Is it real to achieve online privacy today? That’s a real concern nowadays.
What can we do to cope with it?
This is the most comprehensive guide on keeping you private on the Internet. Who is this ULTIMATE guide for?
I am going to give 36 powerful tips for journalists, businessmen, and students for them to know how to do this.
Is it possible to secure yourself for 100%?
From my guide, you will learn how to do it in 2020. Have a look at the contents below to access the chapter you need:
- Keeping your data safe online: what are the main challenges?
- 13 useful tips for journalists to be private online
- 11 actionable ideas for your business privacy on the Internet
- 11 proven life hacks for students to stay safe online
In short: if you want to stay safe on the Internet, you will love this privacy guide.
Let’s get started.
Living in a globally networked world, a lot of people worry about their online privacy. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly which information accessible to the government.
So, protecting your internet activity is a hot issue today. And if you don’t take any measures to stay secure on the Internet, all your online activity will be monitored not only by the government but also by some companies.
After reading this guide, you will be confident that you use all possible variants to stay private on the Internet.
But first of all, I would like to say a few words about online privacy in different countries.
Almost 80 countries from all over the world have adopted information privacy laws. The main goal of this law is to prohibit the transmission of information about personal individuals.
The leader of adopting this law is the European Union. And speaking about the African continent, I can say that these laws emerge slower.
All journalists, especially economic and political ones, are always tracked on the Internet. Their e-mail addresses are hacked, their computers are contaminated by different viruses, and their communication is always controlled.
Undoubtedly, it is important to protect your data using strong passwords and don’t follow questionable links. The phishing attack is the simplest way of harming you.
If you want to stay private online, make your personal list from these useful tips.
Use a VPN
One of the best ways to protect your online privacy is to use a decent VPN, like NordVPN. When you use a VPN, all your data is encrypted, and it means that neither Internet providers nor other companies can get access to your information.
Moreover, your real IP address is hidden, and no one can find your real location.
VPNs help you bypass censorship to access those network resources that aren’t available in your country.
All VPNs’ apps are easily installed on different devices and work with different platforms. What you need is to download the app and install it on your device. This process always lasts just a couple of minutes.
Although there are some free VPN services, I recommend you to use paid versions of these services because they give more security to its users.
You can find the appropriate service from this VPN list.
Stay anonymous on the Internet with Tor
Tor gives you access to blocked websites and offers privacy and security on the Internet. The service gives you protected and anonymous online connections.
Another point that gives this service popularity is its simplicity in use. You need to download the app from the official website and install it.
What’s more, Tor offers 3 layers of encryption that doubles your chances to stay private.
Protect your PC
Today the number of computer hacking is increasing. Hackers try to get access to your PC for different purposes: from sending the advertisement to using your personal data. And your main goal is to protect yourself and your computer.
So, how to avoid being hacked? First of all, try to find some antivirus programs that will help you to protect your PC from internal threats.
Always update your antivirus programs because newer versions protect you better from advanced viruses.
Moreover, find some authoritative anti-spy program and install it on your PC.
Encrypt the information
There are three ways of encryption.
Firstly, you can use the USB flash drive that needs a digital password during the connection. Moreover, all information is encrypted on the memory chip.
Secondly, you can use programs to encrypt your data on your hard disk. When you use OC Windows, you have an opportunity to encrypt your information using a standard tool. BitLocker offers you to encrypt your information despite the volume of data.
Thirdly, you should keep your passwords safe. You can use some special programs to do this, for example, LastPass, KeePass, Sticky Password.
But you can also collect all your passwords in txt.document, and only you will know how to use them. For instance, you can add one or two additional numbers to your password, and only you will know that you need to delete these extra numbers for its work.
Employ strong passwords
Strong passwords are passwords that can be easily guessed by using different methods of dictionary attacks.
Let’s think about how to create a strong password:
- Use a wide range of signs.
- Your password should contain lowercase letters, capital letters, and different symbols.
- Don’t use some common words.
So, if you follow these three simple rules, you will achieve success in creating your passwords.
And I would like to say a few words about how to use them properly.
- Each website should contain its own password.
- Don’t leave your passwords at some questionable websites.
- Don’t share your passwords.
… and another key rule: change your password from time to time.
Choose secure messengers
What are the most secure messengers in 2020?
Signal is a messenger developed by the American Open Whisper Systems startup. All data is encrypted by the protocol Signal Protocol that is considered to be one of the safest ones. Moreover, this protocol works automatically.
On the one hand, you need to use your phone number to activate this app, and on the other hand, it uses end-to-end encryption based on the Signal protocol. There are some additional tools for your privacy, such as secret chats and group chats.
Briar is not a very popular messenger, but it has a lot of advantages. It can work through Bluetooth, with a Wi-Fi connection or with an Internet connection. If it is connected to the Internet, Tor is launched automatically.
Practice less popular but more secure systems for receiving your documents
Replace popular systems to less popular ones but more secure. Replace Google for SecureProp. This system allows you to receive files from anonymous sources. Moreover, it gives you an opportunity to scan all these files.
Another service that allows transferring files easily and anonymously is OnionShare.
Don’t keep notes
Try not to keep your data such as your initials, phone number, e-mail address, contact list from your mobile phone in messengers and social media websites.
It is better to use all this information on your paper notes, or if you want to save it on your computer you should encrypt it.
But if you use it in your messengers, you give direct access to all your data to hackers.
Pay for everything in cash
It is better for you to avoid online transactions (or at least, to pay online less) because hackers can easily grab your credit card number.
So, try to pay in cash wherever it is possible. And if you are a modern person who wants to use bitcoins, tries to buy them anonymously, use a business insider guide to buy them.
Moreover, if someone wants to buy your bitcoins, use Dash.
Work with alternative search engines
I am going to give you a short list of some search engines that can be better than a well-known Google.
It is quite a popular search engine based in the USA that offers security and privacy. It doesn’t collect any information about the users, keeps “No logs” policy, and tries to use cookie files only when it is necessary.
This search engine based on the anonymous Tor connection. It reminds Google but provides its users with anonymity.
The search engine works using P2P main principles. It doesn’t have a single server all information is processed by the MOD installed on a particular computer.
Use HTTPS everywhere
Why is HTTPS a must for you? The HTTPS protocol encrypts all transmitted data and doesn’t give access to third parties.
This protocol SSL/TLS also has an advantage because it allows users to establish a protected connection through the unprotected canal.
You should always update your software. Keep this point in your mind.
All modern browsers work with HTTPS protocols. You shouldn’t install it works automatically in all cases wherever it is possible.
Utilize only secure e-mail providers
Gmail is one of the most stable and secure e-mail providers. Have the best tools to identify spam. It offers a user-friendly interface, and all letters are divided into sections. Upgraded protection of privacy and security.
Outlook.com is the development of Microsoft. It offers a lot of opportunities, especially with Microsoft Office. All key messages are marked and collected into one section.
Inbox.com is a service that is developed by Gmail. It can help you to keep everything under control and concentrate on the paints that are really important for you.
Encrypt your e-mail
Tutanota is a free service that provides its users with the encryption of all data. All information is not transmitted to third parties, and the service uses end-to-end encryption.
Moreover, the service is anonymous, and you shouldn’t use your personal data even during the process of registration. Your IP address also is hidden.
Fraud, identity theft, cybercrime are widespread in the modern world. Without secure protection, all these things can do harm to your business. That is why it is high time to take some measures.
Let’s find out how to protect your business.
Protect all your data
Most companies keep some personal information in their files – name, credit cards, account data. Undoubtedly, this information is always necessary to perform different business functions. But sometimes this information can fall into wrong hands and cause crime, identity theft.
You should know what personal information you have on your computers. Pay attention to how you keep personally identifying information – the number of your credit cards and other financial information.
One of the main methods to save your privacy is to encrypt the information. According to the research, a lot of business companies have a serious attitude to the questions of their security and privacy on the Internet.
The full encryption is used in the data base (60%), internet communication (59%), and hard drive (58%). Moreover, half of these companies encrypt backups and archives.
Install Tor Browser
The service allows using restricted websites. It uses encryption of traffic. I would like to point out that it offers several layers of encryption. Moreover, it provides full anonymity.
The service works practically with all platforms and devices, and its apps are easily installed on them.
Update data protection programs
Always stay current with all innovations that data protection programs offer. Try to download them on time.
An updated program is a good fighter in a battle with different viruses. Modified versions give more effective variants of coping with hacker programs on your personal computer.
Accept secure search engines
You can use less popular but more secure search engines. Pay attention to some specific characteristics during the process of choosing.
First of all, providing security. Beware of encryption. The longer the encryption is, the more secure it is. Perfect word secrecy also plays an important role. It gives your protection from hackers and intelligence services.
The next point is anonymity. Secure search engines should keep the “No logs” policy. So, no one should know about your online activity.
Moreover, secure search engines try to use cookie files only if it is necessary and don’t use identifiers of individuals.
Protect yourself by using password manager
Password managers is a service that stores all your passwords for all services. It means that you have to remember only one.
So, it is the easiest and quickest way to protect your data. Password managers, however, are built for this specific purpose and include a suite of tools that let you access the same library of passwords across your devices. This cache of passwords is, of course, protected by a super-password of its own—one you obviously need to choose wisely.
Educate your staff
The company’s personnel also can be the cause of cyber attacks. It is important to educate your staff regularly to avoid some crucial issues.
Make sure that your employee has a good command of computer literacy, can work with antivirus programs properly, and change passwords.
Ensure your business
If you have a prosperous business, ensure it! Business insurance can help you to cope with the most difficult situations.
You can become a victim of different attacks, and suffer some financial difficulties. Only insurance will help you.
Add two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is a method, in which you need to use two options to log in, for example, it can be a password and a code from a device that carries on. It is used to be a special purpose device, but today you can easily use the code from your mobile phone.
In other words, this method doubles your level of privacy.
Increase your privacy by using VPNs
A decent VPN is also a valuable decision to protect your online privacy. Nowadays there are a lot of different (even cheap) VPN services, that offer anonymity, strict “No logs” policy, and strong methods of encryption.
Moreover, two variants of using VPNs are possible: free (or free trial VPN) and paid.
You can choose a VPN according to your desires and budget.
Use a separate e-mail address for business purposes
It is not advisable to send a letter on behalf of your company from your personal mailbox. It is better to create a separate one.
According to the points of privacy, it is also better to use the e-mail address of your company but not your own. This way, you can protect your personal data better.
The development of Internet technologies has changed a lot the process of education. We can’t imagine modern students without the Internet and social media websites.
Without further ado, let’s teach students how to be private online.
Upgrade your level of computer literacy
Computer literacy means that you just need to know the basics of computer use.
But is it important nowadays to have an advanced level of computer literacy? Yes.
If you want to be a skillful computer user, you should know not only the basic principles but the upgraded ones.
You can join some online websites and tutorials that will give you some vital information.
You should upgrade your level of computer literacy to protect your online privacy. If you are a top-user, you are ready to react to different problems that may occur with your computer adequate.
Avoid questionable websites
Try to follow only trustworthy websites. It is quite difficult to decide which websites are questionable.
So, you can set up this check in your browser. And if you want to open a questionable website, you can see the warning. Questionable websites are considered to be sites that can spread viruses to your computer or are suspected in phishing.
Undoubtedly, you can continue to open this website, and you will face some serious problems in the future.
Don’t share your passwords and e-mail address
If you want to protect your data, you shouldn’t share your passwords and e-mail address. Because it is a key to your confidential information.
Don’t even hint at it with your friends and family members. While those close to you may not intentionally share your password with others, it can accidentally slip out in conversation.
When we speak about computer security, it is better for you when people know less about you.
Hide your real IP using VPNs
Your data can be tracked by your IP address. If you are an active computer user, try to hide your real IP. The best way to do this is to use VPNs.
Today you can find a lot of VPN services that offer good functions for reasonable prices or even for free.
You can check the list of VPNs and choose the appropriate one for you. Pay attention to such characteristics as anonymity, privacy, speed, and tariff plans, of course.
Be accurate with social media websites
Social media websites are an essential part of our lives, especially the life of students. Most students live in the online world.
But is it safe to use social media websites 24/7?
No, using these websites all the time and sharing your personal information is totally unsafe.
You use your e-mail or phone number to register, then you need to type in your real name, and surname, date of birth, and even your real address. All these things give direct access to hackers to seize your information.
So, I recommend you to use social media websites less and try to use the minimum of your personal information on your web page.
Protect your social media settings
Check your default privacy settings when you open your account. The default privacy settings on many social media websites are typically broad and may permit the sharing of information to a vast online community.
Modify the settings if appropriate, before posting any information on a social media website.
Moreover, today you can choose a function to make your account private, and restrict access to some unknown people.
Don’t sign in to any websites using social media
When you need to sign in to some websites, it is preferable not to use your social media webpages. As it was mentioned before, there is a lot of personal information on them.
Signing in to different websites with your accounts doubles the opportunity for hackers to seize your information.
So, it is better to use your email or phone number only.
Cover web-cameras on your devices
Today there are a lot of ways to track you online. Cameras on your devices are one of these ways.
Your devices always identify your location, and the camera always works, even in the cases when you don’t use your device.
Try to use your devices and do the things that can’t compromise you. The best way is to cover cameras on your devices as Marc Zuckerberg does.
Use antivirus programs
The installation of the antivirus program is a must for your computer. Only these programs can help you to protect your computer from viruses.
Moreover, try to use the last versions of the programs because the updated versions have more tools to identify viruses and spies.
Be careful with what you download
If you want to download something from the Internet, you should be accurate with it. In most cases, the things we download to our computers bring some viruses with themselves.
So, if you decide to download something, do it from trustworthy websites and don’t accept to download some new programs to your computer if you don’t know them.
Take care of your posts on the Internet
If you are an active social user, be careful with the posts on your webpages.
People always give enough information to hackers from their posts. They usually identify their location, friends, and relatives in the photos, children.
All these things are baits for hackers. So, try not to transmit your personal information through your accounts.
I hope you enjoyed my guide!