4 ways to use technology to gain your privacy back
Follow these 4 steps towards a more private life.
Modern technology lets us communicate with each other and relay information on a large scale. But it doesn’t come without its drawbacks.
Hackers can steal and alter consumers’ personal information. Hacking negatively affects consumers’ privacy and everyday lives. It is a popular topic in ethical and political discussions. Efforts are being made to help consumers of modern technology feel safer. Maine, for example, has recently approved one of the U.S.’s strictest consumer privacy laws. It deals with how internet providers are allowed to interact with consumers.
While legal steps are being taken to increase consumer privacy, there are some specific actions you can take to protect yourself. Establish a sense of anonymity in our nosy world with these 4 tips.
1. Avoid Popular Search Engines
Yahoo, Bing, and Google are three of the most used search engines in the world. It is easy to resort to any of these tools to conduct quick searches. However, they should be avoided if you want to secure your digital identity.
These search engines collect and store data about you in order to personalize services and display ads targeted toward you. Specifically, Bing and Google store data like your device location, cookie data, and IP address.
Try using independent search engines like Ixquick or DuckDuckGo. They don’t collect or store your information. Every user sees the same results when they conduct a search. You won’t be targeted with unwanted or invasive ads.
2. Conceal Your Real Phone Number
Hiding phone number is a great way to secure some privacy. Whether you initiate or receive a phone call, phone number masking services keep your number private.
Cell phone users often link a virtual number to their permanent one in order to:
- Facilitate professional communications between customers and service providers without revealing phone numbers
- Prevent unwanted calls from classified ad services
- Safely communicate with potential partners on dating services
- Separate work and personal calls
3. Conceal Your Primary Email Address
If you prefer to send written messages, consider making your email address private. You can send emails and prevent the recipient from seeing your address. Use one of these ways to hide your main email address:
- Encrypt your emails before sending them. To do this, use HTTPS in your web-based email server.
- Create a disposable email account. You can do this yourself by creating a new email account with a fake name. Or, you can recruit a disposable email service to do it for you. This type of service makes a temporary forwarding address for you. It deletes the address when you no longer need it. A forwarding address protects your primary email from being filled with potentially invasive spam.
Increase your online privacy further. Make sure you’re the only one sending and receiving emails from your account. Enable your email inbox’s two-factor authentication. This protects your inbox and any social media accounts connected to your email.
4. Browse Privately
Have you ever searched for “best summer bathing suits” and then saw a Facebook ad for cute bikini tops the following day? That wasn’t a coincidence. Using cookies, your computer stores information about what websites you have visited in the past. This lets other websites display specific links and ads that they think you’ll enjoy.
Browsing privately is a simple step you can take to better conceal your internet experience. All modern browsers have the option to browse privately. Simply find your browser’s “private mode,” turn it on, and enjoy a more private experience. You can even enable private browsing on your mobile device.
Technology has the potential to expose your personal information. Take advantage of the resources available to take back control of your technological life. Follow these 4 steps towards a more private life!
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