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Privacy was a major topic in 2013 that is rolling over into the new year. Target’s data breach and the recent hack of Snapchat have seen 4.6 million names and phone numbers added to the debacle of the NSA leaks earlier last year. Online security technology along with government regulations need to keep up with the evolution of electronic devices and social media platforms.
Here are three tips to increase your privacy in the new year.
1) Protect your searches: Users can be identified online through their search terms and IP addresses. Try switching to search engines like DuckDuckGo to protect your identity. According to the site’s founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg, “When you visit anything on the Internet, your computer is sending information about itself over the Net that can be used to tie things back to you. Most services store this information, which then can be used by these government programs and other things to identify you. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, does not store any personally identifiable information, so we literally have nothing to tie your searches to you.” If you’re attached to Google, make sure to turn on incognito mode for increased privacy settings.
2) Make sure your home is hack proof: With the advent of smart appliances that can be accessed through the users’ smartphones and tablets, hackers have found new targets. Smart devices that can control home temperature, door locks and appliance settings are hotbeds for security breaches. To prevent mishaps, make sure that there is a manufacturer safeguard or warranty with each device and constantly change your passwords every few weeks.
3) Turn off geo-location tracking options: This goes double for your children’s smartphones. Social media platforms and retail companies use geo-tracking technology to gather data on their users. This can create problems when the users are underage and their privacy is compromised. Although California’s Do Not Track rule took effect on January 1st – which requires websites to indicate in their privacy policies how they respond to the new law – it still does not guarantee safeguard against online bullies and predators. The best option is to turn the tracking options off.
2014 will be the year of wearable tech which adds another layer in regards to privacy issues. It’s important to be always aware of privacy options on every device you use or own and decide how much risk you are willing to take. Security is an ongoing process. Hackers will always try to expose leaks and companies will continue to try to safeguard their users. New laws and devices add to this mix.
For the latest developments with technology privacy, follow us on Twitter @ARTEMIA_Comm.
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