5 Simple Ways To Protect Your Privacy Online
If you are reading this, chances are you value your privacy. Who doesn’t? In fact, chances are you might want to hide from the disgusting practices of many companies engaged in active online surveillance (e.g. CrispThinking — from our previous post). We do not judge you. In fact, we even support you! ORCA’s business model, goal, vision, mission, whatever you wanna call it, revolves around YOU — the user. We want to help you protect your personal data, your identity, yourself!
So, in this post, we talk about some of the most important tools and techniques you can use to protect your identity, history, and personal data online.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network. This allows users to send and receive data from virtually any geographical point without the need to be physically connected to the network. This was primarily developed for people to access work-related documents and so on. However, VPNs are mainly used as a way to secure interactions, circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship mechanisms, to connect to proxy servers — and this way to remain completely anonymous online. These proxy servers act as intermediates between the user and the provider and are great at keeping the identity of the user hidden.
There are awesome VPN providers out there. However, as you would expect, the best are paid.
These are our top choices:
- NordVPN is simple. Roughly in the HideMyAss price point. With the same characteristics as HideMyAss, however, they do have a ‘no logs policy’. Which means — they won’t track you.
2. Browser: TOR Network
TOR is a free software that allows anonymous communication. TOR was created by the Department of Defense of the United States of America to facilitate untraceable communications between departments. Later on, this technology was released to the public, and a foundation was set to manage it.
TOR is also often referred to the ‘onion router’. This has to do with the number of encryption layers it has. Unfortunately, TOR comes with a slightly tainted reputation as it houses many of the ‘darknet’ horrible websites. Speed is another one of TOR’s disadvantages — At times it is extremely slow — As you would expect due to the number of layers your request has to go through.
3. Search Engine: DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is another great service to protect your privacy online. It is just like Google. You can search pretty much whatever you want. However, unlike Google, you will not be tracked, you will not have tracked ads displaying. With DuckDuckGo you will not have cookies tracking you, and personal data being harvested. Just you, and the internet, the way it was always meant to be.
Additionally, DuckDuckGo blocks any Google trackers installed in any website. As you may be aware, many websites use Google Analytics to track your behaviour, demographics, and more on their platform. DuckDuckGo blocks these trackers and allows you to be completely free from surveillance.
4. Messaging Apps
Using Facebook Messenger to pass on confidential information is not the smartest thing ever. Bloomberg reported that Facebook scans its users' private messages looking for abusive behaviour (Suuure, only abusive behaviour).
How can you be sure you are communicating without your ‘Big Brother’ being aware? You can use some messaging clients that are known for its awesome approach to privacy. Telegram, for example, is a great option for you to keep your messages safe from surveillance.
Signal, is another awesome encrypted, private, confidential (whatever you wanna call it) messaging service. It is awesome, just like Telegram! :)
5. Careful With What You Share On Social Media
Last, but not least, be careful with what you share online. Things like your location, university, workplace, etc. can be used to discover so much more about you than what you initially think. Things like how much money you make, how much money you have, how many kids you have, what time you go to sleep, when you wake up, and sooo much more information can be derived from just a couple of simple data points. Be mindful!
Join us in helping you take control of your data!
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