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15 SUREFIRE Tips To Protect Your Privacy Online

I will show you tips to protect your privacy online as well as social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc. in this post.

In 2014, over 5 million Google account passwords were leaked online after a successful data breach.

According to Statista, only 12% of US internet users were confident of their online privacy in a survey taken by May 2016. This indicates that online privacy is a critical issue in cybersecurity. Because of these threats, it is recommended that you choose the best privacy protection software to ensure your safety online.

Regrettably, there are cyber criminals out there hell-bent on exploiting your privacy for their illegal motives. Besides, this age of the Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible for people to reach you from any geographical location from their digital devices.

By applying our enlisted tips in this post, you should be able to protect your privacy online without hassles.

Best Tips To Protect Your Privacy Online

Before I give you the tips, I want you to take 1 minute for this preliminary check.

Note: The site allows you to check whether your email account has been compromised after a data breach.

Apply the following tips for your online privacy:

  1. Make use of strong passwords for all your accounts

If you are still making use of weak passwords such as 123456, abcdef, abc123, 19901990, etc. you need to change that. Strong passwords are usually characterized by a length of 20 mixed characters or more.

For instance, a password such as {f#3C69GD$e~T?k&?NgTP is a good example of a strong password. Make use of strong password generators such as PasswordsGenerator, Norton Password Generator, RandomPG, LastPass, etc. to generate unique and separate passwords for all your accounts such as email, social media logins, bank logins, etc. Then, make use of password management tools to store your passwords.

  1. Set up another email account for online services

Some email service providers experience data breach which exposes their users’ email accounts and passwords. Therefore, it is essential that you have multiple email accounts for your online activity. You can consider email account compartmentalization. For instance, you can dedicate an email account for your bank statements, another email account for your social media, another email account for receiving newsletters, another personal email account, etc. from different email service providers.

  1. Privatize your Social media or public profile

tips protect your privacy onlineThe boon of social media makes it easy to get noticed by thousands of people across the world. However, you need to prioritize your online privacy when making use of social media. Not all followers, fans, or friends online are genuine – there are hackers, stalkers, and cyberbullies waiting to haunt you. Besides, your images can be “grabbed” online with a simple right-click. Therefore, you need to adjust your privacy settings on all your connected social networking sites as well as public forum sites.

  1. Install an antivirus software

Antivirus software is your primary defense against any form of cyber threats such as Trojan horses, malware, spyware, etc. which may occur from the internet. You need to install a strong antivirus for maximum security.

  1. Use a VPN

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure connection method that masks your online identity and anonymizes your location online. With a VPN, you can spoof(change) your real location online. Basically, revealing your true location to strangers on the internet exposes your privacy. Notable VPNs you can use include NordVPN, Hotspot Shield, TorVPN, etc.

  1. Don’t share your phone number, house address, private details

If your real house address is available online, then you might need to change it. Information such as phone number, house address, or any other private details should not be exposed online. Such information should be kept private.

  1. Clear browser history/use incognito mode

According to Statista in a May 2017 survey, the most popular online privacy measure is clearing browser history. You can easily do this by pressing Shift + Ctrl + delete keys. Alternatively, go to your browser settings and delete your browsing history.

In addition, use secure web browsers or browse in ‘incognito mode’. This will prevent online services or ISPs from selling your online data to advertisers.

  1. Remember to log out

If you are making use of a public computer or a borrowed digital device to login into your email accounts or social networking sites (SNS), ensure you log out after usage. Many internet users have been compromised simply by failing to log out. You can’t imagine the expression of a wannabe cybercriminal at an internet café with a Gmail account still logged in.

Note: Some online services such as Gmail, Facebook, Chrome, Instagram, etc. allows you to log out from other devices not close to you.

  1. Use public hotspots and Wi-Fi with caution

If you love using ‘free’ internet connection, I mean public Wi-Fi or hotspots, proceed with caution. Public Wi-Fi are always targeted by hackers who are ready to snoop your online browsing activity such as sites visited, login details, etc. Also, you might receive free keylogger gift (never mind). Nevertheless, don’t access sensitive websites such as your online bank accounts when using public Wi-Fi.

  1. Use anonymous search engines

It is nearly impossible to quit Google. Google, Bing, Yahoo are the biggest search engines – no doubt. However, in order to avoid advertisements tailored after your personal browsing history, you may consider using anonymous search engines. DuckDuckGo, StartPage, Searx.me, and other private search engines can be considered for your online privacy.

  1. Beware of shady websites

Be cautious of the websites you visit. Avoid entering your personal information of questionable sites such as porn websites, shady schemes, free gifts sites, eCommerce websites with no HTTPS, free download sites, etc. In addition, exit from any website that requires you to install software or add-on before downloading a freebie. Most of these sites are notable for distributing malware, spyware, etc. Beware!

  1. Password protect your PC and mobile devices

Ensure you password-protect your digital devices such as PC, mobile phones, tablets, etc. For your mobile device PINs, don’t use your birth year or favourite 4-digit PINs. This information can be utilized by someone close to you in order to invade your online privacy.

In addition, don’t share your password or PINs with others. You can create a guest account on your personal computer (PC) or use guest mode on your Android device.

  1. Disable GPS

GPS feature across digital devices either mobile or desktop is not only battery-draining features but also makes you susceptible to stalkers. Any cyberstalker can easily pinpoint your present location on social media apps with GPS features. Therefore, you need to disable GPS otherwise known as Location Service.

  1. Use an ad-blocker

Ad-blocker is a utility software that blocks ads from appearing while surfing websites. Some websites present genuine advertisements to website visitors. However, some malware has been disguised as ads to users. Hence, you may need to install an ad-blocker on your PC to prevent intrusive ads from invading your privacy.

  1. Tape over your webcams

Laptop security software generally prevents cyber threats from penetrating your PC. However, some hackers can gain access to your webcams or home security cameras without you noticing the camera indicator light. The famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden recommends taping over your webcams as a measure to protect your privacy. I usually do this unless when up for a Skype video chat.

What Should You Keep Private Online?

tips protect your privacy online

You should keep the following personal information private on social media.

  • Home Address

Posting this online is an invitation to all sorts of criminal elements and criminal activities in your home. This makes the job easier for these criminals to track you.

  • Credit Card And Bank Details

We can not stress this enough. The moment this information goes up online you have just made it easy for online scammers to have access to your money. All the money in your account might be gone before you know it.

  • Full Birthdate

When posting your birth details online, your month of birth alone will do. Do not post your full birthdate online. This might open you up to scammers and identity thieves and fraudsters.

  • Images Of Your Children, Their Names, And School

You might post their pictures because you love and are proud of them, but it exposes them to abductions.

The world is a very dangerous place and you should strive to keep yourself and your family out of harm’s way.

What Security Measures Should I Consider When Social Networking?

What Security Measures Should I Consider When Social Networking

Here are security measures that you should take for social networking platforms.

  • Different Passwords For Your Accounts

When setting up your various social networking account, make sure you use different passwords for your accounts. Using one password for all your accounts makes it easy for hackers to have access to all your accounts once they hack one.

  • Do Not Log In On A Public Computer

For your own safety and security of your account, do not login into any of your social media accounts on a public computer.

There might be software installed that stores passwords and this gives unrestricted access to your accounts even when you log out.

  • Be Wary Of Friend Requests

Do not accept a friend request from someone you do not know. It is advisable you only accept a friend request from those you know.

This prevents stalkers, bullies’ fraudsters, and all other criminal elements from gaining access to you.

How To Protect Your Privacy On Facebook

How To Protect Your Privacy On Facebook

Apply these measures to protect your online privacy on Facebook:

  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Facebook has the option of two-factor authentication and it is recommended that you enable it. You have the option of using authentication apps like google authenticator or text.

Go to the security and login page on your Facebook, then to two-factor authentication to set it up.

  • Unknown Login Notification

Enabling this setting on your account allows you to know if any other person attempts to gain access to your Facebook account. This can be done from the security and login section of your settings and privacy. 

  • Control Who Can Look You Up, Write On Your Timeline, And Message You

Facebook allows you to choose who can see you, write on your timeline, and message you. Enabling this ensures that it is only who you are friends with that can contact you.

How To Protect Your Privacy On Twitter

How To Protect Your Privacy On Twitter

Apply these mechanisms to protect your privacy on Twitter:

  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) 

This allows you to track login into your account especially if it is from another device. You can enable it by going to the privacy and security section of your page.

  • Use Strong Password

You might be tired of seeing this but stressing it is because of its importance. Using a strong password for any of your social media accounts reduces the risk of your account being hacked.

  • Be Wary Of Suspicious Login Links

Before you log in make sure you are doing so on the official Twitter site or app. Login in through suspicious links might compromise your account.

  • Be Mindful Of What You Post

Details about your personal life should not be given out. Doing this might not only put your account in danger but you.

What Is The Most Effective Way To Protect Your Online Privacy? 

What Is The Most Effective Way To Protect Your Online Privacy

  • Always Run App Updates

These updates bring features that enable that any security hole is patched. It ensures the safety of your data and also gives you a range of options on how to further secure yourself.

  • Do Not Post Personal Information

As said earlier, none of your personal information should be online. It makes it easy to compromise your account and also jeopardize your own safety.

  • Login Through Official Apps Or Sites

For the safety of your account, it is advisable you log in through the official site or app. Login in through third apps is unsafe and not recommended.

Bottom Line

Online privacy is the right of every internet user. Hence, it is a necessity to keep your personal data and identity private. Apply the tips aforementioned to protect your privacy online.

Do you know of any tip which did not make our list? Comment below. Also, you can contact us.


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Daniel Segun
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