securityJune 17, 20215 tips to improve your privacy online

Users are keeping up on some challenges regarding data privacy. To keep your data private, here are 5 tips from Invisibly’s Head of Product Dr. Don Vaughn.

Data privacy or information privacy is an area of data security concerned with the proper handling of sensitive data not only personal data but also other confidential data, such as certain financial data and intellectual property data to meet regulatory obligations.

There are some regulations about data privacy in order to protect the confidentiality and immutability of the data. General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, the California Consumer Protection Act, or even the fact that internet cookies are being phased out are some of the popular examples. The main aim of all these regulations is to protect personal privacy.

Invisibly is an online platform enabling people to take back control of their personal information and make money from it. Here are the 5 tips from Invisibly’s Head of Product Dr Don Vaughn for users that want to keep their data private.

Get a VPN

In some cases, people and companies can spy on what websites you’re visiting, where you’re located, and your computer’s identification number. Using a VPN (virtual private network) is a good option to prevent them. VPN protects your information and makes it look like you’re browsing using a computer somewhere else. ExpressVPN or Norton Secure VPN can be beneficial.

Use a private search engine

Google makes money by collecting as much information as possible on you and then sells your attention using ads based on that. However, you can still get great search results without being tracked and targeted by using a private search engine. DuckDuckGo is a good option as a private search engine.

Tune-up your privacy settings

Most companies let us choose what should or should not be shared and others even let us choose what data should be deleted. For instance, you can manage your privacy settings through Facebook’s settings page. From the settings page, if you click on “privacy”, you can limit who can find you via your phone number and email address and whether or not your profile shows up on search engines. Additionally, you can stop sharing your location with Facebook in your phone’s settings. On Google, you can delete your activity on some associated Google apps by following these instructions.

Backup public email or unsubscribe from unwanted emails

When you provide your email address to a company or service online, many times you end up being bombarded with marketing emails and spam. While many services offer an opt-out checkbox for marketing emails, it’s easy to forget to do this every time we enter our email online.

Somewhere at the bottom of most marketing emails you can unsubscribe and stop receiving them. If you don’t want to deal with this, we suggest having a separate email address to use publicly on the web and keeping a more personal email address for private use.

If you use a bulk unsubscribe email service, make sure you are using a safe service. Some free services could collect and sell your data. If you are willing to pay for such a service, Clean Email is safe and does not sell its user’s data.

Check permissions

Most apps and browser extensions have a list of permissions that you sign off on when you start using that service. Sometimes, permissions are required for a service to work. By double-checking the permissions an app has access to, you could be stopping an app from accessing certain data it doesn’t have to access.

Similarly, if you have smart speakers at homes such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can control if they store any of your audio recordings and if they send them to their server. You can also control other privacy settings and permissions with these devices. Check out privacy control for Amazon Alexa here and for Google home here.