4 Ways to Maintain Data Privacy

According to an analysis performed by Lucidworks in 2016, Internet users worldwide generate 7.5 septillion gigabytes of data every day, and that number is sure to have grown since then. Where does all that data go? In most cases, that data goes into the pockets of corporations, advertisers, ISPs, and even cybercriminals.

And while most of the collected data is labeled “dark data,” data that goes unused by its collectors, it’s scary to think about how many third parties have access to your data in the first place. Today, let’s go over a few ways you can take your data back; how you can protect your data from ISPs and cybercriminals alike.

How to Keep Your Data Private

1. Connect to Networks With a VPN

Public networks represent a significant security hurdle for many users. After all, remote workers may rely on public networks to get their work done, but public networks are the least secure networks around. Even the FTC recommends against using a public network if possible.

However, users can combat a public network’s lack of security with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). See, VPNs offer unlimited data encryption, a counter to public networks’ complete lack of encryption. With a VPN, your device’s data is encrypted, your presence on the network anonymized.

All it takes to keep your data secure on public networks is a free VPN trial! It’s worth taking a look at, even if you’ll only use said VPN for a few days out of the month.

2. Avoid Free Apps

There is no such thing as a “free” app. If the app doesn’t require monetary payment, then it’s likely that your data is the fee to use the app. Social media sites like Facebook have popularized that idea among the general population. In other words, free apps come at the cost of your data.

That said, downloading a free app here or there is fine, if not unavoidable. Just make sure that the app in question doesn’t ask for too many permissions. For example, a social media site doesn’t need access to your contacts.

3. Never Share Personal Information Online

In some cases, companies and advertisers don’t need to jump through many hoops to get their hands on your data; your social media profiles can be enough.

Your social media can be a goldmine of data depending on how much personal information you post. Not only does posting personal information forego your privacy, however, but it also gives third parties full permission to look over your social media and steal your data. Try to avoid posting as much personal information as possible.

4. Download an Anti-Malware Program

Malware comes in many forms, and it just so happens that most of those forms are designed to collect data and breach your privacy. Spyware, for example, lies in the background of your device, collecting as much data as possible.

To prevent malware-related data breaches from occurring, download an anti-malware program and enable auto-scan. Auto-scan ensures that your device experiences routine scans to root out any possible malware infections before they grow into something more serious.

Stay Safe

Data is today’s gold, which means many companies, advertisers, and cybercriminals are out to get yours. But with these four steps, you can go a long way in securing your data.