Ever heard of a website called Failbook.com? It’s when people get a little too personal on Facebook, get busted, and then people laugh at them. It’s pretty sad, but it shows the consequences of being too open in a space where people can see everything that you do. And with the way Facebook is changing their privacy options all the time, you can never be sure what people can see and what they can’t see.
I don’t know about you, but the more connected I get, the more I want privacy of my personal information. I want privacy for my birthday, privacy for my school data, and privacy for my relationships with my loved ones. I definitely want my email kept private, my phone number, and my address. I don’t want spammers to spam me, or scammers to call, I don’t want tons of magazines delivered to my house. So how do you become more private, and how do you opt out of marketing messages that are blasted at us constantly?
Do you ever get a whole bunch of spam in your inbox? Did you know that 70% of the email sent in the world is SPAM? How do you get out of this cycle? How can you stop wasting time deleting all of your spam?
Well, each website you’re on tracks you. You can stop their tracking systems, and you can take away the ads they force you to experience too, even in Yahoo mail and in Gmail. This will help you have a more peaceful internet experience, and it will help you be more private online too.
Five ways to stay private
Now, if you’re still using Internet Explorer, don’t. You should download Firefox. The rest of these tips will only be worthwhile if you do this.
First, install Ad-Block Plus. It’s a Firefox Add-on which will block a LOT of the ads you might see on your local newspaper website, on Youtube, and even in your mailbox.
Second, install the Ghostery Firefox Add-on. What this will do is block your browser from accepting the tracking cookies that lots of websites use these days. You wouldn’t believe, Huffington Post tries to give you 13 different tracking cookies! It’s insane. And they don’t need your information. And you don’t need to look at their ads either. More on that later.
Third, install Https everywhere Firefox Add-On. This will allow you to always have encryption for anything you do online, and this is especially important for when you’re on public wifi, and buying something online. I don’t know about you, but in the last two years, my credit card number has been stolen TWICE by charlatans online, and I had to cut it up and get a new one each time. Maybe that wouldn’t have happened if I’d had this plug-in.
Fourth, install STYLISH, which is another Firefox plugin. Now that you’re in Stylish, you can choose how you want to use it. Here are some add-ons for Firefox that I have going right now.
Hide Promoted Tweets in Hootsuite
I use Hootsuite to keep track of my social media accounts, and I hate those promoted tweets from big brands. This add-on allows me to block those tweets.
The Huffington Ghost
This allows you to read the huffington post without ads.
This allows you to read your Yahoo mail without ads.
Gmail New Look (Ultra Dense)
This allows you to read your gmail without ads.
And finally, if you REALLY want to get private, don’t use Gmail. Get off of gmail and use Thunderbird instead. It’s a little more hassle but it’s worth it.
BONUS: If you use google documents, switch to using a wordpress install instead for all of the documents you need to share with people.
Do you have any tips and tricks for staying private and safe online? I’d love to see your comments!