Internet Privacy And Security: How To Protect Your Online Privacy

Friday, December 21, 2018

Personal privacy on the internet entails a lot. Speaking of internet privacy and security; or online privacy, we should be concerned about it.

Our data are being used by these Tech giants, but what do we get in return?

The truth is quickly coming to light. Google, Facebook and others are using you in ways you may not be aware.

These tech giants certainly provide valuable services for connection and collaboration, but in the wake of Google and Facebook’s recent privacy issues, tightening regulations and increased mistrust of Silicon Valley companies, consumers are beginning to understand the true price of ‘free’."  - Mat Travizano, CEO of Grandata and Wibson, writes on - The Tech Giants Gets Rich Using Your Data. What Do You Get In Return?

For this subtle reason, you should be thinking of how to protect your online privacy.

The big question would be: How can I protect my online privacy? How do I remain anonymous on the internet?

There are different ways to protect your online privacy, but first things first, why is online privacy important?

Techno FAQ’s article on the importance of online privacy gives reasons to protect your data online.

Without further ado, let’s delve in the topic proper: Internet Privacy And Security: How To Protect Your Online Privacy.

Using Tor may seem too extreme at a point, but not to worry though, there are better ways to protect online privacy without completely going off the grid.

How To Stay Anonymous Online

Go Incognito

Incognito mode disables the tracking information in your browser and prevents websites from collecting browsing information.


How To Go Incognito On:


  • Click the Option or Menu tab
  • Select New Incognito Window
  • Check for the new incognito icon in the new window


  • Click Menu button
  • Select New Private Window

Internet Explorer

  • Click the gear icon
  • Hover your cursor over the safety option in the dropdown menu
  • Select InPrivate Browsing

Block Third Party Cookies

Another way to be anonymous online is by blocking third party cookies. Cookies are small pieces of data that enable information about you to be remembered by an external site.

Blocking cookies prevents your internet activities from being tracked.

How To Block Third Party Cookies



  • In the top right, click the options button and then Settings
  • At the bottom, click Show advanced settings
  • In the Privacy section, click Content Settings
  • Under the Cookies tab, turn on Block third-party cookies


  • Click the Menu button and select Preferences
  • Click Privacy and Security panel
  • Go to the Cookies and Site Data section
  • Select Block Cookies and Site Data.

Internet Explorer

  • Click the Gear icon
  • Select Internet Options
  • Go to the Privacy tab
  • Under Settings, move the slider to the top to block all cookies.

Tailor Permissions For Website You Access

Make websites access only information you’d want them to see. If you feel uncertain about the safety of a website, then you can change permission options to prevent it from accessing your data.

How To Change Permission Options:

How to protect online privacy


  • To the left of the web address, click the icon, you see: Lock, Info or Dangerous
  • Click Site Settings
  • Change the Permission Settings (including cookies, pop-ups, ads, automatic downloads, location info e.t.c)


  • Click the right arrow at the centre
  • Click More Information
  • Check out the Page Info windows
  • Make adjustments within the Permissions section.

Internet Explorer

  • Click the Gear icon
  • Select Internet Options
  • Navigate to the Security tab, then click the Trusted Sites icon
  • Click Sites to view the current list of trusted websites
  • Websites can be whitelisted and blacklisted from here.

Activate HTTPS Everywhere

With HTTPS, your connection is encrypted, and it’s much harder for anyone to access your info

Use the HTTPS Everywhere extension to ensure you are accessing the HTTPS version of a website where available.

Majority of websites now uses HTTPS.

How To Protect Online Privacy On Social Media Platforms

You might want to consider hiding some of your info on social media… it’s worthwhile.

Recent research conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research suggests that social media users (especially Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat), face a 46% higher risk of account takeover and fraud than those not active on social networks.

So how then do we protect ourselves?


Limit Access To Future Posts

You can limit access to your future posts to ensure that they are only visible to friends. This should reduce the amount of data being collected by facebook.

Followers can see your posts on facebook, even if you don’t wish to befriend them. To prevent this, go to Public Posts > Who can follow me and change from Public to Friends.

How to protect online privacy

Stop People Using Your Personal Info For Finding You

To prevent people from using you personal info for finding you, alter your settings in the Privacy > How people find and connect you.

Prevent Your Name Being Linked With Ads

  • Go to Ads section
  • Under Ads settings, update your settings
  • Select “No one” for ads that include your social actions
  • Save changes

Block Facebook Apps From Accessing Your Data

It's possible to limit and reduce the info that Facebook apps can access. To block such apps:

Go to Preferences > Apps, websites and games menu
Switch from Turned on to turned off



Prevent Twitter From Tracking You


Control how twitter collects and share your data

  • In your Account page, click on Privacy and Security
  • Go to Personalization and data
  • Click an disable all
  • Click on save changes

Stop Including Location Data In Tweets


  • Navigate to Settings and Privacy
  • Under the Tweet location section, uncheck the box of “Tweet with a location”

Stop Twitter From Accessing Your Contacts


  • In the Privacy and Safety menu, scroll down to “discoverability”
  • Uncheck the boxes to stop others from finding you by email address or phone number


Make Your Posts Private

One of the most essential steps to take in protecting info on Instagram is to make your posts private.


From inside the app, click the Settings button and thus toggle “Private account” on.

Prevent Instagram From Sharing Info With Other Social Networking Sites


  • Access the Settings menu, and then select “Linked accounts
  • Unclick all of the accounts you wish to remove

Reduce Profile Info

Instagram only requires you to put a username on your profile. So make your username anonymous, and do not include any other information.


Make Sure Only Your Friends Can Contact You

Snapchat makes it possible for anyone to contact you, but it's probably best to limit this to your friends.

In Order to achieve this, first access your profile tab via the “gear icon”.


Find the Contact me option under the ‘who can’ heading in your settings, and select ‘My friends’.

Select Who You Want To See Your Stories


Click the gear icon, then scroll down to the ‘who can’ section and tap ‘view my story’. You'll then have the option of customizing who sees your stories.

Remove Yourself From The ‘Quick Add’ Section

‘Quick Add’ enables you to be added to the friends list of mutual friends.


To disable this setting, locate the ‘gear icon’ > Show me’ in ‘Quick add’ and then turn it off.

Move Private Snaps Saved In Your Memories To My Eyes Only”


How To Stay Anonymous On Your Phone

Checkpoint investigated 850 organizations that utilizes mobile regularly in their operations. And 100% of them had experienced a mobile attack.

It's no rocket science that mobile phones are carriers of very sensitive data, so you ensure that activities on your phones are well protected.

Let's see how you can protect online privacy on mobile phones…


Remove Website From Tracking Data in Safari

With the right settings, you'll able to remove Apple's capabilities of tracking data while you surf the web.


  • Launch Settings from your home screen
  • Go to Safari > Preferences
  • Scroll down to Privacy and Security
  • Enable “Prevent cross-site tracking
  • Enable ‘Ask websites not to track me’
  • Click on ‘Clear History and Website Data’

Block Ad Tracking

Limit Apple's ability to see what you search for on your iPhone or iPad, with the goal of tailoring the ads you see on your apps…


  • Launch settings from your home screen
  • Tap Privacy > Advertising
  • Tap the switch next to “Limit ad tracking


Opt Out Of Ads Personalization

You can prevent Google from providing advertisers info about you. Info such as location and what apps you're using.


  • Go to Settings > Google
  • Select the ‘Ads’ option
  • Swipe ‘opt-out of ads personalization’ to disable it

Disable Google Backup

Preventing Google from backing up info regarding your device, including call history, apps and even what wi-fi network you're connected to


  • Go to Settings > Clouds and Accounts
  • Click on ‘backup and restore’
  • Disable ‘backup my data

Encrypt Your Phone

If your android phone is not encrypted by default, head to Settings > Encryption. You should an option to encrypt phone.


Rounding Up…

An online survey by the Harris Poll earlier this year (2018) determined that approximately 60 million Americans have been impacted identity theft.

With people all over the world suffering from personal data leaks, and the consequences of this being so serious, can you really afford to be complacent any longer?

And remember…

The rules on how to protect online privacy changes all the time, so make sure you recheck your permissions on a regular basis.

What's your opinion?

Do you think some of the steps to protect online privacy are a bit extreme or maybe not good enough?

Share your thoughts by commenting… and don't forget to hit the share button.

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