We live in the age of government tracking, information gathering, and non-existent privacy. Even knowing this, it doesn’t stop people from using Facebook, Twitter, or location services to show other people where they are and when. It’s very easy to put yourself out there, but a lot of people think it’s very hard to stay secure. “Why even bother,” is a common approach. But if you’re looking to pull back a bit, it’s not as hard as you might think to reign in your internet trail. There’re plenty of reasons to do so–like keeping your data private, stop malicious tracking or login attempts, or even preventing account compromises.
Here’re eight ways to upgrade your digital security:
1. Anonymous VPN Service
A good anonymous VPN service hides your IP address to keep your data secure and encrypted through a virtual private network tunnel. A VPN keeps your IP address hidden so it can’t be tracked, like if you’re downloading, and you don’t want your ISP knowing everything about you. Or if you’re trying to bypass censorship firewalls and maintain a clean digital footprint when traveling abroad–a VPN like TorGuard with Stealth VPN features can be a lifesaver. TorGuard is one of the highest rated VPNs around, with core features including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, DNS leak protection, and IPv6 Leak protection. It also has unlimited speeds and thousands of servers in over 45 countries.
2. Anonymous Proxy Server
Think of a proxy server as a gateway. You have control over proxy settings, which can provide IP masking for a web browser, torrent client, or any other program that supports proxies. A proxy only provides IP masking to one application at a time, and can be helpful when maintaining online anonymity as the server completely masks the original computer’s IP address. It’s especially useful if the computer is in another country to make things even more secure. Consider using TorGuard’s Torrent proxy service, or Anonymous Proxy extension for Chrome web browser.
Proxy servers are an excellent way to add an additional layer of protection. There are different types like HTTP and SSL proxies that hide your IP or encrypt your session while SOCKS proxy servers are great at handling all types of internet traffic including torrents.
3. Encrypted Email
Popular email providers have come a long way with added utility like filters, spam blockers, and general UI improvements to help with security. However, there are additional steps you can take through encryption to ensure your email’s security.
Mailvelope is a popular browser extension for Chrome or Firefox that brings OpenPGP encryption to your email. PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy, and with the data encryption inside that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication, you can be sure you’ll have just that.
Besides the versatile Mailvelope extension, Torguard also offers anonymous email plans that are very affordable and packed full of features like secure G/PGP email encryption, cross-platform use, and end to end security protection.
4. Block Trackers
Are you looking to block internet, trackers? Ghostery is a great extension that “sees the invisible web”. It detects trackers and web bugs placed on web pages from popular websites like Google, Facebook, and many other commonly used sites. It also gives you the ability to block scripts and images on sites.
It’s a very comprehensive addon that even teaches you a little bit about privacy since it includes links to company’s privacy policies. The addon is constantly updated, and comes with a Ghostrank feature that encourages the community to help send anonymous information about trackers to keep the database influential and constantly updated.
5. KILL COOKIES
Cookies, in many ways, are the lifeblood of the internet. They make it so web pages load faster. With cookies, websites can remember your computer to make things more convenient like auto-filling passwords or data. But for the same reasons they are useful, they can also be intrusive. Like anything that tracks, Cookies collect your data and store it–which is not always something that is good. Cookies learn about who you are, what you like, and how long you look at stuff you like. Have you seen those ads that know what you were looking at on Amazon? Well, now you know how!
If you’re looking to clean up your cookie crumbs, then consider downloading CCleanner. It scans your computer similar to a virus scanner and deletes a lot of temporary data like cookies, which you don’t need that clutters up your computer.
6. Ditch Google
Google is extremely powerful, wealthy, and just good. It has a host of useful applications that are all free–and all incredibly fast and reliable. The search engine itself is much better than other alternatives, so it’s not surprising that so many people often have tons of information input and stored into Google’s databases.
It collects your search history to personalize your results, and it also uses your browser cookies as well to serve highly targeted ads. If you don’t like the idea of your information being kept like this, other search engines like DuckDuckGo that don’t store personal information are available.
7. Use a Password Manager
Yes, you probably knew the password cookie123 wasn’t the most secure, but it’s the only thing you can remember! Creating difficult passwords and never using the same password twice can help you from being compromised.
Luckily enough, there are programs designed for people like you that need secure passwords like the rest of us. Either you are too lazy to create and keep records of your own, or maybe you can just appreciate the complexity of keeping so many passwords and would rather isolate them in a secure and encrypted password manager like Keepass. Whatever your reason or preferred method is, complex passwords are important, and password managers are one of the best tools to keep them organized and safe.
8. Use Crypto Currency
Besides doing research on a website before making payments, you can also use cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or litecoin to help protect your personal identity. They don’t require you to enter any private billing info on websites, are easy to use, and secure. There are a lot of websites that can process your transactions from real money to bitcoin, and vice versa like: circle, coinbase, or even localbitcoins. TorGuard accepts over 30 different crypto currencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Darkcoin and more!