At CyberGhost, we fight for people’s right to privacy and freedom, and encourage everyone to do all they can to defend and fight for these rights. Although there are so many changes happening today, including laws passed by governments that limit online privacy, making sure no one is spying on your online activity is still possible.
It simply requires learning a few tricks. I’m sure you’ve read or heard about various cyber-attacks, leaks and data breaches.
If you’re truly concerned about digital security, you’ll want to stay away from snoopers and safeguard all your digital data including personal information. And because you should do as you would be done by, it’s best that you protect your loved ones’ online privacy as well.
We already offered you some useful advice about how to make sure kids stay safe online, but here are some apparently “harmless” situations in which you might reveal information about your family and friends without even knowing.
1. Linking your Facebook profile to other websites
This is a common option for many websites, sometimes added as a little trap. When you want to find out more information, a pop-up will show up, asking you to “Log in with Facebook” or with your Google account. Now, you may think it’s convenient and that you save time, but by agreeing to do this, you basically allow that website to see all your social media information. And that covers data and pictures (including tagged photos) of your friends and family, maybe even their e-mail addresses.
In other words, access to one account equals access to others accounts at the same time, which means that if one account happens to be hacked, the rest could be doomed as well. Scary, huh?
2. Sharing photos on social media in real time
Speaking of social media posts, you may be super-enthusiastic about the places you visited in your trips and can’t wait to share them with the world. However, posting photos from your travels on the social media in real time may not be quite a wise decision. First, because why should everyone know where you go and with whom?
Second, because, apart from letting in the information that your house is empty, remember that you’re also giving out the same details about the people you’re travelling with.
At the same time, it’s best that you don’t share your location on social media. From your phone, you just have to go to “Settings” -> “Privacy” -> “Location” and turn it off. You can do that for each app where location is not necessary.
3. Omitting to clear EXIF data from your pictures
Say what? Don’t know what EXIF is? Well, in simple words, it is the metadata and hidden information of every photograph taken and uploaded online. That information is easily available and will always stay there; while most don’t even care to look, someone with malicious intent can easily use it to invade your personal privacy.
The metadata of photos can show the GPS coordinates of where they were taken, for example.
No need to worry too much because there is a way to delete those details. Check this handy resource to find out how you can do that.
4. Allowing an app to access your contacts list
You probably noticed that some apps request access to your contact list and even if you don’t even understand why, you might say: “Sure, why not?” However, the question you should really ask yourself is: “Why would an app need the names and e-mail addresses of my friends?” For online multiplayer games, that would sound reasonable, although not all of your friends play online games, do they?
Most likely, this is just another way of tracking and collecting data. Nevertheless, you may not have another option when you want to install a certain app but to agree to that request. What you can do is create a new e-mail account that doesn’t keep any contacts information. While it may sound a bit too much, it’s the easiest way if you don’t want to expose your friends’ info.
And a bonus tip:
Use CyberGhost VPN to block online tracking. With CyberGhost, you’ll protect your virtual identity; you’ll hide your IP address, making it impossible for anyone to see what you’re doing online or to collect your browsing habits.