The value of privacy has always been significant, whether it was discussed in 2000 or 2021. The only distinction between the decade is that online dangers and data breaches have increased tenfold. It’s not a good time to browse the web without having robust protections backing you up.
Online entities monitor users, predict their activities, and, in some cases, might sway opinions or control feelings. Thus, there is no surprise that more and more users care about their privacy and data. After all, no one wants to be a part of an experiment or have their browsing activities exchanged between different companies.
Moreover, if privacy is your concern, too, this article is a perfect fit. Read more to learn some ways to handle your privacy effectively.
What is digital privacy?
Before you start learning about different ways to stop privacy invasion, you must understand what digital privacy means in the first place.
Digital privacy can be described as your right to keep your online activities private. It controls how much information anyone can share with others about you over the internet. Privacy laws protect every citizen from threats like cyberbullying, identity theft, fraud, etc.
Many of these threats are often blamed on social media companies whose apps collect data without proper security measures for their users.
So, when you’re talking about an individual’s online privacy, each person must make sure they take care of themselves!
Why does privacy matter?
Privacy gives people a sense of freedom and control over their lives. Right to confidentiality means a person can live their life without being afraid or anxious, confident that no one will interfere with what they do privately.
People who don’t have privacy feel threatened everywhere they go. They might be afraid of using online tools, banking services, social media sites, etc., as they’re aware of various risks involved due to the lack of security measures for protecting your data from cybercriminals.
Moreover, if cybercriminals can steal your data and use it against you, they might sell your personal information without your permission. It can cause the feeling of fear amongst people who face such things.
What’s even worse? The government has ways to find out everything about you as well. They have the power to track everything you do online, read all your private messages, monitor your bank transactions, etc.
Therefore, to remove this threat and live freely, everyone requires their part of privacy in their lives.
Internet privacy issues in 2021
Let’s now explore the most prevalent concerns surrounding your internet privacy today.
It’s a known fact that advertisers and other companies build profiles of people who use the internet. They track what sites you visit, what you click on, your inputs, etc., to show you relevant ads over the internet, which is one of the most profitable business models nowadays.
Also, cookie profiling and other techniques are employed to monitor your entire online activities and build a comprehensive profile of your surfing habits. Many individuals don’t care about relevant advertising served to them, but this is a severe invasion of privacy for others.
It’s not just about advertising anymore – your data can be stolen, too. Hackers are constantly trying to breach security standards to get easy access to personal information, which can be used for fraud, identity theft, blackmailing, etc.
No matter how hard you try to protect yourself online, your data still falls into the hands of hackers if they wish so. The Federal Trade Commission has reported that data theft has become a common practice nowadays, with over four point eight million complaints in 2020 alone.
Governments worldwide are using various surveillance methods to keep track of their citizens. It could be anything from tracking your online activities, reading your emails, monitoring your bank transactions, to even recording your phone calls.
How to minimize the invasion of privacy?
Now that we understand why privacy matters and some common ways it’s invaded let’s explore some solutions to this problem.
- Switch to more private browsers. Use browsers with built-in security features and privacy protection measures like Adblocking and No-tracking features. Many of these types of browsers are available, like Tor, Brave, Chromium, and a few other private browsers.
- Customize privacy settings. Be sure to customize the privacy settings of your social media accounts and other online platforms. You can also turn off the Ad personalization on your Google account.
- Use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the server. Encryption created by VPNs makes it difficult for anyone to track your online activities. Thus, you become more private, prevent IP tracking and other attempts to misuse your data or harvest it.
- Multi-factor Authentication. Another good way to secure your online accounts from hackers is by using multi-factor authentication, which requires you to provide more than one form of authentication (like a password and pin) to log in.
Privacy invasion is a huge problem in today’s world and can have severe consequences for individuals and society. However, by being conscious of the dangers and taking some simple precautions, we can all help to stop this invasion from happening.