What is Digital Privacy?
And Why Privacy Matters…
Digital privacy is when you can use the internet and connected devices without compromising your information. Different people have different comfort levels when it comes to digital privacy.
One person may be comfortable sharing their name, employer, home address and more on the web, while another may be uncomfortable with any of their information on the web. Digital privacy then, is when the information available online about a given person is within his or her comfort zone.
People are willingly handing over their data to social media and search companies. When you create social media profiles or post to social media, all of that information gets stored on the site’s servers. It’s not just these companies that could potentially access your information. Social media companies share your information with third parties, like Cambridge Analytica in Facebook’s case.
Because your usage data is stored in a way that is linked to your personal details, if a hacker accesses it, you are at risk. No matter how much you trust Facebook, or Twitter, or Google with storing your information, if a third party uses it, hackers could access your information from that third party.
“We create our own digital trails that hackers and companies alike capture and use for a variety of marketing and advertisement targeting.”
True Privacy Means Control Over Your Data
Privacy means that not only do other people not have unwanted access to your information, but also that you can also control what data is public and what stays private. Many services on the internet require users to consent to broad privacy policies in their entirety to use a service. This is not a user-friendly, privacy focused model.
Threats to Online Privacy
More Widespread Tracking
Companies like Facebook running the internet’s largest advertising networks use tracking to collect user data. This data is how they implement very specific ad targeting. The more smart devices you use, the more ways these companies have to collect your information.
Authoritarian governments around the world are some of the worst offenders for tracking their citizen’s internet activity. If these governments are able to continue their privacy-invasive tracking, privacy on a global scale may remain a distant reality.
How To Stay More Private on The Internet
Use A Private Search Engine
Private search engines don’t collect and store you information like big search engines do. The biggest search engines on the internet also operate some of the largest advertising networks on the internet.
Why Should You Use a Private Search Engine?
- No tracking of your searches or personal information
- No filter bubble effect
- User-friendly data practices
- Neutral, unbiased search results
Use Search Encrypt’s Private Search Engine
Search Encrypt is a privacy based search engine. It is built with privacy-by-design, which means it was made to emphasize user privacy. We want our private search engine to provide great search results, without compromising our user’s information. Search Encrypt helps you search the web without leaving your personal data behind.
Use Privacy Based Extensions
These extensions all work differently to protect your privacy. Some block tracking scripts on websites you visit. Others, like Blur, help create and store stronger passwords.
VPNs keep your IP address hidden by redirecting your internet connection through virtual networks. One thing to note about VPNs is that you should choose a reputable one. Otherwise you may just be sharing your internet behavior with another company.
Read More About Privacy: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Internet Safety & Privacy
Search Encrypt believes that delivering useful products on the internet is possible without sacrificing users’ privacy. Unfortunately, many of the most powerful companies in the world have made data collection and aggregation central to their business models.
Europe recently adopted new privacy laws, but the rest of the world has yet to follow suit. Hopefully new regulations around the world will emphasize the importance of keeping user data private.
According to the World Economic Forum, “too much of [GDPR] is premised on the idea that data sharing itself is bad.” Data sharing is not bad, however if people have no control over how their data is shared then it becomes a problem.
Privacy Is About Control
True privacy gives users the ability to totally control their data, as far as what gets collected or publicized.
If people know their activities are being monitored, they may act differently due to that knowledge. This gives governments and other surveillance organizations control over people’s behavior. Privacy gives people power to act as they please.
“We become more cautious, more refrained in our actions, less creative — simply put, as human beings, we were not built to function like this.”
Source: Fort Knoxster
If you decide that privacy is something you care about, we recommend that you pay close attention when signing up for services on the internet. Opt for privacy-focused websites and tools rather than the popular tools that monetize your data profile.
Originally published at choosetoencrypt.com on June 18, 2018.
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