If you think you are safe online, think again. NSA is spying on you, search engines and websites are spying on you. Your Internet service provider knows everything you do online and can give this data to the government (or someone who pays better). That guy you’ve made fun of in school has probably tuned hacker and spies on you to plot revenge. The point is that you aren’t safe, and if you want to have at least a semblance of privacy, you’ll need to use certain digital security tips and tricks that’ll make your data harder to steal.
5 Digital Security Tips That Will Keep the World from Spying On You
1. Encrypt all your communications
Encryption software should become your best friend if you want to avoid online surveillance. Use solutions that can encrypt all your outgoing communications. Off-the-record messaging works similarly for instant messaging services and allows both yourself and your friends to be safe from someone’s prying.
2. Use VPN
VPN or Virtual Private Network is a solution that will encrypt all your outgoing traffic and reroute it through servers located all over the world. At the moment, it’s one of the best digital security tools to use if you don’t want anyone else to see what you are doing online.
Switch VPN is an advanced VPN solution that can help you not only avoid internet surveillance but also go through geo-blocks on restricted content. This means that a VPN app is a must when you are using public Wi-Fi as it gives you protection. It’s just as important to use when you are traveling and want to keep enjoying geo-locked TV and sports streaming services.
3. Use Tor
‘Use Tor’ is the king of all digital security tips today. The Tor Network is the ‘Dark Side’ of the Internet. The Tor browser is nearly impossible to crack. And using Tor Project solutions overall can give you the highest level of digital security. Combining that with a VPN will make you as ‘unspyable’ as it’s possible to get today.
4. Encrypt your hard drive (for good measure)
Every Win or Mac user should take some time to study a guide to full hard drive encryption. Actually, you should have one provided with the OS of your computer/laptop. Today, you can encrypt either a hard drive in its entirety or certain files on it. This will be a bit time consuming, but that’s time very well spent.
Bear in mind that being all-out paranoid and encrypting everything will bring down the PC performance. Therefore, in some cases, it might be best to have two hard drives. One for storing important data that must be protected, and one for doing other stuff.
5. Embrace the paranoia
If there’s any extra security measure offered by the service, use it. Two-step authentications offered by Google, Twitter, and Dropbox come to mind. You also need to exercise a healthy dose of paranoia when downloading any files or clicking on links.
Never download a file if you aren’t 100% sure in its sender. And it’ll be best to run all kinds of malware checks on it before opening. You also shouldn’t register with or otherwise leave your personal information on any potentially shady websites. Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with Internet surveillance and cybercrime risks.
Is Internet Surveillance Really That Bad?
Not all internet spying is malicious in its nature. Search engines, websites, and providers collect and process this data to help improve their services, like personalized ad targeting. Yet, there is always someone who will decide to sell this supposedly protected data to marketers, give it to the government, or otherwise use it for their own nefarious purposes. There are also hackers to be concerned about.
Therefore, while not all internet surveillance is outright bad, all of it should be avoided just in case.