Keeping your online information safe and secure
We are all aware that the use of the Internet is monitored – from the fact that the US national Security Agency which approved data analysis of “suspicious” individuals to Facebook’s approval of the use of images, photos and likes of its customers for advertising products of its investors. So, it is no surprise that the question of privacy and personal data protection is becoming so important these days.
According to several surveys conducted in the past year, about 2/3 of Internet users are now more worried about privacy than they were one year ago. Almost the same number of people say that they probably won’t allow websites to monitor their current location and more than 85% will think twice before they click on an online ad. When it comes to the greatest fears of people who use the Internet – about 94% of people are concerned when they are shopping online, 90% when they are use online banking, 90% when they use the social networks etc.
So what is involved in keeping your online information safe? It is good to point out that there are few ways in which we can protect personal information and some of them are offline while others are online methods. Some of the steps are very simple, but some of them take some time and need certain expertise in order to be understood and applied.
According to the experts there are three basic reasons why people want to protect their online privacy, The first one is hiding from aggressive sellers of products and services that often exceed the limits of reasonable business relationships. Another reason is the personal safety. Finally, there is a group of people who are afraid that they are or were targeted by security services or similar services.
It is very difficult and sometimes expensive to achieve full privacy. However, reasonable privacy that minimized and reduces our impact (leaving our traces online) is easier to achieve today than ever before. All of the information on the Internet and the traces we left can be classified into three categories:
– Data that are collected implicitly – they are following our online activity when viewing different pages
– Data that is explicitly collected – for example, providing electronic address when signing up for certain online service
– Publicly available information about you (home address, phone number etc.) that are available on your Facebook or Twitter profile, public posts, court registries and other state records that are publicly available.
Of course, the first step to reduce your online trace is to understand who is monitoring. The next step is to understand the risks of the activities you take in order to protect yourself from certain person or organization. You need to know what exactly you want to protect – is it your Facebook profile or maybe you suspect that someone is reading your email? The more data you want to protect the more work you will have. If you want to hide your complete internet traffic and your identity you will have to use VPN all the time. So, how can we leave minimal traces on the Internet?
The easiest way is to know and decide what’s private. There is a traditional definition of personal identifiable information (insurance number, credit card number etc.) which is a little bit outdated. Data that were not considered to be PII are now very personal and they need to be protected too. Once you determine what’s private and what’s not you can start taking some measures. However, if you want to skip this part and use a bullet-proof solution then you can always count on VPN services.
Virtual Private Network or VPN is a private communication network used for communication within a public network and it is designed to allow connection between computers that are located in different geographical locations creating one local area network. VPN acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet server, directing all of your activity through their own small tunnel in the Internet. All the data that go through this tunnel are encrypted. In other words, the potential intruders won’t be able to access your information or to find out what you are doing. This is a perfect solution to keep your online information safe and to access websites and services that are restricted due to your location. VPN masks your original IP address and provides a new one that can also act as a foreign address if needed.
If you are looking for a reliable VPN service provider, sign up to ZoogVPN for free.