When we’re using the internet, whether it’s to work, to shop for gifts, to communicate, or otherwise, none of us would feel quite as safe if we had the notion that someone was looking over our shoulder at everything that we did, every site we went to, or everything that we communicated. Privacy on the net has become a hot-button issue, with ISPs starting to take a heavier hand in controlling their user’s browsing behaviors and more and more companies collecting more and more data on us. Here, we’re going to look at what you can do to enjoy a little more privacy when you’re online.

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Make use of Incognito mode

The vast majority of web browsers, including those on your mobile devices, come with some kind of Incognito or private mode. For those unaware, this is a mode that doesn’t save any data from the websites you visit, it doesn’t save your browsing history, any cached assets, and all cookies you download when browsing incognito are temporary, deleted when you exit the mode. This doesn’t stop ISPs from seeing what you’re doing online, it’s purely meant for keeping your browsing activity private within a setting that someone else might get access to your web history on your device. As such, if you want to buy a gift for someone and you don’t want them to see what sites you’ve been looking at, you will want to go incognito.

Keep your connection private

Aside from people who might access your device, what about those who are capturing your data from afar? This can include anyone from marketing and tech companies, like how Google compiles data on how every individual user uses their services, down to your ISP. If you’re looking to get tracked a little less closely, then you should download VPN software to help you cover your tracks, in a manner of speaking. VPNs encrypt your connection and emulate an internet connection through a separate server. It won’t cover everything you do from your ISP, but it certainly can prevent all organizations from eavesdropping on your connection quite as closely.

Verify your accounts as best as possible

If you want to make sure that no one can access data that’s supposed to be private, then you also need to think about the websites and services that keep that data on you. This could mean your email login, your social media, as well as other software that you use. Where available, ensure that you’re making use of two-step authentication. That way, even if someone was able to get a hold of your password or other login details, they wouldn’t be able to get into your account unless they also had whatever you set up as your second step, which, in many cases, requires access to your phone as well.

True privacy on the internet is hard to come by, that’s for sure. With the tips above, however, you can make sure that everything you do online isn’t immediately up for grabs.

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