Is Your Computer Being Monitored? Online Activity & Privacy

May 29, 2018

10 Ways to Avoid Being Monitored Online

If you’re concerned about the government tracking online activity, you’re not alone. As big tech and government become more entwined, the risk for your online privacy heightens. It’s important to consider how to protect your privacy online for a number of reasons. All Americans have a right to Internet privacy the ability to conduct personal or professional conversations and transactions online—and any threat to that freedom could not only put your communications and sensitive information at risk of exposure, but also infringes upon your guarantee to freedom.

Though how to tell if your computer is being monitored is difficult, there are a number of steps you can take to protect against those who want to track online activity. Here are 10 ways to do so:

-     Use private email: Free public services often put your online privacy at risk.

-     Only use encrypted email services: Private email services typically offer end-to-end encryption, which guards against messages being viewed or intercepted.

-     Opt for two-factor authentication: This method enables Internet users to have to verify their identity through another device, such as a mobile phone, in order to log in to any password-protected site.

-     Use an ad blocker: Though you must thoroughly research such applications, ad blockers can be effective at preventing outside partiers from tracking your online activity.

-     Opt out of ad tracking on social media: There are options on sites like Facebook for users to opt out of advertisers browsing their usage.

-     Turn off Google tracking: Access the Activity Control page on Google and toggle the settings to block tracking of things like your browsing history and your locations.

-     Use effective passwords: Do not include any identifiable information or easily guessed numbers or letters in any passwords.

-     Be smart with security questions: Even if you think added security questions provide more security, you have to treat them like passwords and not use easily identifiable answers.

-     Unlink digital accounts: It may be tempting to have all of your social media, both personal and professional, connected, along with services like email, but the more centralized all of the information is, the easier it is to access and track your online activity.

-     Avoid popular cloud systems: Though cloud-storage companies may promise to protect your online privacy, submitting sensitive information to the cloud can put your online privacy at risk, if it’s not handled securely.  

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