Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  10 Tips To Protect Your Privacy Online

10 Tips To Protect Your Privacy Online

There’s really never been a time when we’ve been this connected, thanks to the wonders of the Internet. But it’s not all Zoom parties and engaging content – there’s a darker side to the online world and internet privacy is serious business.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – you do have some control over your data online. So to help you protect yourself and your personal information from hackers and the like, we’ve put together our top 10 online privacy tips. We’ve made these tips simple and actionable so you feel safe to browse, shop and share to your heart’s content online.

But first, what does ‘internet privacy’ mean?

Also known as ‘online privacy’, this phrase refers to the amount (or level) of security and protection you have while you’re online for your communications, preferences and any personal data. Internet privacy has become a contentious topic due to countless cyber attacks and data breaches happening around the world each and every day.

Protecting privacy online involves taking the necessary steps to protect your data and devices from unwanted eyes and intruders. Let’s take a look at 10 things you can do right now to tighten up your security.

Online privacy tips to action right away:

1. Protect your devices with passcodes or passwords

Protecting privacy online often starts with the device you use to connect to the internet. Set up your smartphone, tablet and computer with passcodes and/or passwords to add an extra layer of security. And if your device has a biometric login, consider using that as well.

2. Use unique and secure passwords

You leave your personal data vulnerable if you don’t have strong, unique and secure passwords. If you haven’t done it in a while, check your passwords and make sure they’re:

  • not repeated (use different passwords for every login)
  • More than 12 characters long, and
  • Store them in a secure password manager (never write them down on paper).

3. Turn off notifications for your lock screen

When notifications pop up, anyone can see them. This can display personal information to anyone around, so make sure you hide or disable your notifications from your lock screen. Not only is this good for your personal devices, it’s also recommended for any work phone or computer you use regularly.

4. Install (and use) a VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) allows you to access a public network but remain private, which is essential when you access WiFi in public. Internet privacy in this context will help to keep your passwords, financial data and browsing history safe from prying eyes. You can create your own VPN or sign up to one of many existing providers.

5. Enable two factor authentication

While this may be annoying to you, two factor authentication on your apps and accounts adds an extra layer of security that’s not just a username and password. Some of the services you already use offer two factor authentication – Gmail, Dropbox and Xero, for example – so take advantage of this free protection to keep your sensitive data hidden.

6. Check and review all permissions

When you sign up to a new service or visit a website for the first time, you’ll often be asked for permission to access certain data. It’s important that you review these permissions regularly and know exactly what apps and websites have access to. Similarly, be careful of which browser extensions you install and only add ones that you’ll use.

7. Choose apps with end-to-end encryption for messaging

Not all messaging apps are secure – many offer encryption in transit, which means that anything you send is stored on servers at their destination. If that server is hacked, your data will be compromised. End-to-end encryption is where the data is encrypted so even the app you’re using can’t read it. WhatsApp is a great example of this, but other messaging services like Telegram and Facebook Messenger require you to start a secret chat to get end-to-end protection.

8. Don’t share your personal phone number and main email address

Have you started receiving a tonne of spam? Chances are your email address or phone number has been leaked. Instead of using your main contact details for online purchases or joining mailing lists, you might like to create a separate account. That way you can filter out that spam and enjoy a little more internet privacy.

9. Avoid public storage for your private data

You might see a lot of oversharing happening on social media, but it happens in other places as well. Public storage apps or websites, like Google Docs or Dropbox, aren’t designed for storing sensitive data – don’t keep your passwords or bank account information there. Use a password manager or password protected server so you know your data won’t end up in the wrong hands.

10. Clear that cache!

This tip is simple and will only take you a few minutes. Periodically clear the cache on your website browser to remove your search history, clear any cookies (that’s how your online habits are tracked) and any saved personal data. To do this, navigate to your browser settings and under ‘privacy and security’ you’ll find ‘clear browsing history’ (or similar).

How to protect your privacy on social media

Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms know a lot about you already. They reveal information to the world about you that you might not even realise is available. Head over to the security settings of any platforms you’re part of and make sure you’re aware of what other people can see, then take steps to tightening your privacy by adjusting the settings to a level that makes you feel comfortable.

Need help with your internet privacy? Ask the Geeks!

Protecting privacy online is something our Geeks are very passionate about. If you need assistance with computer and network security, give us a call on 1300 286 847 – let’s boost your internet privacy so you can enjoy browsing, shopping and streaming online.

Recent News

Back when Microsoft made the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10 – skipping out on Windows 9 entirely – the software giant announced that its intent was to make Windows 10 the “final” version of Windows that anyone would ever be available to buy. The idea here was that instead of offering up an

We live in a world where it’s entirely feasible to do just about anything online. I can well remember the days of queuing in banks, waiting in government offices for registration papers and a million other physical real-world annoyances that always somehow had to be done within standard business hours – mostly now replaced by

Back when Apple launched its first iMac line in 1998, it had a unique design and a lot of colour in play. That first iMac came in a colour called “Bondi Blue”, meant to be somewhat evocative of the famous Australian beach, but since then Apple pivoted to more businesslike desktop all-in-one machines. Up until

2020 saw a lot of us staying at home most of the time, but in 2021 we’re all travelling a little further afield, even though it seems unlikely that too many of us will be hitting foreign shores any time soon. There was a time when being outside your home or office Wi-Fi environments meant

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More