Four steps to take to protect your information and digital privacy

May 18, 2018

In light of the many scandals involving breaches of internet privacy, it’s more crucial than ever to protect your information and digital activity. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to do this.

First, always make sure your password is complex and unique but doesn’t contain any personal information. Using anything like your Social Security number, Personal Identification Number, or credit card number as a password is extremely risky. If hackers are able to obtain your password, they are simultaneously given that crucial information.

Second, consider using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. Popular Science explains that these can be installed on a device, like a laptop, and will encrypt the data from the device. They can also hide the IP address and virtual behavior on the device from anything attempting to track these, such as cookies.

Third, make sure that any website you visit which handles sensitive information has HTTPS. Any website with HTTPS is secure; this means that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can’t see what you’re doing on that website. In fact, the browser extension HTTPS Everywhere created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation makes every website you visit secure, so installing that extension is a good way to protect your privacy.

Fourth, consider blocking third-party cookies. These are cookies (which track your activity) planted by sources besides a website you actually visit. This is an easy way for people with nefarious intentions to see which websites you are visiting and what you are doing on them. Disabling third-party cookies is an option that can be enabled in your browser.

If you follow all of these steps, you will be able to rest easier knowing your internet privacy is secure.

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