Notes of the paranoid. How to protect your data on the Internet?
I want to note that this article is not for advanced Internet users, but for those beginners who want to protect their data and, unfortunately, do not yet know how to do it.
Recently, many have been seized by paranoia about the protection of their data in social networks and even on their own smartphone or home computer. Our simple Internet security tips are based on the valuable experience gained over many years of working on the Internet.
So, first of all, I’ll start with Google and location. If you are a smartphone user on an Android OS, you will be very surprised to find out that every step you take can be seen on Google Maps.
If your smartphone is connected to a Google account and the Internet is constantly on (or data transfer, then Wi-Fi), then the IT giant knows and saves all the coordinates of your movements.
All this can be viewed through the service Location History, if you log in through your Google account. Surprised? Of course, this information is only available to you if your account is not broken.
What needs to be done to prevent Google from storing this information?
- Delete location history for the entire period in Location History.
- In the resource settings, turn off locations.
- In the settings of your smartphone in the "Location" parameter, remove all permissions.
- Prevent applications installed on your smartphone from using location determination.
However, on the other hand, Location History in on mode can be very useful. For example, if you lost your smartphone or it was stolen from you by going to the "location history", you can see where your gadget is located. But it must be included.
In connection with the latest events in Kiev, we often see information that Ukraine may restrict access to certain sites or disable access to the network at all (the latter, fortunately, has not been confirmed). We also read about the fact that users on the Internet can follow and track every action.
Therefore, in order to protect yourself a bit, the following should be taken into account:
- It’s best to use the Google Chrome browser and go to sites in anonymous mode. The ctrl + shift + n key combination in a new tab immediately launches "incognito mode". This is useful because during web surfing the browser will not remember history, sites without access to cookies, and therefore it will be more difficult to track your actions.
- Do not let the browser remember passwords, as all of them can be seen in the settings. If you are very worried about your accounts on social networks, it is better to delete all passwords that were previously saved by your browser. For example, if you open the password settings in chrome (chrome: // settings / passwords), you will see a list of all the sites where you logged in and allowed the browser to remember the data. When you move the cursor over the supposedly encrypted password, the browser will immediately offer to review it. Therefore, if you do not want this data to be available to someone who is at the computer, delete it. On the other hand, this thing is useful in that it allows you to "remember" a password that you accidentally forgot. Therefore, you decide. Using the same scheme, you can see saved passwords in both Mozilla and Opera.
- What is a good Chrome browser? Firstly, because it was recognized as the most popular browser in the world, secondly, it is the safest browser, and thirdly, for Chrome, a free ZenMate VPN application that allows you to surf the Internet through encrypted channels from foreign servers. I note that VPN (virtual private network), according to many experts, is one of the best ways to protect your connection from various dangers and threats. ZenMate is very easy to use - if you install it and turn it on, your communication channel immediately begins to encrypt. In addition, the location address can be disguised as a resident of the USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland or Hong Kong. Interestingly, the connection speed remains stable.
- An alternative may be known Tor - a system of proxy servers that allows you to establish an anonymous connection, protected from listening. However, it does not work so fast and Internet security experts still advise using a VPN.
By the way, are you tired of annoying video ads that turn on automatically and constantly infuriates you? Sure, yes. Advertising and various banners can be disabled by installing an extension for your browsers. If it is Chrome - install AdBlock, if Mozilla - then Adblock Edge. So you get rid of not only advertising, but also spyware viruses, which are often downloaded from advertising banners.
How to protect a smartphone?
Actually, a smartphone is one of the most valuable things that we have. But this valuable thing can be a good subject for analysis of special services, enemies, or just intruders.
The easiest advice is to encrypt all your data (SMS, MMS, photos, contacts) using the free Hide Text application if you are using an android, and also set a screen lock with a password. There are options here - you can set a lock instead of a password in the form of face recognition, or you can use a graphic code.
If you are an iPhone user, then everything is easier. In the settings, you can set a password for the lock and set the "erase all data" parameter after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter a password.
In addition, in its latest iPhone model, Apple integrated a fingerprint scanner - Touch ID - into the Home button, another level of protection for a smartphone. Of course, they tried to get around the scanner by various methods and there were even some funny cases, but I hope that friends from Cupertino will fine-tune the scanner in their new models.
Do you agree that regular SMS messages have already lost their popularity? And most young people use various instant messengers - Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp chat, maybe someone else still uses ICQ.
But, if you have already decided to upgrade yourself and increase the security level of your data, then (it is possible that you will spit), one of the safest instant messengers who has already managed to get positive feedback from the Internet security guru is the project of Pavel Durov (so , the one who created VKontakte) Telegram. The application is available for both Android and Afyon.
According to Durov himself, the messenger is secure and transmits messages over encrypted channels. The creator of VKontakte himself has recently become very worried about security during communication and therefore decided to create Telegram. Besides the fact that it is safe, it is also cute, and not as "annoying" as WhatsApp or Viber, who just want to access all your data on the phone.
An even more or less decent solution could be the Hangout messenger from Google . There is nothing superfluous, but there is the possibility of video calls, you just need to have a Google account. This messenger is also good because it can work without being tied to your mobile phone number.
But if you are used to communicating in several instant messengers at once, then you can go ahead and install Jabber or Pidgin for yourself. These applications support many services, you just need to log in. In addition, both use channels to encrypt data.
If you decide to install Pidgin, be sure to enable the OTR protocol option in the settings. Then in general you can not worry that your correspondence will be "tapped".
I don’t think I need to say that anti-virus programs should be installed on the computer, a firewall is activated, passwords for Wi-Fi, passwords for an account.
Of course, you don’t need to become paranoid. But if you want your data at least at the minimum level of protection, you can experiment. It doesn’t hurt.