Privacy is dead. In this age of digital empowerment, privacy is a mere myth. With the ‘digitalisation’ of everyday tasks and increased social media interactions, there is a huge amount of information online. We neither have to record it nor disseminate it. It exists by the virtue of the act of existing online. Both private and public organizations are using this data to their own advantage. Technology in general and the internet in particular have destroyed privacy.
Here’s a little experiment that helped me confirm this. Recently, I logged into my browser with my social media account and then browsed for a product. Following this, I logged into a social media platform and scrolled through my feed. Voila! I noticed ads pertaining to the search query that was just made.
2018 saw numerous data breaches that have exposed the vulnerabilities of online data. With the new year 2019, it is time for change. It is important for us to protect our data online and ensure adequate privacy. January 28 is celebrated as the International Data Privacy Day to increase awareness about the same. The good news is that it is not too late as yet. You still have adequate time to reclaim your privacy.
Tips to increase online privacy:
- Try out the data detox challenge. This challenge will help you by increasing awareness about your online data. It will then help you cleanse out this data.
- Follow the privacy month campaign by Mozilla India on their Twitter handle. In an attempt to increase awareness about privacy, Mozilla is posting daily privacy tips and tricks throughout the month of January.
- Switch to a non-tracking search engine such as DuckDuckGo. This search engine enables you to take control of your personal data. It does so by keeping your search history private and blocking advertising trackers. Switch to a secure browser such as Firefox, Firefox Focus, Brave, or Pale Moon. Use a browser that blocks ads, does not store your data and provides protection against online tracking.
- Protect your smart devices from being misused against you by locking them. Add a password, pin, fingerprint lock or any other screen lock to secure your smart devices.
- Use two-factor authentication(TFA) wherever possible. This technology secures your online accounts by adding a second layer of authentication besides your password.
While governments are trying their best to protect online privacy with measures such as GDPR and privacy rules, you play an equally major role in this. Taking small steps to protect your data can go a long way. The time to take control of your privacy is now.