Our personal data contains very sensitive information. While most people believe in the right to privacy, there are private and public entities that want to take advantage of the information we put out on the internet.
But… is it possible to be invisible on the internet? What tools do we have to preserve our privacy and make anonymity prevail on the net?
The protection of privacy and security go hand in hand and are easily manageable by those diligent enough. Here are a few tips to protect your privacy on the modern internet:
Adjust Your Browser’s Privacy Controls
As mentioned on Privacy Bee’s post on how to delete yourself from the internet, a good place to start is by adjusting the privacy setting within your web browser. Since the modern web is filled to the brim with invasive trackers, scripts, and cookies, your information is often being shipped off and stored by third parties.
You need to turn off cookies within the setting of your browser. If you’re using Chrome, go to Settings -> Privacy and security, click cookies and other site data, and select the option “Block all cookies”.
Clean up Blogs & Social Media
If you have a highly popular blog or social media website involving your real life identity, you’ve already lost the battle when it comes to internet privacy. if you are just an average social media user, then there is still hope to clean up your tracks.
If you have a website or BlogSpot profile, avoid using your name, photo, and author bios after each blog post. Instead, publish your posts under pseudonyms or just leave out any and all author information if possible.
Did you know that some social networks have the ability to capture data and de-index your name from search engines? This means that when they search for your name in Google, you won’t come out with your worst photo tagged during a party with your friends.
For example, Facebook has the option to de-index your profile by just clicking a checkbox under Configuration and Privacy within your profile’s settings.
Use a Proxy or VPN
While you have to worry about what websites do on their servers, tracking can actually start with your ISP’s modem. Depending on the privacy laws in your country, there are service providers that have no problem selling your records to advertising agencies or governments. This is one of the reasons why people are using proxies and private VPNs by default.
Very simply, a proxy is nothing more than a computer that acts as an intermediary between the connections of a client and a destination server, and filters the data packets between them. This way you can access censored websites or do it anonymously. All because the page you are about to access will not know your IP, but that of the proxy you are connecting to. And yes, there are many free proxies to use on the Internet, but it would be best to go for a paid service with a reputation of respecting the privacy of their clients.
Let’s not exaggerate; you can’t be 100% perfect about privacy when using the Internet. Unless you live in a totalitarian state, it’s not like you will be hauled off to a re-education camp by making a wrong turn during a Google search. By taking the basic measures mentioned above, you should have a light footprint on the internet that will not likely interfere with your public image and future job prospects.