How To Stay Private on the Internet
Many people are switching to using the internet to communicate with others, and understandably so. With how quickly information travels and how much easier it makes things, why wouldn’t you want to use the internet?
However, most of us have an Internet presence that we don’t want the whole world to see.
So, whether you just don’t like leaving your information all over or have something specific that you want to keep secret, there are plenty of ways to stay private on the internet.
This guide on staying private on the internet will teach you how to use technology and common sense to protect yourself and your family from unauthorized prying eyes.
Let’s dig in!
10 Ways To Stay Private on the Internet
- Use an alternative browser
- Encrypt your hard drive
- Delete your browsing history and cookies regularly
- Never use public Wi-Fi
- Don’t share too much on social media
- Use private browsing
- Keep your router updated and secure, and clean up old devices connected to it
- Turn off location services
- Use two separate email accounts
- Delete files you don’t need from a computer with sensitive information before selling it or giving it away
1. Use an alternative browser
While it may not seem like it, your browser knows a lot about you. From your IP address to your browsing history, websites can collect a lot of data just by using a web browser.
So, if you’re looking to stay private on the internet, one of the best things you can do is use an alternative browser. There are a few options out there, but it’s important to choose one that is easy to use and has added privacy features like ad and tracker blocking. Tor would be one of such options.
2. Encrypt your hard drive
One way to keep your private information safe is to encrypt your hard drive. This means that if your computer is ever stolen or hacked, your data will be unreadable without a key.
You can encrypt your hard drive using built-in tools like BitLocker on Windows, FileVault on Mac, or third-party software like VeraCrypt. However, encryption does not protect against all cyber threats, so it’s important also to enable password protection and follow basic security guidelines for computers in public places like libraries and internet cafes.
3. Delete your browsing history and cookies regularly
Most browsers will save your browsing history automatically. This means that anyone who uses your computer can see what websites you’ve visited. If you want to keep your browsing private, you need to delete your history regularly.
When deleting history, be sure to delete cookies as well. When you use the internet, your computer saves small text files called cookies. Cookies store information about your activity on a site. They can’t harm your computer but can track your browsing habits.
You can also delete cookies that have already been stored on your computer. To do this, go to the Settings or Preferences section and look for the privacy settings. From there, you can delete all cookies or just some of them.
Deleting cookies often makes these sites think you are a first-time visitor again, meaning they don’t know who you are anymore and won’t know anything about your past visits or preferences.
4. Never use public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is one of the least secure ways to connect to the internet, but it keeps you anonymous online. However, third parties can intercept any data you send or receive while using public Wi-Fi, so it’s important to be aware of the risks before using it.
5. Don’t share too much on social media
In our social media-driven world, it’s easy to overshare. But when it comes to staying private on the internet, it’s important to remember that less is more.
Be aware that anyone could see anything you share, so think twice before posting anything sensitive or personal.
Resist the urge to post every detail of your life online and think twice before sharing anything that people could use against you. Not only will this help keep your personal information safe from hackers, but it will also help you maintain privacy in a fast-paced digital age.
You can also try to avoid using social media altogether. But if you absolutely must use it, consider making your accounts private and only accepting friend requests from people you know in real life. If you want to expand your friend list, run a quick check on Nuwber before accepting friend requests from anyone you are not close to.
6. Use private browsing
When you use private browsing, your browser doesn’t save your history, cookies, or search queries. This means that your computer will not save any websites you visit and any passwords you enter.
Private browsing is a great way to keep your browsing history private from prying eyes. However, it only works in one window at a time.
You can browse privately by opening an incognito window in Chrome, using Safari’s ‘Private Browsing’ mode or Firefox’s ‘Private Window.’
7. Keep your router updated and secure, and clean up old devices connected to it
One of the most important things you can do to keep your internet usage private is to keep your router updated and secure and clean up old devices connected to it.
Here are seven ways to do just that:
- Keep your router’s firmware up to date.
- Change your router’s administrator password and Wi-Fi password.
- Use a VPN.
- Encrypt your Wi-Fi connection
- Disable remote access
- Use a firewall
- Physically secure your router
Read | Best Free VPN Apps for Android and iOS
8. Turn off location services
Many people don’t realize that their phone constantly tracks their location via GPS. This information can be used to build a profile of where you live, work, and play.
You can disable location services by going into your phone’s settings and turning them off. This will prevent apps from being able to track your location without your knowledge.
9. Use two separate email accounts
Having a personal email account for online shopping and social media is important. But it’s also a good idea to have a separate email account for more sensitive information, like banking or taxes.
That way, your private information will be safe if your personal account is ever hacked.
10. Delete files you don’t need from a computer with sensitive information before selling it or giving it away
You should delete all sensitive files from your computer before selling it or giving it away. This includes any personal, financial, or medical information.
You should also delete any work-related files and any files containing confidential information about other people.
The internet is a wonderful tool that allows us to connect with others and access information from all over the world. However, it’s important to remember that the internet is also a public place where others can easily access our personal information.
Hence you need to be careful about protecting your privacy. Fortunately, there are ways to stay private on the internet, and we’ve outlined ten for you. Following these simple tips can help you stay safe and keep your information private online.