Nothing can be more infuriating than having your privacy breached. Unfortunately given the highly connected world that we live in, this is in fact the reality.
Social media companies like Facebook collate and process our personal data to develop targeted advertisements that feel a little too personal.
Besides that, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed how social media companies and governments collaborate with one another to shape your world views. Over the years, social media has conditioned most of us to be comfortable with sharing just a little too much.
Whether you’re venting about a bad day at work or posting a comment on a news article, you can very well bet that you’re being watched. From employers looking for some additional info or your own government, the digital age has turned information into a commodity with us being the resource.
Despite sounding a little on the alarmist side, this doesn’t mean that you need to lock yourself away and cut off all contact with the outside world. Far from it actually. Social media does have its fair share of benefits such as allowing us to stay connected with loved ones and family members from anywhere around the world.
Before you delete all of your social media accounts, let’s take a look at how you can protect your privacy when you’re online.
- Use a decentralized messaging app
Instant messaging services have come a long way in recent times.
Most of us would have started with services like MSN Messenger, Yahoo, and mIRC. You just needed an internet connection and a personal computer to start sending messages, images, and even music to your friends.
Any attempt at placating the general public is simply a ruse and it will only be a matter of time before our private chat logs are made available to governments and companies around the world.
This is why some entrepreneurs have taken matters into their own hands by developing decentralized messaging apps such as Dust and Tezro. Rather than processing data via a central server, decentralized instant messengers rely on blockchain technology and peer-to-peer encryption to protect data.
Additional features include automated message deletion and message recall. The unique selling point of these applications is that they are designed to facilitate anonymous messaging. Thus making it pointless for service providers to profit from the sale of such information.
Of course, there is still the real issue of data leakages and hack attacks – which brings us to our next point.
- Make use of a VPN
The internet is one feature of daily life that the majority of us tend to take for granted. Wireless internet and mobile data lets you send cat videos to your friends whilst searching for avocado toast recipes on the internet.
What most of us fail to appreciate is how personal all of this information is. An individual’s internet search history often reveals much more than he/she would care to reveal.
From bank details to political leanings, we have a right to keep that data private. However, hackers and your government do not think so.
This is why VPNs or virtual private networks have become so popular in recent times. VPNs encrypt your personal data and obscure your IP address – thus making you nearly impossible to track and keeping your data safe.
- Use cryptocurrencies
While cryptocurrencies are largely seen as investments nowadays, the true value of decentralized currencies such as Bitcoin lies in the pseudo anonymity that they offer.
Because cryptos are not issued by any central monetary authority and do not pass through the traditional banking system, they allow transfers to be processed with a certain degree of anonymity.
This is why Bitcoin was the primary medium of exchange on the Silk Road and deep web. While government scrutiny has increased over the years, digital currencies such as Monero and DASH are specially designed to keep your identity a secret.
Thus when performing transactions over the internet, you may want to consider making the switch to cryptocurrencies.
Given the highly connected nature of today’s modern world, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Make use of VPNs and decentralized messaging apps to keep your data hidden whilst keeping your identity hidden on the internet by making payments in cryptocurrency.