Your online presence means that you risk your data being hacked by third parties. This is the unfortunate truth of the connected world we live in. However, this does not mean that you just accept it and do nothing. There are a few simple tricks to strengthening your privacy. Below, you can find five such tips that will help you hide online activity and secure data from hackers and governmental agencies.
Hackers can crack the passwords of your online services like Hulu, Netflix, Spotify and so on. Passwords of a Spotify account nets a hacker around $2.75, while Netflix hacks earn them $1-$3 per account according to this report. To protect yourself against such activities, consider using encrypted browsers like Tor which bounces your internet communications “around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world.” This will allow you to use online services like Netflix, Spotify account, and Gmail without worrying about someone tracking it and hacking the password.
Related Article: The 5 Best Secure Browsers For Your Online Privacy
Secure Your Webcams and Microphones
Even if you do not switch on your microphone and webcam, as long as they are connected to your system, any good hacker can easily use it to collect more information about you. And it’s not just the hackers interested in such details. Certain WikiLeaks documents suggest that the CIA has been involved in hacking webcams and microphones of people around the world. To avoid falling prey, remember to disconnect such devices when not in use. And if the webcam is attached to the laptop, then you’d do good sealing it off with a tape.
Non-Tracking Search Engines
In addition to using encrypted browsers, a good way to protect your online search activity from prying eyes is to use search engines that do not keep a record of your searches. Popular search engines like Google record your search behavior for their own commercial purposes. If you do not want to be a part of that, switch to search engines like DuckDuckGo which does not track activities.
Watch Your Message
Make sure that the messaging platform you use is completely secure. While services like Whatsapp and iMessage are encrypted, they store metadata of your activity. These include information about the recipient of the message, the time you send the message and so on. To avoid this, try using services that do not store any of your data. For example, Signal is one such app that you can use to avoid having your messaging activity recorded. In fact, the very same app is used by Edward Snowden to keep his messaging activities discreet from government organizations like the FBI.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 2, 2015
Beware of “Overly” Smart TV’s
The latest evolution in television technology is the Smart TV. Many of these devices can have cams or voice recorders attached to it. Even if your TV is turned off, experienced hackers can use it to capture images and videos of the room, similar to what is done with webcams attached to computers. You can avoid this by unplugging the TV when you are not using it.
Implement the above steps when you use internet-connected devices. By doing so, you will be taking an additional step towards protecting your privacy from the government, hackers, or any other unwanted third parties.