every browser comes with “Do not track” feature, so follow these steps to enable it:
- Firefox – Options > Privacy, and check the box next to “ Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked”.
- Safari – Preferences > Privacy > and check “Ask website not to track me”.
- Chrome – Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Privacy, and then select the option: “Do not track”.
- Internet Explorer – Tools > Internet Options > Advanced, and choose “Always send do not track header”.
- Microsoft Edge – Settings > View Advanced Settings, and enable “Send do not track requests” under Privacy and services.
How to protect your privacy: Use private browsing mode
Another great way to protect yourself when online is by using private browsing mode. Your browser won’t save the usual: history, cookies, temp files, etc. Here is how to start this mode:
- Firefox, Opera and Safari – CTRL + OPTION + P
- Chrome – OPTION + SHIFT + N.
- Firefox, Opera and Safari – CTRL + SHIFT + P
- Chrome: CTRL + SHIFT + N.
How to protect your privacy: Browser plug-ins
You can also install certain browser plug-ins, which are designed to protect your privacy when surfing the Internet. Here are some suggestions:
Disconnect – Works with the same browsers as AdBlock plug-in, and it is created to block tracking requests.
Ghostery – This plug-in will block scripts and tracking cookies I’ve mentioned before. It comes with a wide range of options that will help you to protect yourself even more. Also works with Mozilla, Safari, Chrome and Opera.
How to protect your privacy: Install one of the browser focused on security
If you are ready for a change, you may try one of the browsers which are mainly focused on security. These browsers are not as popular as the ones I’ve mentioned here a few times already, but if you want to learn as much as possible on how to protect your personal information online, this is a way to go. Suggestions:
All these methods will help you to protect your privacy, but let’s not forget a few other things:
- Always choose long and strong passwords
- When shopping, choose only reputable websites, no matter how tempting the offer may be.
- Don’t share too much information about yourself on social networks.
- Don’t share any of the important information such as your social security number, credit card number, etc. via email.
- Always pay attention to kids’ online activities
- Make sure that your antivirus software is up to date
- Use CCleaner – this great tool will protect your privacy. CCleaner cleans temporary internet files, browsing history, and so on.
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