Looking to protect your internet privacy? That’s what I’m going to talk about, in today’s video blog.
Hey there internet fans, it’s Ryan Perry, and today I want to talk about the big news that’s been going around social media and that is the fact that, yesterday, Tuesday, March 28th. The House of Representatives have voted to repeal a privacy act regarding your online information. And what that means is, is that your ISP, your internet service provider, that’s how you get connected to the internet, they will be able to sell your data and history of online activities, in general.
In today’s blog, I want to talk about three different ways that you can protect yourself to ensure that your information is protected. In order to do that, we need to jump on the computer.
The first and easiest way you can start protecting yourself is by going incognito or to a private browser, and this feature is available on all the major browsers, Chrome, Firefox and Safari on Apple. On Chrome, all you need to do is click on the three little dots in the upper right hand corner, click on new incognito window and essentially it pops open this new incognito. What it does is it prevents websites from leaving information on your browsers. As an example, if you’ve ever done a Google search for something, let’s say you’re searching for new tires and then you go on to Facebook, and you notice that all these ads pop up for new tires, and not just new tires, but the exact same model of tire that you were doing a search for. That’s because the website that you were on, had a pixel, and that’s a piece of information that they dropped onto your computer in your browser and Facebook pulled that information, and said, “Oh, you were looking at these tires. Let me advertise these tires since you’re looking for them.” Again, this can be popped up on both your desktop, smartphone, and tablet. The one downside to going incognito, is that your IP address is still visible, and that IP address is kind of like your mailbox; it lets people know your location. So if you ever done a Google search for a dentist, as an example, and it miraculously pops up a map of dentists near you, the only way they know that is because of your IP Address.
One of the ways you can protect yourself is the next level of protection, and that is using a VPN such as Hide My Ass. Essentially what a VPN is, is that instead of going directly out to a website such as Google or Facebook, a VPN gets put in the middle and all your information gets pushed through this VPN and it does not allow people to know where you’re coming from. It’s way of kind of hiding yourself. Hence, Hide My Ass, there’s a lot of different VPNs out there. This is going to be a paid service. I personally do not use Hide My Ass, it’s just one of them that I’m familiar with. That’s why I’m throwing it up there, you can do a Google search for VPN and there are plenty of services that are out there.
The other area that you want to think about when it comes to encryption, would be your email, also. When it comes to email encryption you need to make sure that both you and the person you’re sending, your correspondent, corresponding with, has encryption also, otherwise it will not work. It defeats the whole purpose of having something encrypted if the other person can’t open it. So this has got to be a shared thing, especially in small offices, it’s really easy to encrypt everybody’s passwords within an office.
I’m going to throw in a bonus one here for you, ’cause these were the top three, one was going incognito, using a VPN, and then protecting your email, the fourth as a bonus is Tor. Tor is its own kinda subset micro culture, but they have their own browser and Tor itself has a lot of documentation on how to protect your privacy online. So if you want to learn more about protecting your privacy online I would go to Tor. These guys have done such a good job that they’re actually banned in certain countries because the governments want to have access, and they don’t like the fact that Tor is protecting the individual’s right to privacy. So that is it.
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