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Do you feel uneasy when Amazon remembers what product you were browsing? Especially when you see that same product as ads or in corner of your Facebook page? Often, we find it in our email too! Well, if you do find this stalking behavior wrong and if it makes one feel that their privacy is being violated it is simply because our actions online are being tracked and seen. Not just by hackers or government agencies but, even the humble search engines.
While we have accepted the fact that when we are online and using the internet’s service, one maybe 100% safe physically, but we are vulnerable to hacks and malware, to say the least. Some precautions can be undertaken to ensure that we are secure and safe from being hacked into and others who want to harm us. Hence, keeping safety, security, and privacy in mind, we have made a list of 5 tech tips that will aid one in protecting their data from being mined or hacked into. These tips and tricks are easy to follow and work most of the time. But, if one wants tips to protect themselves from the FBI or the Interpol, then we apologize, as such a drastic level of online invisibility happens only in the movies!
The below mentioned 5 tips will guide a common user to safeguard his/her details from spammers and search engines and ensure that they are invisible online:
1. Enable The Router’s Stealth Mode
Most of the wireless network routers have the feature of ‘Stealth Mode’. This mode can do the following:
- It makes the PC virtually invisible. Hence, hackers cannot get through to the inside of the user’s wireless network or a wired network of their home.
- The stealth mode doesn’t let the user’s personal router to respond to any ‘pings’ from the port scanning tools that the hackers have. These are used by them for finding unsecured ports/services on the computer.
- This mode makes sure that one’s router doesn’t respond making it look like there is nothing running inside the network.
- Check the router’s manual to find out if it has this feature and how to enable it, as this is one of the best tech tips to be invisible online and safe.
2. Make A Throw-Away Email Account Just For Online Registration
We hate giving out our email-addresses when we have to buy something online or register for just watching a TV Show online. Hence, it is sensible that our best option against this is making a throw-away account. This will help because:
- Whenever we give out the email for registration, we risk letting the spammers get hold of it or even the call center, people.
- We cannot even give out fake email ids, because they need to confirm the email id so that it can be verified before purchasing/registering.
- So, the next best thing is making a throw-away-email which means making a second account for exactly this purpose. Use any of the email service providers, be it Gmail, Microsoft or Yahoo and use this second account for registering and purchasing thing online. Do not link this email account to any of your social media pages!
3. Opt Out Of Providing any Personal Details Whenever Possible
The best tip that will secure one’s personal information from leaking online is to remove intimate details from accounts and search engines. This includes:
- Having the ability to remove any personal info that is stored in Google or Bing like personal phone numbers or home address.
- One can even check that one’s house is easily accessible and visible on Google Street View. This way, any random individual can know how to reach one’s place unannounced. To ensure that our safety and security is not compromised. All one needs to do is access the Google Maps Privacy page. Once there, simply blur their house so that strangers, criminals, and antisocial elements cannot get the view of one’s house.
- This small step ensures that there are lesser chances of intentional breaking and entering the house.
- Also, one can opt-out of getting advertisement from Google and other search engines by not filling in the detailed information about oneself that they seek.
- Cookie tracking can also be blocked so does pop-ups.
Also Read: Essential Tips To Avoid Computer Viruses
4. Don’t Google
The big story in the entire of last year was about how Google, Yahoo, and Bing which is owned by Microsoft were tracking our online habits and sending that data to the Government. This has technically helped elect a head of state whose opinions many disagree with. While the tech giants, have all denied this accusation but is enough evidence to creep one out. So, if you want the browsing data to be secured and search history to remain private, it’s time to make a few changes.
- DuckDuckGo is a new browser that assures the users that their search engine habits will not be tracked or saved and sent off for the government to use.
- While DuckDuckGo sells us a good deal, it shall still use its search results to improve their algorithms. But as of now, it is the only browser that is pretty safe to use.
- With these claims, it even saw an increase in its traffic by 50%.
5. Encrypt Emails and Go Incognito
While this may not seem like a feasible option but encrypting one’s emails that have sensitive details like banking or financial statement is a great option and doable. There are many ways one can do this:
- Use ‘PC world’ as it encrypts the actual mail, the cached and archived version and the connection between the user and the provider.
- Another software, ‘Lockbin’ is highly recommended as it is free to use and has an easy interface.
- Also, another way to make sure that one’s username, password and the details about their history is not saved or leaked is by going incognito.
- Every browser has an incognito mode option. A new incognito window or page secures one’s data from the prying eyes of hackers and spammers.
Must Read: Cyber Security Tips for Enterprises/Users
There you have it, folks! The above mentioned were some of the basic tech tips that help one be invisible online and secure their data. But it is best to remember that nothing works 100% and being cautious always comes to aid. Just remember the old adage, ‘don’t share details. Especially with strangers.’