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3 Smart Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy in 2016

Published on 17 October 16
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It's been a pretty wild time over the last 5 years regarding how the online world has changed and evolved, right?

The web in general is expanding at an astonishingly fast rate, in ever direction imaginable. More online shops; gaming; communicating; living is occurring than ever before.

With all this expansion and world-wide adoption of the internet as a daily tool, it's no surprise that the topic of online privacy and freedom have been thrust to the forefront of news focus.

Between the Snowden and WikiLeak revelations, and the overall increase in hacktivism the world over, understanding how vulnerable your online data privacy truly is at any time is a responsibility you have to take seriously.

With this in mind I want to quickly offer 3 tips and tools that I personally see as being essential fundamentals when it comes to arming your laptop and other internet-connected devices with privacy-protection.


1. Get a trusted Anti-Virus: I suggestAvast


You want to arm yourself with a trusted and well-reputed anti-virus software to have constantly running in the background in all your devices.


Anti-virus software has definitely gotten a bad rep of late, since many of them have been known to slow down devices and overly "annoy" users by constantly sending notifications and warnings. However, Taking the time to research a legitimate anti-virus software is worth the payoff of having a device that is protected to a high level against increasingly sophisticated virus attacks.


You have a huge amount of anti-virus software providers to choose from nowadays, many of which will give you a solid level of protection. I recommend Avast simply for the reason that I have used them firsthand and have had a positive experience both in protection and usability.


2. Password Management: I suggest1password

Here's a fun little experiment to do with your friends. Next time you see one of them online, ask them if they know exactly how many different accounts they have for various products, services, subscriptions, etc. I guarantee they won't be able to answer accurately (for having so many!) This experiment proves its point when you then ask your friend whether they can remember every password for each account. They will either say no because they use so many different passwords, or even worse, they'll say yes because they use the same password for all their accounts.


Both circumstances are very unsafe and poor "privacy practice", since on the one hand your friend has no logical, efficient management of the many passwords they have -- or they have this one password that is essentially a ticking time-bomb to be discovered (easily) by a curious hacker.


The beauty of a password manager is that it solves both these problems in a simple and secure way. By using one, you can store all the different passwords you use for your accounts and have them all protected by using a "master" password, which you make extra-super-duper-crazy difficult.


As with anti-virus software providers, there are many password managers to choose from. I suggest using 1password purely because I personally use it and find it to be incredibly well designed and constantly updated regularly.


3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Using a VPN is pretty much a necessity in today's privacy-compromised online world.


A VPN is a really simple yet sophisticated way of encrypting every single moment of your online activity. This encryption essentially makes it impossible for any third party to monitor your online activity and connect it to your personal identity/location.


The secondary benefit of using a VPN is that it gives you a large amount of online freedom. This means that regardless of where you are in the world at any time, you can open your VPN and choose a location that you would like your device to "appear" from within.


VPNs are really straight forward to setup on any device you use that connects to the internet. It is a very light piece of software, which means it can travel with you to wherever you decide to locate yourself in the world.


As you can guess, there are many VPN service providers out there that offer differing levels of encryption (thus privacy levels) at various levels of pricing. To make the best decision for your personal budget I recommend checking out a reputable comparison site like Fried.com. Doing so will save you hours of personal research and reviewing of the hundreds of VPN providers available to you.



There you have it. This concludes my quick breakdown of what I feel are the most essential tools to arm your device with before even considering going online once more.

Each of these tools offer you protection over different pieces of your device, which covers many of the most vulnerable parts of your devices from both unwanted monitoring/surveillance and hacking.

I hope this quick guide was useful to you. Do let me know if you have any recommended additional information to include and I will be sure to update this piece regularly.























It's been a pretty wild time over the last 5 years regarding how the online world has changed and evolved, right?

The web in general is expanding at an astonishingly fast rate, in ever direction imaginable. More online shops; gaming; communicating; living is occurring than ever before.

With all this expansion and world-wide adoption of the internet as a daily tool, it's no surprise that the topic of online privacy and freedom have been thrust to the forefront of news focus.

Between the Snowden and WikiLeak revelations, and the overall increase in hacktivism the world over, understanding how vulnerable your online data privacy truly is at any time is a responsibility you have to take seriously.

With this in mind I want to quickly offer 3 tips and tools that I personally see as being essential fundamentals when it comes to arming your laptop and other internet-connected devices with privacy-protection.

1. Get a trusted Anti-Virus: I suggest – Avast

You want to arm yourself with a trusted and well-reputed anti-virus software to have constantly running in the background in all your devices.

Anti-virus software has definitely gotten a bad rep of late, since many of them have been known to slow down devices and overly "annoy" users by constantly sending notifications and warnings. However, Taking the time to research a legitimate anti-virus software is worth the payoff of having a device that is protected to a high level against increasingly sophisticated virus attacks.

You have a huge amount of anti-virus software providers to choose from nowadays, many of which will give you a solid level of protection. I recommend Avast simply for the reason that I have used them firsthand and have had a positive experience both in protection and usability.

2. Password Management: I suggest – 1password

Here's a fun little experiment to do with your friends. Next time you see one of them online, ask them if they know exactly how many different accounts they have for various products, services, subscriptions, etc. I guarantee they won't be able to answer accurately (for having so many!) This experiment proves its point when you then ask your friend whether they can remember every password for each account. They will either say no because they use so many different passwords, or even worse, they'll say yes because they use the same password for all their accounts.


Both circumstances are very unsafe and poor "privacy practice", since on the one hand your friend has no logical, efficient management of the many passwords they have -- or they have this one password that is essentially a ticking time-bomb to be discovered (easily) by a curious hacker.


The beauty of a password manager is that it solves both these problems in a simple and secure way. By using one, you can store all the different passwords you use for your accounts and have them all protected by using a "master" password, which you make extra-super-duper-crazy difficult.

As with anti-virus software providers, there are many password managers to choose from. I suggest using 1password purely because I personally use it and find it to be incredibly well designed and constantly updated regularly.

3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Using a VPN is pretty much a necessity in today's privacy-compromised online world.

A VPN is a really simple yet sophisticated way of encrypting every single moment of your online activity. This encryption essentially makes it impossible for any third party to monitor your online activity and connect it to your personal identity/location.

The secondary benefit of using a VPN is that it gives you a large amount of online freedom. This means that regardless of where you are in the world at any time, you can open your VPN and choose a location that you would like your device to "appear" from within.


VPNs are really straight forward to setup on any device you use that connects to the internet. It is a very light piece of software, which means it can travel with you to wherever you decide to locate yourself in the world.

As you can guess, there are many VPN service providers out there that offer differing levels of encryption (thus privacy levels) at various levels of pricing. To make the best decision for your personal budget I recommend checking out a reputable comparison site like Fried.com. Doing so will save you hours of personal research and reviewing of the hundreds of VPN providers available to you.

There you have it. This concludes my quick breakdown of what I feel are the most essential tools to arm your device with before even considering going online once more.

Each of these tools offer you protection over different pieces of your device, which covers many of the most vulnerable parts of your devices from both unwanted monitoring/surveillance and hacking.

I hope this quick guide was useful to you. Do let me know if you have any recommended additional information to include and I will be sure to update this piece regularly.

This blog is listed under Data & Information Management and Networks & IT Infrastructure Community

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  1. 18 October 16
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    Thank you for sharing the tools. The tools were helpful

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