Given the amount of big data which is collected on you on a daily basis every time you tap, view or scroll, it is perfectly understandable for one to be slightly paranoid on the information which is collected on you (and you should be!)
After all, in a world where social media giants, your Internet Service Provider, advertising firms and just about anyone who has the means to, are not only collecting your data but analysing it to build a profile on you. You are but a figure in their profit machine. And the better they can understand about the way you behave online, the better the targeted ads they can serve you online based on what you are looking at.
It can often feel like as a simple consumer like ourselves, we are drowning in a world where our privacy is robbed from us without much of our say in the matter. Nevertheless, if you feel unhappy with the invasion of your online personal space, there are ways for one to have some control over it.
Some of these methods might be slightly more radical for some users, but after-all, you did claim to be a paranoid parrot did you not?
By now you are most probably aware of the whole Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle. And if you have not, you can read a brief overview of it here.
In fact, The Guardian even came up with a piece listing 25 reasons why Mark Zuckerberg has got to go.
Facebook owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, some of the biggest apps that you are using out there. You might have also heard on their plans to integrate their message service across these platforms.
What this means for Facebook is comprehensively linking user data across the three platforms to help in its targeted advertising.
(Read also: 5 Ways To Anonymously Browse Facebook)
Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr etc. Not saying these are any safer than Facebook when Twitter admits to keeping a list of all your interests.
But then again, there are private accounts and there are public accounts. Want a life of privacy? Privatise everything.
If you want to go one step further, create new non-identifiable accounts which do not have any real information about yourself.
We are a big advocate for two-factor authentication (2FA), but provided it is done the right way.
Yes there are ‘damaging’ ways to do 2FA even if you mean well, and this guide recommends the safest ways to do it would be by USB security keys or registering your Android phone as a security key.
Again, if you want to take this technique one step further, you can get yourself a disposable phone for any of your 2FA setups, or also consider an app called Burner to get a virtual phone number for receiving texts.
If you are online, half your time would probably be on your browser to surf the WWW. There are plenty of options to consider if you value your privacy.
Sorry Alexa. But if you are serious about keeping your privacy to a maximum, that would mean getting rid of any smart home products or Internet of Things devices. Any appliance, speaker, electronic, vacuum, robot goldfish that is connected to the internet is susceptible to attacks.
Encryption should come by default with the message app you choose for communication. There are plenty out there these days, so it is no excuse not to be making use of them. Here are a couple popular ones:
Not to toot our own horns, but seriously, you cannot possibly want to take control over your online privacy without using a VPN. Everyone should be using a VPN even if they were not die-hard privacy advocates. It forms the basic encryption for all your online activities and protects your identity while you are online.
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