As more and more of our lives have shifted online, more and more intimate and personal data has become accessible to criminals who want to use this information for identity theft, or social media and web search companies that sell this data to advertisers and marketers.
Have you ever searched for a product online, and within minutes the ads on websites you visit begin advertising that product, or a competing product? This is where your personal data and search history is used as a marketing tool.
By taking some simple steps towards better internet security, you can protect your information and identity from both identity thieves and snooping corporations that sell your details to third parties. Here is our quick guide that can help get your protected in minutes.
1) Change Your Search Engine
Your search history is important and valuable data to some of the biggest companies in the world. This data can help them market products and target advertising specifically to you, or use your search profile to ‘bubble’ your searches.
Web search providers often use the information they have on your profile to limit your searches, and only show results that their algorithms think you will find relevant. This can often prevent you from accessing the information you need or may steer you away from shopping sites that may interest you.
Switching to an independent web search provider like DuckDuckGo can help you get more consistent web search results, and prevent a history of your searches being kept or sold to advertisers.
Also Read: The Next Big Thing in Online Dating Security
2) Install a VPN on your Desktop PC, Laptop, and Smartphone
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are becoming increasingly popular with both home and business pc users. These anonymize your web traffic and encrypt it, making it difficult for online thieves and fraudsters to steal your personal information. Not even your service provider will have access to your browsing history or the information you enter online.
The best VPN services will include apps that can be installed on both Android and Apple OS devices, allowing you to protect your browsing across multiple devices, and the data you enter on banking and shopping apps on your smartphone.
3) Switch to a Better Browser
Some of the most popular web browsing software is snooping on your data and using it to build a marketing profile on you for advertisers. Some information can even be used to build psychological and political profiles.
Switching to an independent and discreet web browser like Brave, for example, gives you more control of your data and more online privacy. You can even opt into schemes that will pay you money to receive advertisements.
These credits are in a cryptocurrency that has only a small value at present, but just from browsing you can generate a few extra dollars a year, instead of some of the world’s largest corporations profiting off you!
The data we create when we search the web and browse online is becoming more and more valuable, and we should value it too. Take these three steps towards better internet security and protect yourself from online criminals and aggressive and invasive online marketing.