Home General How To Protect Your Privacy Online

How To Protect Your Privacy Online

by Behrad

So a couple of weeks ago I spend some time with my daughter walking her through Bitwarden and how she can use and create strong passwords. Now it was time to take it to next step….

As I mentioned, my daughter actually like these kind of topics and she started to ask me about privacy online, what to share and what not to share etc. It was an interesting topic to discuss with her and got me thinking to bundle them in a post as well.

Privacy Concerns…

To be honest, this is not a topic which I would expect a teenager to start with, but there was a situation at her school which led her to think about this question and perhaps also the correct moment for her to teach/talk about this with her.

To me online privacy is crucial in our digital identities and personal information. We do a lot online these days, so data is being exchanged constantly, so having control over what you share helps prevent potential misuse, exploitation, identity theft or even tracking.

So we need to be sure that our activities, communication and personal details remain secure. So it’s good to prioritize privacy and by doing so we can make well informed choices about what information we disclose to whom.

Having said that, let’s go through some of the basics of Online Privacy:

Apply Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
The first thing which you need to do as soon as you have created a password is to see if the app, service or website offers you Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). If so, enable it immediately!

Social Media Settings: One of the biggest downfall of online privacy is Social Media. People, specially kids, register to social media platforms without spending a second to adjust their privacy settings. Therefore social media platforms can be a goldmine of personal information. Best is to limit the visibility of personal

details and posts to a select audience can significantly enhance your privacy online!

Understand how Cookies and Tracking works: Many websites use cookies and perhaps some other tracking mechanism to gather even more data about its users. Once you understand that a website can

track your activity, even when you’re no longer on their website, then you start hating them as well. So don’t click on “Accept all cookies”, but rather just go through the options the website offers. If you don’t want to be bothered about this at all, there are browser extension that block tracking cookies and therefore will provide an additional layer of privacy when browsing the web. Personally I have disabled all tracking and ads through my entire network using AdBlock.

Review App Permissions: We all have a mobile device which we use daily. You need to be careful about the apps which you want to install. For example it doesn’t make a lot of sense that a game should have access to your location, contacts or even your camera.

So make sure that you take that into consideration when you want to install an app. Also make sure to go through the app permissions regularly to see if the permissions are still needed. On Android phones this is automatically done if the app hasn’t been used for x days. But still, check this on your own! Also, don’t use the app, delete it! 😉

Encryption / Encrypted Communication Tools: Data is being transmitted through the web constantly, so it’s best practice to encrypt the data as much as possible. From using messaging apps that offer end-to-end

encryption, as well as encrypting your emails, you need to be sure that all conversations remain private & secure.

Be Informed About Data Breaches: Unfortunately the question is not IF data breaches but WHEN… So in case of any data breach, you should act quickly.
Now I know that in The Netherlands we have a Data Breach Notification Desk where any data breach should be reported within 72 hour of their discovery.

Why is this important you may ask. Well this awareness allows you to quickly take action such as changing passwords and enabling additional security measures. Yes, this might be “too late” already but never the less, you should pay attention! Also, you can check if you’re email address is in a data breach by visiting Have I been Pwned?

Consider Privacy-Focused Search Engines / Browsers: Unlike major search engines, there are some search engines which doesn’t track user activity or tore personal information. One good example if DuckDuckGo. An alternative is to use a privacy

focused browser. Want to know which one? Privacytest.org gives you a complete overview!


Since online privacy is an ongoing process, you need to follow the steps above regularly to ensure that all is still good and valid! This is not something which you can do once and forget about it, but needs to be repeated regularly. By doing so, you can be in control of your online privacy!

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