As the internet continues to grow in size, it becomes more and more difficult to stay anonymous and safe online. Privacy concerns are more and more prominent among users, especially as companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple and others are doing nothing to improve this experience.
Fortunately, as a user, you are not completely empty-handed – there are some precautions you can take, however. The following seven are among the most important.
1. Tor browser
One of the primary means by which everyone accesses the Internet is, of course, through a web browser. However, while convenient and fast, the most popular ones like Chrome or Firefox leave you totally exposed.
Tor is a set of browsers that aim to make you as anonymous as possible, by routing your connection through different relays and sources. Ultimately, this makes you nowhere to be found by the average person, but it will drastically reduce your internet speed.
Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp – three of the most popular applications for instant messaging. Of course, they also don’t go to great lengths to prevent your data from leaking.
On the other hand, the Signal application uses its own protocol which combines three different cryptographic algorithms in order to achieve maximum security. Besides text, images and other media, Signal also supports end-to-end encrypted group chats.
The code used by Signal for encryption is open source, which means it has been thoroughly tested and analyzed for any potential vulnerabilities.
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Unlike Google Drive and other storage services meant to help you free up space on your PC, Carbonite promotes itself as an online backup service. The process is extremely simple and you can choose to back up any amount of data – from a single file to full data on your PC.
However, since it’s easy to use, there aren’t many customizable features left. Carbonite was developed with security in mind, which is why backing up and restoring files can take a long time. However, these drawbacks are justified by the robust systems in place.
If you are wondering how the ads manage to be so personalized, the answer is through email analysis. Whether you like it or not, Google sells your data to other companies so they know exactly what interests you.
ProtonMail is an online messaging service that is compatible with any other platform and has a very familiar user interface. What separates it from other similar services is zero access encryption, which means that even the company itself cannot decrypt what you send.
In addition, it does not require any personal information and its basic version is free to use.
Using a classic web browser and its “save password” feature is a recipe for disaster. An experienced hacker only needs to access your browser, in which case all of your accounts are compromised.
Unfortunately, it can also be very difficult to remember dozens of different complicated passwords. 1Password is a password manager that keeps all your keys under a single master password.
Not only is it more secure, but it will also make your life easier since you will be able to connect to different websites with just one click. You will still need to remember this password, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.
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If you like the concept of Tor browser mentioned earlier, but want to keep using Chrome or any other traditional browser, NordVPN is the solution for you. This software acts as a tunnel between you and the Internet, hiding all inbound and outbound traffic from any third party.
Unlike Tor, it won’t have multiple masking points – just one. While this offers less protection, it won’t slow down your internet speed as much if that’s important to you.
7. Word Guard
Identity theft is one of the biggest dangers on the web. This can have lasting consequences and cause significant financial damage, especially if the attacker has access to all of your compromising data.
While it’s important to be vigilant at all times when you’re online, Spokeo Protect adds another layer of protection that you wouldn’t otherwise have. By using it, you will be able to protect your credit, social security number, medical insurance and much more.
Maguire Haigh is Marketing Manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technological trends, marketing strategies and business development.
He also prefers to travel, explore the world and meet new people. Maguire has extensive experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.