The Internet is one of the most amazing innovations humankind has ever conceived but, like everything else, using it entails some risk. One of the primary risks that users face these days has to do with their privacy being compromised. The following five tips will give you some information on how to protect your privacy online.
1: Hide Your IP
Your IP address is the equivalent of your house’s postal address as far as the Internet is concerned. The first and best option for protecting your privacy is to hide this IP address from sites. You can use services such as HideMyAss, which is a VPN service that changes your IP every 5 minutes. Your IP address is what makes it possible to launch attacks against your computer, track where you are and so forth. Hiding this is the best privacy option there is.
2: Private Browsing
First, understand that private browsing features do not hide you IP. Private browsing features—which are available on most browsers—turn down tracking cookies, hide your history and take other measures to prevent you from being tracked. Using these makes it very difficult for sites like Gmail, Yahoo Mail and so forth to track your activity.
3: Set Your Options
Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and all of the other major Internet service providers have options on your user profile that you should be aware of. These options allow you to opt out of certain “features” that they use to send your information to advertisers. Be sure you set your privacy features to be a strict as possible.
4: Read the TOS
Before you click that you agree to a Terms of Service that comes with an offering that you’re interested in, read the document. This is where you’ll find out whether your information will be shared with third-party advertisers and other important information that may convince you to forego whatever service you’re considering signing up for.
5: Control Your Information
Be very discriminating about what you share online. Don’t put your address in any forms or sites that you don’t need to share it on. If you want to be extra careful, don’t store any of your personally identifying information on your computer. For example, don’t’ store tax data, your Social Security number or any other information permanently on your hard drive if that could cause you problems. Sometimes, paper records are superior for this purpose.