Imagine someone walking around with information about you: who you are, what you like, where you plan to travel, what weird questions you’ve asked within the last hour – creepy, right?
Well, as long as you use the Internet, your data is amassed by browsers and websites. Data is an especially valuable commodity now, because it allows advertisers, governments, and other institutions a glimpse of who you are and what you’re up to.
However, this doesn’t mean there is no way to keep yourself and your privacy safe. Here are a few easy measures you can take for browsing online:
1. Get rid of your cookies
Cookies (not the baked goods kind) are small text files that store information like the website name, user I.D., how long you use a site, or even your setting preferences. This makes browsing easier so you don’t have to log-in data repeatedly, but it also creates a record of you that third-parties may track – so delete your cookies whenever possible.
2. Go incognito
Your browser setting probably has an incognito or private browsing mode, which automatically deletes your browsing history, cookies, and other information after you use it. However, your activity may still be visible to the websites you visit, the internet service provider, or the network controller. Still, it offers a level of protection for you when you’re browsing online.
3. Install some precautionary software
Using ad-blockers, cookie cleaners, virtual private networks (VPN), or even browsers like Duck Duck Go would go a longer way to protect you and your data. These offer additional measures to keep your information private. Make sure to download from a legitimate source, though, or else you might get a virus!
This article is part of the Banker’s Association of the Philippines’ (BAP) #CyberSafe campaign, where the BAP aims to promote awareness towards cybersecurity. As part of the campaign, new posts will be uploaded every Wednesday and Sunday, tackling common web security questions and issues.
For more content on cybersecurity, visit the BAP Official YouTube channel.