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Privacy is by far one of the things that most Internet users are currently concerned about. Many ignore it, but the way we use our devices it can reveal very important private information that can later compromise our social life.
That is why every day there are more people who want to secure their devices in such a way that nothing leaves them without their permission, as well as more and more vulnerabilities that are detected and who play against this goal.
In this article we are going to focus on your privacy and we will teach you habits and strategies that you should start applying to prevent anything or anyone from accessing your private information. So take note and include this post in your bookmarks.
Why is it important to maintain our privacy on the Internet?
As we mentioned in the introduction; the way you use your devices can reveal much more information than you think. This is one of the main reasons why you should always be aware of data leaks from your computer or mobile.
Think about it what would happen if someone found out what adult websites you visit and how often you do so, what sexually transmitted diseases (to mention just one type of pathology) you have searched on Google for fear of being infected with one, or simply the number of times you searched for a person on social networks.
All these data, they are collected in something as simple as your browsing history, and it is much easier to access them than you think. But this is only the beginning; The reality is that both governments and large commercial brands are very interested in your Internet search habits, so they have no problem paying a lot of money to know this data.
Currently, we use computers and mobile phones to do practically everything; from viewing content for leisure, to making purchases online, many times we even prefer to search the Internet to find out what disease or virus we may have in our body in order not to pay for a medical consultation.
All this data, from the most harmless to the most personal, is recorded on the network, and anyone with enough money can access it. Most are not interested in your private life, they simply want to know your tastes to sell you products or offer services.which you may even agree on.
However, someone skilled enough with a computer can also decipher and access this information and use it to blackmail you, or at the very least plan a scam that you find irresistible and steal money from you. I think this is reason enough for you to start worrying more about protecting your data online, don’t you think so?
Identifying the problems Which tools are most vulnerable to privacy violations?
Despite the fact that you think that your computer is already secure enough, let us tell you that nothing is further from the truth than this. For this reason, at this time we are going to mention the main vulnerabilities of your devices that can make anyone know more about you than you think.
The operating system
Yes, as you are reading it, your operating system is one of the main enemies of your Internet security. There are OSes like Windows, which keep a highly detailed record of your activities on their computers. For this reason, any attempt at privacy that you want to carry out must begin with the choice of a good OS that does not precisely torpedo this objective.
From the outset we will tell you that Windows is one of the least secure systems on the market, since they literally record each and every one of your movements on computers where it is installed. To begin with, Microsoft equips all devices with their operating systems with a default advertising ID, which is used to provide information to commercial companies about their main shopping preferences on the Internet.
As if that weren’t enough, tools like Cortana keep a complete record of every single thing you do on your computer, and when we say everything, that’s everything; from the programs you use the most to your credit card numbers and other important data.
The funniest thing of all is that you agree to all this in the terms and conditions of the OS when you install it on your computer, so that you have not the slightest option to claim anything from them (that’s why you should always read these wills).
Have you ever stopped to think about how the Internet protocol works? We are not going to bore you with technical issues, we already have an article talking about it, but we do want you to understand what it means to have an IP address. Well, after reading this you will never have had it so clear.
An IP address is a multi-octet number used to identify your devices, but more importantly, to know where you are connecting from. This information is registered and visible internally on the network, and we are not going to deceive you, to know it you must be very clever if you do not have the necessary permissions, but once you have it, the amount of information you can get from it is truly overwhelming.
The IP address is the key to identify you on the Internet. No matter what you do, with this address the websites they visit can know where you connect from and other data. That is why if by chance you enter a website of running shoes, even if you do not buy anythingGoogle bombards you with ads on that theme in your native language.
To start, once you have the IP address of a computer, all you have to do is enter a web portal and enter it to find out the location from which it comes, or at least know where the main servers of this. In other words, with this address a person could easily know where you live or work without many problems.
The browser is one of the most important elements that you must take into account when browsing. These tools are responsible for recording detailed information on each and every one of the portals you visit in their cache.to then send this information to a server where it will be stored.
It only takes a couple of days for a browser to interpret your browsing and searching habits and literally create a digital footprint with them, to then provide said information to advertising companies that bombard you with ads of all kindssince they sense that these are your “interests”.
The good news is that this information is not unique and definitive, because generally our browsing habits change from time to time. That is, you may have a slight fever today and your searches are based on finding the causes of these symptoms.but tomorrow you may be fine and find yourself looking for hotels to stay in next month.
However, temporarily your activity will be recorded and a temporary fingerprint will be created which can tell a lot about you and your lifestyle. Leaving your privacy in evidence. Browsers like Chrome, Mozilla or Safari are experts in this.
That’s why I hate cookies. Cookies are add-ons that are installed in your browser and stored in its cache that basically serve to identify your search and web browsing preferences. In short, there is nothing more similar to an identifier than them. Also, think about it; If they were that good, no portal would warn you of their use.
The problem with them is that used wisely, they could collect a huge amount of information about your online activities that you obviously don’t want anyone to know. so this makes them a real threat to your privacy.
Scripts are one of those necessary evils that we can’t help but have on our devices. Although it is very clear that they are a potential threat to user privacy, no one can disable them completely since more than 80% of websites use them and if you block them, you would no longer be able to view most of the content within them.
It is a sensitive issue, although fortunately alternative programming technologies are being implemented to dispense with the use of these, since they represent a risk to user privacy. However, until then we can do nothing but live with them.
Steps to increase and improve our privacy and data security on the Internet and protect our personal information
Now that you know all the privacy risks and vulnerabilities to which you are exposed on the Internet, it is time to let you know which are the most effective solutions for each of these problems.
So take note, and start applying each of these tips:
Choose a secure OS
Knowing what you know about your operating system, the quickest solution in this regard will be to choose an OS that is already secure enough out of the box. If we talk about the big 3, MacOS and Linux are by far the safest when it comes to privacy, so your quickest option is to install them on your computer.
In case you are an inveterate Windows lover, you can take the long way and configure this operating system so that it stops being a mole of your privacy. Among the main actions you should take are:
- Disable Advertising ID of the operating system.
- Deactivate completely Cortana.
- Set activity history.
If you want to learn how to carry out this and other actions that will shield your security in W10, you can visit our article on privacy in windows 10where we explain in detail how to take control of your data within this OS.
Encrypt online communications
Surely you have heard about VPNs or virtual private networks, which are very useful tools to encrypt the digital communications of your devices. These will be your best friend to keep your IP address hidden, or at least camouflaged, so that no one knows your location.
There are many very good VPN providers such as:
However, the work does not end here. Even a VPN server can have IP leaks that reveal your address on certain occasions. For this reason, you will need to perform a WebRTC test to make sure none of this is happening. One tool you can use for this is privacytools.iowhich is specially developed for this.
Choose a safe browser
The next step to take control of your data is to choose a good web browser that does not share your search history with third parties in exchange for money. From the outset you can forget about the big 3 like Google, Safari or Mozilla, even Opera and EDGE.
It is best that you start using one of the following:
- Tor Browser: browser with a complete communications encryption system, with it you will not need a VPN since your IP will never be revealed. In addition, this improves things thanks to the implementation of a very high level proxy.
- BraveBrowser: A new browser that has received good reviews for its complex encryption system and for completely blocking ads and cookies.
Both options are the best decisions you can make so that nothing you do on the Internet is known by anyone other than you. In case you are not convinced, it would be best to use Firefox with a VPN and some security plugins to block ads and third-party scripts.
Completely block cookies
The next mission is to get into the habit of not accepting any kind of cookies. Although we already mentioned that they are usually harmless, the risk of being identified with them is still latent. Therefore, when the warning sign appears, you must always deny it.
Another less drastic measure that you can take is to block them to a certain extent, allowing only those of the portal you are visiting to be activated and not allowing it to include third-party cookies that may represent a problem for your privacy in the future.
You can easily do this in Chrome as follows:
- Open the browser and go to “Setting”and then enters “Advanced”.
- Once there you must go to “Privacy and Security” and click on “Cookies”.
- In this section you just have to turn on the option switch “Block third-party Cookies” and the job will be done.
In Mozilla Firefox you can also enable this option. Simply follow these steps that we explain below:
- Open the browser and enter the three overlapping lines in the upper right corner of the interface.
- In it you must select the option “Block content” and after that choose “Custom”.
- Now you just have to mark “Cookies” and next to choose “From third parties”, for the job to be complete.
List of the best applications and programs to keep our privacy to the maximum on the Internet
Now that you know the security measures that you should start taking to keep your data protected, it is time for you to learn about some tools that will make your life easier in this regard.
Take a look at the list:
This is a VPN that you can install from a Chrome or Mozilla browser extension, which offers you one of the best IP encryption services. It has a free version, but it has many leaks, so we recommend that you use the paid version to begin with.
This is one of the best plugins to say goodbye to advertising on all the websites you visit. With it, you won’t have to worry about pop-ups and other invasive ads that spoil your user experience and put your online security at risk.
One of the best tools to maintain your security without a doubt. This is quite a bodyguard that allows you to identify those portals that use trackers on our IP address, so that we can later send them to a blacklist and block them.
We continue with one of the best firewalls out there for Mozilla and Google Chrome browsers. Thanks to this extension we will be able to analyze each and every one of the elements that we download to make sure they are 100% clean and free of viruses that could pose a threat to our computers.
We close with another extension for Chrome and Mozilla that will help us encrypt all the passwords that we save in our browsers to remember them. In addition, it can also identify trackers for later block them by sending them to a blacklist from which they will not be able to leave unless we uninstall the plugin.