20 Essential Apps to Protect Bloggers Privacy Online 2020
Some of the information online services collect about your online behavior is used to target you with specific advertisements based on your browsing habits. But this information is also often exploited maliciously.
Online privacy matters because the more private information you expose over the internet, the more prone you are to becoming the victim of a hacker attack. Online attacks are not something to overlook as you can end up by having your private files deleted, stolen, and worst, the money from your bank account missing.
In this post, you’ll find the best internet privacy tips to regain your online privacy for a secure online experience.
On most social media platforms, you can choose what kinds of information you allow them to collect about you. And the first step to keep yourself private on the internet is to review your privacy settings on each social platform you use and set them to collect as few data as possible. Also, make sure you don’t share private info with strangers.
You can learn more about how to strengthen your privacy on Facebook by going to Settings>Privacy Settings and access the Privacy Basics knowledgebase.
You should never save sensitive data, such as documents with accounts and passwords credentials, bank information, or any other private information on public storage services. If you must save such data, make sure you do it in an encrypted archive.
What does this mean? It means no one has access to your files without decrypting them first, which is a challenging activity. When your files are encrypted, the attacker doesn’t have access to them even if he manages to get into your computer.
You can encrypt your files by using an encryption software such as GnuPG. The process is a bit time consuming, but it’s worth it.
To avoid losing your files because of a hacker attack, you should always keep your important files backed up in multiple places. The best place to back up your data is an offline storage such as an external hard drive. Attackers can’t reach a device that’s not connected to the internet and your files will be safe.
Targeted advertisements are not necessarily a bad thing because you can’t totally run away from ads anyway. The problem is you allow websites to keep a record of your browsing history which is against protecting your privacy online. You don’t exactly know what they do with the data they collect, and they can sell them to third parties or even use them maliciously.
A couple of great add-ons examples are HTTPS Everywhere, Adblock, Privacy Badger, Cookie Autodelete, Decentraleyes, uMatrix, NoScript.
Now don’t go running into installing all the add-ons you can find as too many add-ons will make your browser more vulnerable to malware. Also, some add-ons can have disguised malware themselves, so take caution.
To make sure your emails email private, you can use a dedicated software designed to encrypt your emails. Two examples of software that do a great job at encrypting emails are Lockbin and OpenPGP.
Each time you register to a website, make sure your email and phone number are not left public.
Remember to also review the information on social media platforms like Facebook and make sure you set up your contact information to private.
The problem is that you often know nothing about the websites and what they will do with your information. You can end up by being spammed with emails, having your information sold to third parties, or even have your email used maliciously.
When you come across websites you’re not sure you can trust, don’t provide your main email address. instead, keep an alternative email address to use on suspicious websites.
- They are long (minimum 12 characters)
- Use capital letters and symbols
- Use different passwords for each account
- Use a password manager software, such as LastPass, so you make it easy to keep track of all your passwords
Never save your usernames and passwords in unencrypted files on your computer or on cloud storage services as you expose them to any hacker that manages to get access to your computer. A password manager software is the most secure way to keep this kind of info private.
A lot of messaging apps use an in transit encryption. This means the messages are decrypted by the app provider and the data is stored on its servers.
For example, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption. Other apps, such as Facebook messenger, do not use this type of encryption by default, but you can start a secret chat that will be encrypted.
The free Avast Mobile Security app provides a couple of useful features that will keep intruders out of your business. It runs in the background, always keeping an eye out for malicious apps and malware-infected links on the web. It can also block spam or unwanted calls. If your device gets stolen, the app can track it down and allows you to lock your device and erase any sensitive data remotely.
The premium subscription comes with even more features, but the free app will help you protect your privacy online to a greater extent.
Get the free Avast Mobile Security for Android.
It regularly checks for malware and automatically blocks any malicious app or link before it infects your device. You can also scan your device on-demand for spyware, viruses, ransomware, and Trojans. Similar to Avast, this app can locate your device if it gets stolen and you have the possibility of locking it and wipe up your personal information remotely.
The premium version provides more features such as adding a code to access your messages and files, keeping your financial data secure while shopping online, and filtering out dangerous links while browsing online.
Get the free Kaspersky Antivirus for Android.
Additionally, it forces sites to use encrypted connections when they are available to protect your data from prying eyes. And it also shows you how much a site can be trusted.
Get the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for Android or iOS.
Telegram is one of the most popular secure messaging apps with over 100 million users. It is especially appreciated for its sleek design and extra features such as audio memos, stickers, and basic photo and video editing.
The app provides strong end-to-end encryption to keep your conversations private and your messages safe from hacker attacks. It’s free to use and free of ads, and also there’s no limit on the size of your media and chats.
One thing to note though, the end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default. So make sure you first access the Secret mode before you start chatting.
Get the Telegram Private Messenger for Android or iOS.
Luckily, there are apps designed to help keep your phone number private online. 2ndLine is one of these apps.
With 2ndLine, you get a second number available on Android. It uses your device’s existing internet connection to allow you to make free calls and send texts in the US and Canada. You can also purchase long-distance credits to make calls to other countries.
Getting a second phone number is especially useful if you own a business and don’t want to share your personal number, to avoid sales representatives flooding you with calls, or for instances when you must provide a phone number others can see (e.g. selling something on eBay).
Get 2ndLine for Android (available for the US and Canada only).
With Hushed, you can get a local number from over 45 countries all over the world and use it as your personal phone number. It allows you to send and receive messages and calls using only your WiFi connection and your device. You don’t need cellular service.
It is a paid app, but the prices are affordable and you can choose from more pricing plans depending on your needs. You can also give Hushed a try by registering for a free 3-day trial.
Get the Hushed app for Android or iOS.
ProtonMail is an email client designed to protect your personal information online and provide you with a secure service to exchange emails. When registering to their service, you’re not required to provide any personal information and they don’t keep logs of your IP addresses.
All the emails you’re sending through this app are secured with end-to-end encryption. This means that even the company is not able to decrypt or read your emails and neither can third-parties. Moreover, the app is open source which means anyone can audit the code.
You can connect email accounts from other email providers and receive emails as usual.
Get the ProtonMail app for Android or iOS.
So you don’t have to worry about apps invading your privacy, Bouncer gives you the ability to grant permissions temporarily. For example, if you want to tag your location on a Facebook post but you don’t want Facebook to access your location whenever it wants, Bouncer will grant the permission to access your location only as a one-time thing. After you close Facebook, it won’t be able to track your location anymore.
Get the Bouncer app for Android.
Smart AppLock allows you to lock apps containing private content (photos, videos, messages), social networking apps (Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter), call logs, system settings, games – basically everything on your device. You can set up a PIN, passcode, or you can authenticate using your fingerprint.
Get Smart AppLock for Android.