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New Year Resolution #1: Take back your Privacy

This is post is part of New Year Resolution and how to achieve them series..

Cyber crime is increasing day-by-day and has become a multi billion industry. Cyber attacks coming in various forms and are designed to not only target technological weaknesses, but also exploit people.So its essential to take steps and beware,take preventive steps to stay secure in digital world.

#1.Use DuckDuckGo search instead of Google Search

DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you.It don’t store your personal information neither the search history is stored  therefore they have nothing to sell to advertisers that track you across the internet.Private Browsing mode is also available.

DuckDuckGo Search Engine

Image – DuckDuckGo Search Engine

Key Features :

  • Escape Advertising Tracker Networks — DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Protection will block all the hidden trackers it can find, exposing the major advertising networks tracking you over time, so that you can track who’s trying to track you.
  • Increased Encryption Protection — DuckDuckGo force sites to use an encrypted connection where available, protecting your data from prying eyes, like ISPs.
  • Search Privately — You share your most personal information with your search engine, like your financial, medical, and political questions. What you search for is your own business, which is why DuckDuckGo search doesn’t track you. Ever.
  • Privacy Grade rating – DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser shows you a Privacy Grade rating when you visit a website. This rating lets you see how protected you are at a glance. The Privacy Grade is scored automatically based on the prevalence of hidden tracker networks, encryption availability, and website privacy practices.

If you still want to use Google Search then you can consider turning off your Google Search Tracking and Location history by below steps

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  1. Login to Google Ads Settings page and turn off ‘Ads Personalization’.This setting applies across all of your signed-in devices and across all Google services.
    Turn off Google Ads Personalisation

    Image – Turn off Google Ads Personalisation


  2. From Google MyActivity Tool,you can Turn off Location History.Please note this setting saves where you go with your devices to give you personalised maps, recommendations based on places that you’ve visited.In the same page,you can consider switching off Youtube search,watch history.
    Turn off Google Location History

    Image – Turn off Google Location History


  3. Next item on our list would be Shared Endorsements,you can visit this page to disable based on your choice.Shared endorsements is basically Google recommends certain products from others.This works based upon your activity, Google may show your profile name, profile photo and activity in shared endorsements that appear in ads.

#2.Turn off Location Data

In Windows 10, all you have to do is head over to the privacy settings and turn it off. The following steps should get you started.

  1. Start Settings app, and hit the Privacy sub-module.
  2. Under the Location sub-setting, turn the toggle marked with the word “location” to Off. Here’s a screenshot:
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    Turn off Windows 10 Location

    Image – Turn off Windows 10 Location


You can turn location mode on or off for your Android device.As explained in the earlier section,You can turn off Location History from Activity Controls. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored. When you turn off Location History for your Google Account, it’s off for all devices associated with that Google Account.

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#3.Turn “Do Not Track”

By default,when you browse the web on computers or Android devices, websites track your browsing data. Instead you can you can send a request to websites not to collect.”Do Not Track” option is in your browser, it’s turned off by default.

However, this setting would be effective based on how a website responds to the request. Many websites will still collect and use your browsing data.

In Chrome,you can enable “Do Not Track” by below steps :

  1. On your browser,visit chrome://settings to open Settings Page/Dialog
  2. At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.
  3. Under “Privacy,” check ,Send a “Do Not Track” request with your browsing traffic.

#4.Force sites to use HTTPS

For Google Chrome,consider using HTTPS Everywhere plugin, it changes thousands of sites to HTTPS from the non-secure HTTP. So, it can protect from a lot of threats such as privacy hijacking, frauds and some kinds of surveillance that is present, almost everywhere.

If you’re concerned about online privacy,you should definitely checkout our Chrome recommended extensions.

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#5.Use Incognito Mode

With Incognito Mode,Google Chrome doesn’t remember your activity, you can browse the web privately.This ensures that your browsing history, cookies and site data, or information entered in forms are note stored.Use Ctrl + Shift + n to open new incognito window.

#6.Use Adblock Plugins

Use Adblock Plus or similar plugins,it can cleans web pages, by removing advertisements from sidebars and everywhere else. The free plugin can block various kinds of ads, such as animated ads, pop-ups & pop-unders, Facebook ads etc. Also, there is an impressive level of protection from tracking and malware.

#7.Use Secure Messaging App

Use apps like Signal,this is free & Open Source project.There are no ads, no affiliate marketers, no creepy tracking. Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted to keep your communication safe.On top of it,you send messages that you can set to disappear.

Signal App

Image – Signal App

#8.Unsubscribe/delete from old accounts you have signed up

Use like service to find out what you have signed up and either you can delete or unsubscribe from them.It lets you see all of the websites you’re signed up to or have accounts for and asks if you’d like to delete them or unsubscribe. It asks for your email address and password so it can scan for the sites you’re signed up to.

Use to unsubscribe/delete your online presence

Image – Use to unsubscribe/delete your online presence

#9.Use Disposable email address

Disposable email addresses helps to protect you from spam mails and could be useful when subscribing to forums or newsletters.You can look at 5 BEST Chrome extensions for creating disposable email addresses here.

Spam messages currently account for 59.56 percent of e-mail traffic worldwide.If you’re looking for BEST disposable email services,its here.

#10.Use Secure VPN

VPN provides you with a secure and private connection,it keeps your IP address private from websites, hackers and advertisers.Additionally some VPN services provides you with AES 256-bit encryption or more that shields your personal information from prying third-parties and hackers on public WiFi, ISPs and other local networks.

TunnelBear VPN is the one of the easy to use VPN. It secures your internet connection through an encrypted tunnel to locations around the world. TunnelBear can be used to protect you and your privacy, hide your real IP address, bypass internet censorship, and to experience the internet as people in other countries experience it. You can tunnel with your private TunnelBear VPN from just about anywhere in the world, as long as you are connected to the internet. You can tunnel to any of our 20+ server locations.

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TunnelBear allows unpaid users to use 500MB per month. Your data will renew monthly on the same day you last signed in or signed up. Data that is not used in the previous month does not roll over to the next month.

You can also use NordVPN with which you can connect to more than 5000 fast VPN servers in 60 countries. Using secure VPN connection your private data is safe with military-grade encryption.

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You can also use Opera browser which has inbuilt free,unlimited VPN service.To activate the free VPN for the first time, enable it in Menu -> Settings -> Privacy -> VPN.Opera’s VPN can also be used in a private browsing window.

Opera VPN

Image – Opera VPN

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For other posts on this series,check out here,here & here..

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New Year Resolution #1: Take back your Privacy
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