So much of what we do online can be easily tracked. In fact, some of our favorite search engines not only compile our search data, but sell it to businesses. If you want to search the internet privately, you can do so. However, there’s more to it than choosing the right search engine. Your information is only as private as you are.
Choose a Privacy-Friendly Search Engine
Google is a very popular search engine and may be the first one you think of when wanting to search the internet. Unfortunately, Google, and several other search engines, collect and sell your information to businesses. Some sell your information anonymously, meaning that the information isn’t tied to you, but it can still be unsettling. There are search engines that don’t track your information. A good example is DuckDuckGo.
While you can keep search engines from tracking your information, what about websites? Websites track everything from the type of computer you’re using to your location. The good news is there are settings that can be adjusted so that this doesn’t happen. First of all, you want to set your browser so that it doesn’t allow cookies. You can also adjust the settings in your browser so that the secure version of a website is loaded when available. Another option is to use add-ons that protect your information from websites.
Use a Virtual Private Network
If you want to truly browse the internet anonymously, you can use a virtual private network. A VPN basically acts like a middleman to keep your information secure. When searching through a VPN, your location is hidden and your sent data is encrypted. You can even use an android VPN on your cell.
Be Careful What You Share
It doesn’t matter how much protection you add, it’s up to you not to share personal information. If you go on Facebook and post your Social Security number it won’t matter how many add-ons you have or what browser you’re using. Use common sense. If you wouldn’t share the information with a stranger, don’t share it online! This includes pictures, addresses, phone numbers, and other sensitive data, especially financial information.
We’re all entitled to our privacy and thanks to special search engines, browser settings, add-ons, and virtual private networks, we can get that privacy. However, information is only secure when you take the initiative to protect it. More importantly, you can help protect your privacy be being careful what you share online. Once information is out there, it can be accessed by anyone. Remember that before sharing photos and other information online.