Surfing the internet leaves traces of data. It is almost impossible to avoid tracking these online activities. Cookies are also often used in the browser, with which entrepreneurs recognize certain users on a subsequent visit to the website. Maybe you’re just looking for a suitable photo printer? As soon as you search for it on the internet, you will soon find yourself seeing the same product on other websites. With this ad tracking and personalized ads, companies hope to pique your interest and potential purchase.
For many companies, the company with the data is usually the only source of income – the same goes for ads lurking around every corner. However, there are some tips and tricks that protect against this kind of surveillance on the internet. We have collected the most important ones here.
As a rule, it is advantageous to perform regular updates. Secure passwords and two-factor authentication are also essential in the world of the Internet. In addition, users should be particularly careful when disclosing their data – this is especially true for social networks or account creation on various websites.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
If you do not want position and motion data to be passed on to third parties, always make sure to switch off WLAN and Bluetooth as soon as these services are no longer needed.
If the WLAN is activated, the smartphone automatically sends the unchanging serial number of the WLAN radio module – the same applies to an activated Bluetooth connection. Several companies like to use these signals for their offline tracking services. In this way, they can even track a user’s path through different stores and then serve ads more accurately and personally.
The browser choice
The choice of browser is of course especially important for the protection of privacy. Here it is basically up to the user whether he prefers to trust Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chrome or Safari. In most cases, browsers today offer an incognito mode that protects the user from all tracking attempts. At the same time, cookies are also blocked. Anyone who is afraid of the data octopus, but cannot yet imagine life without the Internet, can use anonymization services such as the TOR network. However, this is significantly slower compared to other browsers.
VPN and Messaging
Several programs and apps now enable the encrypted exchange of messages or phone calls – similar services are also available from email providers.
Another notable measure is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The data sent is encrypted and forwarded via the server of the respective provider, which means that the internet provider cannot control the data traffic. If you’re concerned about your internet security, you should rely on this alternative – good VPNs usually come with a higher cost.