If you think that because you’re the only one using your own device, you’re maintaining your privacy, you’re wrong. Your personal data belongs to different organizations and unfortunately many organizations make a profit by selling it. In the worst case, this data is leaked by the bad guys to scam or steal from you. To avoid this, you can take three simple precautions.
How do companies use your data?
One of the most appealing aspects of the Internet is free browsing. People love to have access to free apps and services, free trials, etc. Users often don’t realize the ease with which we provide personal data: above all, first name, last name, address only email, address, employer, etc.
In fact, no one reads the privacy policies and terms of service of the websites and the direct consequence is that you allow organizations to do whatever they want with your data, including selling that data to other organizations.
Without realizing it, businesses can put together your complete profile and even understand your interests, tastes and more.
Why data brokers are to blame
Data brokers access your personal data, create detailed profiles of individuals, and then resell them to other companies. There are several types of data brokers, but few people understand that they are much more influential than users think: they are part of a large lucrative industry, and most importantly, relatively few people. know about them.
This benefits them as they are rarely scrutinized, despite numerous complaints and reports with proof of their transactions. The Federal Trade Commission even called on the US Congress to pass legislation to denounce data brokers.
Some organizations mask this situation (access and collect personal data) as a way to provide a better experience for people in general. That way, everything you do on Facebook, Google, Amazon, Instagram, TokTok, etc., is recorded and then used to give you a more “personalized experience”.
That’s why sometimes you get recommendations that match what you were previously searching for on Google or related to the Instagram profile you clicked on the day before. And it is certain that the digital services provided sometimes help us get the best possible experience in exchange for the disclosure of our personal data, however, this makes many people forget that there is risks from these activities.
How to quickly avoid sharing our personal data
There are dozens of ways to help you protect your data: some are easy to apply, while others are time-consuming. Here are the top ways to protect your data that you can do in less than half an hour.
1. Payment for a data erasure service
As you probably know, there is already a lot of your data on the internet and fortunately, there are many ways to delete this data. Of course, this can be an ongoing process of browsing through data brokers and aggregators to request removal of listings. That being said, you can also pay for a data removal service.
Sites like DeleteMe will remove your data from major aggregators and data brokers with a few clicks. Since data brokers will likely continue to collect your data from the websites you use, you may be interested in an annual subscription. This will allow DeleteMe to sift through and delete your data seamlessly.
And remember, data brokers are often hacked, which means your personal information can be used for financial fraud and identity theft. So paying for a data erasure service can also keep you safe from cybercriminals.
2. Browse the Internet anonymously
While browsing, companies detect your activities and take advantage by raising prices. The more commercial sites you refer to — for example, searching for flights — the more expensive the thing you’re looking for — in this case, plane tickets — can become more expensive. Businesses call this “custom pricing” and even “smart pricing”.
The best way to avoid this is to browse the web anonymously (say by using a VPN that cloaks your data) or to use a search engine that won’t collect data, such as DuckDuckGo.
3. Encrypt all your information
Encryption prevents many companies from holding onto your data for marketing purposes and protects you from cybercriminals trying to steal from you. Easy and fast data encryption after you download specific apps.
To get started, you must encrypt the data on your device using Full Disk Encryption (FDE). For Windows, we recommend using BitLocker, while Mac users can try FileVault. While BitLocker will also let you encrypt USBs and all types of external drives, FileVault does not, so Mac users can access Disk Utility to encrypt USBs.
If you use the cloud, you should also use encryption. Boxcryptor is great for most popular cloud storage services, used to encrypt your files before they are uploaded to the cloud, not when they are in the cloud, which makes difference.
Tresorit is also a great alternative that offers End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) for cloud storage. Tresprit’s encryption key is so secure that cloud providers won’t even be able to access your files.
Finally, you can use Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) software to encrypt your email. PGP uses public-private key encryption allowing you to exchange encrypted emails, texts, files, folders, and entire disk partitions. Mailvelope is one of the popular and trusted PGP software, compatible with most email service providers, like Gmail and Yahoo.
Alternatively, for the best security experience, you can create an account with an encrypted email provider. These may include Tutanota, Hushmail and ProtonMail; even some traditional email providers have the ability to encrypt emails. An added benefit is that most of these encrypted email providers won’t be able to read your emails and use an algorithm to target ads at you based on your conversations.
Take the time to secure your data
Every day, we write and receive emails and text messages; We read news and watch videos, and use dozens of online services and apps. Tracking and keeping track of the massive amounts of data we generate is becoming more and more difficult. And if you believe you have nothing to hide, you are wrong.
Unprotected data can be used against you to develop digital profiles that cybercriminals can use to carry out phishing or fraudulent attacks. It can also be used to invade your privacy by displaying advertisements tailored to your interests based on very intimate information. Never underestimate your online worth.
7 Key Features of an Effective Data Security Solution
About the author
https://www.makeuseof.com/easy-ways-secure-data-in-half-hour/ 3 Easy Ways to Secure Your Data in Half an Hour