Is it really worth protecting your privacy online? That may seem a strange question considering the amount of media articles on internet fraud and theft. However what is the likelihood of your online security being breached? Most attempts by criminals to get us to part with our hard earned money are crude and in some instances comical. With a modicom of common sense you can protect yourself.
The modern commercialisation of the internet though is a different matter. The tracking of your activity online and sharing that information with other interested third party providers, to ensure advertisements and offers are targeted toward your interests is a true nuisance. Have you wondered why a particular manufacturer’s advertising always seems to pop up on multiple websites? It’s not just because they are doing a blanket online campaign. Go here and see how many trackers are following you.
Online Privacy Tools
There are some key tools that you can use though to minimise disruption to your browsing and allow you to control what data share. Below are some of the tools I have found invaluable. Most are free though some suggest a donation, which I would recommend.
Using the correct browser
This is a mine field. In the past there have been issues with certain browsers and their security. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been the victim of multiple security holes being exploited, however in part this is due to that fact it was heavily integrated into the operating system. The current darling of the crop is probably Google’s Chrome. It’s free to install. I would recommend though not signing into your Google account when using it, unless you are happy to share information with Google. Chrome can be downloaded here
Ghostery - Tracker blocker, browser Plugin
This plugin for all popular browser prevents most trackers from doing just that, tracking you. You get complete control of what is blocked (blocking some trackers may have consequences on the rendering or operation of a website). It works quietly in the background, moreover it is a free download.For more information on Ghostery go here
'HTTPS Everywhere - Secure browsing
HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. It works for the majority of websites and doesn’t create any conflict in the browser’s or website’s function. HTTPS everywhere is only one offering of many from the Electronic Digital Foundation, a group intent on protecting privacy on the internet. It is free to users and worth installing. It can be downloaded here
Ad Block - Stop advertisements on webpages
This another open source add in that works across all the popular browsers. It doesn’t block all advertisements on web pages but does stop the majority. It can be switched off when needed. There are other versions of this type of programme but I have found this one to consistently work well. It can be downloaded here.