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9 Ways to Protect Your Personal Data in Today’s Digital World

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In a digital world that is becoming less private by the minute, it is important to know the current tips and tricks on keeping your personal data just that —personal.
In a digital world that is becoming less private by the minute, it is important to know the current tips and tricks on keeping your personal data just that —personal.
There are many other ways to keep your data secure and limit the information companies have about you. While complete data privacy right now is not really an option unless you forgo using the internet, there are many things you can do to protect your information.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been keeping up on all of the recent changes regarding consumer data privacy. Whether it’s with Apple’s new strong stance on data privacy and how it’s impacting advertising, the California Consumer Protection Act, or even the fact that third party cookies are being phased out, people (rightfully so) have strong opinions about privacy and how companies choose to use consumer data.



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What’s not as clear to many people is what they can do to ensure their data stays private and secure, or to give consent about the data people collect about you. Here are 9 tips to help keep your personal data secure and private.
  1. Use a VPN
  2. Check your privacy settings
  3. Delete unwanted data online
  4. Use a private search engine
  5. Clean up your email
  6. Check your permissions
  7. Use tracking blockers
  8. Password protection
  9. Two-factor authentication

1. Use a VPN

In some cases, people and companies can spy on what websites you’re visiting, where you’re located, and your computer’s identification number. You can stop them by using a VPN (virtual private network), which protects your information and makes it look like you’re browsing using a computer somewhere else. We recommend ExpressVPN or Norton Secure VPN.

2. Check your privacy settings

We leave a data trail about us every time we use products like Facebook and Google. Most companies let us choose what should or should not be shared and others even let us choose what data should be deleted.
You can manage your privacy settings through your Facebook settings page. From the settings page, if you click on “privacy”, you can limit who can find you via your phone number and email address and whether or not your profile shows up on search engines. Additionally, you can stop sharing your location with Facebook in your phone’s settings.

3. Delete unwanted data online

Do you know what data companies have about you, or even what companies have data about you? Well, Say Mine can help you get a handle on all of that, and even delete data from places you don’t want it. If you want to have control of who has your data, this free platform can help. In other cases, it may be as simple as checking the settings in your online account and submitting a data deletion request.

4. Use a private search engine

Google makes money by tracking you, collecting as much information as possible on you, and then sells your attention using ads based on that. But you can still get great search results without being tracked and targeted by using a private search engine. We recommend using DuckDuckGo.

5. Clean up your email

When you provide your email address to a company or service online, many times you end up being bombarded with marketing emails and spam. While many services offer an opt-out checkbox for marketing emails, it’s easy to forget to do this every time we enter our email online.
Somewhere at the bottom of most marketing emails, you have the ability to unsubscribe and stop receiving them. If you don’t want to deal with this, we suggest having a separate email address to use publicly on the web and keeping a more personal email address for private use. If you use a bulk unsubscribe email service, make sure you are using a safe service. Some free services could collect and sell your data. If you are willing to pay for such a service, Clean Email is safe and does not sell its user’s data

6. Check your permissions

Most apps and browser extensions have a list of permissions that you sign off on when you start using that service. Sometimes, permissions are required for a service to work (e.g. A GPS or Maps app needs to access your location data to work). By double-checking the permissions an app has access to, you could be stopping an app from accessing certain data it doesn’t have to access.
Similarly, if you have smart speakers at home such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can control if they store any of your audio recordings and if they send them to their server. You can also control other privacy settings and permissions with these devices. Check out privacy control for Amazon Alexa here and for Google home here.

7. Use tracking blockers

A tracker blocker is software or browser app that limits programmatic trackers on websites recording a user’s online activity. Brands and Big Tech often use captured browsing data to build a profile to personalize and target digital ads to a user. A tracking blocker halts sites from being able to gather third-party information such as page views, clicks, and visits in order to better preserve your privacy.

8. Password protection

It seems so simple, use a different complex password for each account. Despite many of us knowing this, we fail to do so. Still, best password practices dictate that you should use a different password for each account. It is also wise to never use single word passcodes like “Password1”. Mix it up with letters, and numbers and try to avoid using personal information like birthdays or family members names. If you need to, use a secure password manager to help you remember.

9. Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is becoming more prevalent by the day. Platforms like gmail and banking services are beginning to ask for another form of security when logging in. This means adding your phone number or a backup email and typing in a temporary code. It is another way to protect your online accounts against phishing scams.

Feeling Secure

If you’re doing all of these things, you’re in a really good place regarding data privacy. Even adding a couple of these suggestions can help secure your data and limit access to the information companies have about you, which they then often sell for advertising purposes.
At Invisibly, holding ourselves accountable to the rights of the people using our platform is not a matter of a T&Cs check-box. It’s fundamental to our business mission, purpose and business model. Learn more about how you can use your data in new ways to unlock premium content with Invisibly today.
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