Online privacy and cyber security

How good were you as a child at playing the game of hide and seek? And what can you do today to hide from a Big Brother watching as you click through websites and from the technology giants that are seeking information about you? In this article, we will cover 5 ways to protect your privacy online.

protect your privacy online

“The Party employs science and technology to curtail human freedom and privacy, and to control human behavior.”

What do you share online?


Your gender and age bracket


Interests and Hobbies


Your location and language

Exposing your online identity

The subject of Privacy has been on the news so many times that for most of us it has become a noise word rather than the buzzword it used to be. Just as we have the ability to read and to question the advertising specials at the supermarkets, yet we still allow ourselves to be drawn in by them, so we become blind to the tools and tricks companies use on the internet to extract valuable data about us. (You can read more about Inattentional blindness in this article.)

I remember, while researching some companies, how I first discovered the tools our competitors were using to track information about website visitors. Not only did these tools collect the visitor count, they also allowed our competitors to match the visitor with both the company and the industry they were from. To do this, they used cookies and other data stored on your computer, all of which are invisible to the human eye.

You may be OK with revealing some of this information, or don’t believe you can become a victim of an online scam as a result of this non-invasive research. And you are correct, to a degree – most of this data gathering is harmless and the end goal for these companies could simply be to learn about the best way to offer you the service you are looking for. But is there a guarantee that this will never lead down a dark alley?

VPN Protection

5 ways to protect your privacy online

One of the ways to protect your online privacy is to use your web browser’s Incognito or inPrivate mode. When you are in Incognito mode, the browser doesn’t save any of your browsing history or cookies. Some websites’ features may not work correctly as a result.
It may not be practical to use the Incognito mode 100% of the time. I, personally, love my 99 open tabs every time I open the browser. However, you can start using it when doing research or simply browsing the net.

Virtual Private Network or VPN is the way to connect your device to a secure ‘tunnel’ before you start browsing the internet. Once connected, not only is your actual location hidden but the data transmitted by your computer is also hidden from public networks.
The VPN solution may come free as part of your Antivirus protection, or it can be installed as separate software or hardware device. You can also connect your entire network to a secure private server on the router level. In this way, any device connected to that network is automatically protected without the need to use any additional software

The cookie policy explains to visitors how their personal data can be used on that website, what kinds of cookies the website uses, and how visitor’s personal data is being tracked and processed. When the cookie acceptance policy comes up, and there is no option to ignore or decline the cookie policy, choose only the necessary cookies. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. Some websites cannot function properly without these cookies.

The latest update to iOS devices includes a very exciting feature that allows users to hide their email address from a variety of webforms and questionnaires. You can also track on which websites you registered the secret email address and remove or delete that email address when it is no longer required. You can use that email address for registrations. However, I would recommend registering a free email address with GMAIL or for all your online logins. By doing this, you separate your primary email address from the one that gets spammed more often. And if that other email account gets hacked your primary account isn’t compromised

Your computer’s operating system, software such as Adobe, Java, Chrome, Office 365, MYOB, and QuickBooks, is just a small list of apps you may have installed on your computer. Together with the Antivirus protection, you need to ensure that the software is up to date and patched (updated) as soon as the hackers discover the vulnerability and software developers release the patch (the update) to the public. It will pay off to have the management of the updates automated. Good Antivirus will also block a potential Spyware from being installed.

In Summary

Like most people, I enjoy going through past memories. One of the first things that comes to mind is opening Mosaic browser – later called Netscape – in 1998.  At that time there were only Internet browsers and no  Internet of Things (IoT)! Life was simpler then. 

Nowadays we connect with people around the world on a daily basis using networks.  We do this without even thinking about it, because being offline seems unimaginable. My passion is to demystify this often daunting process by flagging the right technology and helping people to understand it while staying safe.

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