Concerned About Your Privacy Online? Try These Tips

May 2017

Everyday there seems to be another threat to your privacy online. Your privacy is threatened by advertisers and social media tracking you online, the collection of your browsing and search history by various sources, the collection of your data by Internet service providers (including your wireless provider) and many other methods that collect our personal information.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Though you can't stop all of the information collection that goes on, you can take steps to reduce it. This article features some tips to help you reduce your personal information being compromised.

Review a website's privacy policy before signing up. Research the website before signing up to determine what they will do with your information. If you don't like what you see or if you can't find this information, don't sign up. If you’re not sure what to look for in a privacy policy, this article can help you.

Review all of your privacy settings frequently. When was the last time you checked your privacy settings for each of the websites you log in to? Checking them frequently allows you to take advantage of any new settings available and to update older settings.

Use a search engine that doesn't track you. Neither Duckduckgo nor Ixquick track you. You can add these search engines in many browsers and make one the default.

Protect Your Privacy Online

  • Review a website's privacy policy before signing up.
  • Review all of your privacy settings frequently.
  • Use a search engine that doesn't track you.
  • Use browser add-ons that protect privacy and reduce tracking.
  • Use privacy protections provided by security software.

Choose an ISP that protects your privacy. If you have a choice, consider a smaller ISP which may be more respectful of your privacy.

Opt-out of supercookies and other ISP tracking. Your ISP may or may not allow you to opt-out of any tracking. To check if you can, look under the privacy, marketing, or ads settings in your account.

Review your browser's privacy settings. Take advantage of the privacy and security settings your browser offers. Turn on "Do Not Track," even though many sites ignore it.

Use browser add-ons that protect privacy and reduce tracking. There are various tools that you can add to your browser to help control tracking and protect your privacy. Depending on the tool, you may be able to use more than one.

Use privacy protections provided by security software. Various security packages provide tools beyond antivirus and antimalware. These packages may include privacy protections, secure connections, data encryption, protected browsers and much more.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is software that allows you to create a secure connection between your computer and the internet. This article from CNET provides a VPN FAQ as well as a directory of VPN services.

For more tips, check out these articles from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Protecting your privacy is up to you. Make managing your privacy a habit.

 

 

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