If you’ve paid any attention to the news lately, you know large data breaches are more common now than they used to be. In a time when practically everyone’s personal details, financial information and even political leanings can be located somewhere on the internet, it’s more important than ever before to keep your information safe. Here are five privacy tools you can use to prevent your private details from falling into the wrong hands. Virtual Private Network
More Information about Privacy
5 Privacy Tools Everyone Should Use
Virtual Private Network
A virtual private network is an effective and very simple way to secure your devices and keep your private information under wraps. A VPN allows you to maintain your privacy even when you communicate over public, unencrypted networks. You can use it to maintain your privacy and security while sending information from your home to your work or while working on the road.
It’s important to note that not all VPN apps are legitimate, and some free options actually collect user data and use it in unscrupulous ways. Instead of using these problematic free apps, choose a reputable VPN subscription that will work with all your devices and operating systems. A quick online search will yield results of effective and trustworthy VPN services.
Antivirus software is important for preserving your privacy and helping you avoid harmful viruses. Antivirus software is a tool that scans your PC (or smartphone) for applications that don’t belong. It is programmed to differentiate between legitimate apps versus malware and viruses. Keep in mind that free antivirus services are usually more harmful than they are helpful. A reputable paid antivirus service is worth the money and can help maintain the safety of your information and systems.
Using a secure browser is important in this day of data breaches and cybercriminals. Think about how much information the average person’s browser holds: passwords, browsing history, usernames and more. It makes sense to protect this information as much as possible by using a privacy-friendly browser. Fortunately, you have a lot of good options available to you, including Firefox, Pale Moon, Waterfox, Tor Browser and Brave. These browsers generally offer a high level of customizable security and don’t collect your private data as extensively as Google Chrome and other popular browsers.
You should never use a browser-based password manager to hold all your passwords, because they could potentially be hacked. However, you can purchase a dedicated password manager to help you organize all your passwords and away from cybercriminals. There are even some free password-manager options that do a good job securing your information, including KeePass, Pitwarden and LessPass. Unfortunately, even if you maintain your passwords in a lock-tight password manager, they can still be obtained in other ways. Massive third-party credential breaches are now uncomfortably common. Between 2016 and 2017, Google found that 12 million credentials (including passwords and usernames) were hacked from massive corporations. What this means for you is that you should frequently change your passwords, even if you use a password manager.
Ad and Malware Blockers
You can use reputable ad blockers to prevent ads and discourage companies from tracking your online activity. There are a variety of ad-blocker types you can choose from, including browser ad-blocker extensions, plug-and-play devices that block all network-level ads, dedicated ad-blocker apps and more. Make sure you research each type extensively before deciding which is the best option for you.