Online privacy has become a matter of concern for security experts and average users alike. Though Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks have faded from public memory, the debate about online privacy hasn’t died yet. The aftereffects of that leak are demanding people to think about their security more deeply. It is not just a rogue computer virus that threats you now. It could be the crazy analytics software used on websites you visit that are creating a silent map of your personality.
Why is privacy important?
If you open your email account, you will find hundreds of emails from spammy addresses trying to sell you a miracle cure or sending you offers for services that you are interested in. Some of them even address you by your first name and are acutely aware of what you like, dislike, or indulge in. Your data could be collected and sold to different advertisers as well. While data may remain anonymous in some conditions, in others it remains connected to your identity and this could be very dangerous. In a world where identity theft is a major problem, you need the tropes to ensure that you remain anonymous on the web.
How to ensure privacy using two simple tools?
Below, we will be discussing two small but incredibly useful tools that will help in keeping your data secure. As most of your data is gathered via your web browsing, these two tools could prove to be life savers for you.
Virtual Private Network or VPN is the internet browser’s weapon against identification. Some browsers come with built-in VPN options while others have some extensions and apps that could save your browsing your identification. Designed to protect your browsing history, a VPN scrambles the data transferred by your computer to a secure server or a large network or computers. As the request bounces off several computers, it becomes very difficult to trace where the actual request is coming from. Your computer’s location can also be masked and the data you send could be masked as coming from another country.
The only downside of using VPN is that the internet becomes slightly slower. The difference in speed, however, is usually not a deal breaker. After all, if an option helps you in saving your privacy and remaining anonymous on the internet, it should be used. VPN is generally recommended for browsing the internet. If you are logging into some services like Google Mail, using a VPN, in some circumstances may trigger a warning that you are signing in from an unknown location and can be classified as a security threat to your account. Moreover, some websites may not be available in certain countries.
Several apps and extensions like Ghostery and Adblocker allow you to track and block websites from collection and using your data. These extensions will tell you the number of trackers on a website and block them instant for distraction free browsing. Moreover, you could also whitelist some trackers if the need be. The downside is that some websites refuse to load when these extensions are on. Otherwise, these two are the perfect options for internet privacy.