The State Of Internet Privacy In 2019


Internet privacy is something that more and more people are becoming concerned with, and for good reason. While our use of websites and apps skyrockets, so does the chance of someone violating your privacy.

This is because the incentives are all messed up.

It’s common practice for businesses to try and acquire as much personal information about you as possible. That’s because this data is more powerful than ever.

When a business has a ton of data about you they can be more effective with their marketing and deliver highly targeted advertisements.

More data = more money.

That means when push comes to shove a corporation will err on the side of being more intrusive, not less.

The problem is, a lot of people don’t know what to do. They’re either unaware that this is happening to them, or they think 100% of the blame should rest on these businesses.

And that’s a massive problem.

There’s a lack of understanding and ownership being taken by consumers when it comes to internet privacy, and it’s only digging us into a deeper hole. Each year that the public stays “concerned” but not engaged, it becomes harder to turn the ship around.

But that’s not all.

Aside from the issues with internet privacy that exist from the collection of your data, there are security risks as well. When so many businesses have massive databases of personal info, the chance of a data breach goes through the roof.

This means that a business like Facebook could collect massive amounts of data on its users and end up with a third party gaining access to it, even if they weren’t supposed to. Wait, that already happened.

So if you’re interested in learning about the state of internet privacy and what you can do to make sure you’re protected, read on. There will be something for everyone.

What Is Internet Privacy?

Internet privacy is the right to keep sensitive data and information produced as a result of using the web, private. Collecting this data and displaying it, selling it, or providing it to third parties are all common practices that can jeopardize internet privacy.

It’s important to understand the definition because it is commonly misused in conversation or in the news. Very often it’s mentioned when only describing a small subset of internet privacy or even a totally unrelated issue with social media.

This leads to a lot of misinformation floating around and a fragmented public understanding of the landscape. The first step in being able to look out for your rights online is having a clear understanding of what internet privacy is.

How Did We End Up Here?

We briefly touched on the current issue with internet privacy at the beginning of the article. You can talk to almost anyone and they’ll tell you the same thing.

But there’s a major lack of understanding about how we got here. And knowing this is very important.

The public opinion seems to be that companies like Facebook and Google are pushing the boundaries on internet privacy because it’s in the nature of who they are.

They’re looking out for themselves and their shareholders instead of their users, and we shouldn’t expect anything less from them.

Even if we don’t like it, that’s what big companies do. This makes the battle for internet privacy an “us versus them” situation right?

Not exactly.

As a matter of fact, consumers have played a major role in the erosion of internet privacy over the years.

We aren’t completely innocent here. We’ve done some of this to ourselves.

Here’s how:

In the early days of the internet, a seed was planted that still affects us to this day. This was the expectation for almost everything on the web to be available for free.

This was well-intentioned from the start, and it would be hard to imagine the internet today if this wasn’t the initial goal. Actually, you can easily make the case that more good came from this than bad.

The advances in technology, education, and medicine as a result of the internet can vouch for this.

But it came at a cost.

While free access to unlimited information has been one of the biggest game-changers in human history, this mindset carried over to our consumption of websites and internet-based products.

The thought of paying for access to email seemed crazy (and still does). Once sites like Napster gave us the idea that we could access music for free as well, we jumped all over it.

It took a major lawsuit to bring them down, but that kicked off a downward spiral that the music industry is still trying to fight their way out of.

Our resistance to paying for the things we love most on the internet is still evident everywhere. A good example is the outrage that occurs when Netflix announces they’re raising their prices. The constant debate on charging for online news content is another.

Major internet companies with tens or hundreds of millions of monthly active users are still trying to figure out the best way to make money as a result of this environment.

Falling Back On Old Reliable

Internet-based companies and publications like to position themselves as fancy and forward-thinking, but most of them are reliant on one of the oldest business models out there.

Selling ads.

Their reliance on this model is where we start to bump into some major issues with internet privacy.

2018 Google ad revenue

Since it’s difficult to charge up front, they need to do something to keep the lights on. And lucky for them, it’s never been a better time to sell advertising to other companies.

This is why businesses are so interested in tapping into the massive amount of data that’s out there.

With just a handful of details about you, a company like Facebook or Google can sell ads for double the cost. But they’re not after a handful of details, they’re after hundreds.

When more user data equals more profit, it’s not hard to predict the direction the ship will go.

Are we proposing that we should suddenly pay for every site we use? Absolutely not.

Part of what makes the internet so impactful to the world is the fact that it can deliver information to those who wouldn’t have had it before. Throwing up a paywall on the whole thing would do more harm than good, and likely create more inequality than we already have.

So right now we’re in limbo. More of us are starting to understand that internet privacy is important and large companies are infringing on rights in creative new ways.

But until they find a more reliable way to make money they’re going to continue.

Why You Should Care

So it’s clear that there’s a problem when it comes to internet privacy, and it affects all of us.

But why should you care? What are the downsides that could impact you directly?

This is where we feel the media has failed to do their job when it comes to educating the general public about internet privacy. A lot of the coverage either stays vague and high-level or digs heavily into the legal repercussions.

But what do you do with that information? When Google got fined by the EU for antitrust violations, did that change the way you used their site?

Probably not.

We’re not saying that it isn’t important to be aware of this news and stay up to date on the recent state of internet privacy and any issues that come up. We highly recommend it if you have the time.

A strong understanding of how companies are using your data can help you make smarter decisions about how you use products on the internet.

It will also help you protect your internet privacy rights as you come across more of these issues in the ballot box. This is going to happen quite frequently as regulations start catching up with these massive tech companies.

But part of the equation doesn’t get covered enough, and that’s the relationship between information collection and data breaches.

And this is the main reason why you should care. While all of those other things might seem like far-removed issues, having your info included in a data breach is an immediate problem.

It can lead to:

  • Spam
  • Hacked accounts
  • Stolen credit card information
  • Unapproved purchases
  • Identity theft

These are things you don’t want to experience.

We believe debating the merits of internet privacy from a legal standpoint, or pointing fingers when a data breach happens isn’t enough. You need to connect the dots.

This is why we spend so much time preaching the importance of protecting your privacy online. We’ve worked with so many people who’ve had to deal with these nightmarish scenarios that we see the need to be proactive and understand the landscape.

Fortunately, we think progress is starting to happen (slowly).

The Growing Public Concern About Privacy Rights

While we believe the coverage of internet privacy as a whole could be better, things are looking up in terms of public awareness.

Most of this comes from a growing level of distrust in both large companies that collect user data and the government.

On one side you have companies that have neglected to protect the data of their customers, and on the other, the government who seems to be more concerned with their own interests.

It doesn’t seem like anyone in the driver’s seat is prioritizing the internet privacy rights of the everyday consumer. The general public is starting to become more aware of this reality, and they’re getting frustrated.

Not only that but with each passing year, the demographics of people using the internet are changing as well. Younger users are more prevalent than before, and their expectations are different.

They are idealistic about the internet and are strong believers in the value it can offer. They’re also more savvy about avoiding shady practices and keeping their data safe.

When you add this group to the 45 and older crew who are growing more and more paranoid about hacks and scams (for good reason), you end up where we are now. With a growing level of concern about internet privacy.

That isn’t to say we’re going to have riots on our hands anytime soon. In fact, we would guess that the majority of the public is still mostly unaware of internet privacy and what they can do to keep themselves safe.

But that number is shrinking. Slowly but surely.

Internet Privacy Issues & Ways It Can Be Compromised

The number of potential internet privacy issues that the average user might face is staggering. Even if you’re a relatively moderate consumer of the internet with accounts on only a handful of sites, you’re still more at risk than ever before.

Here’s a rundown of the most common ways that your internet privacy could be infringed upon:

Data Brokers & People Search Websites

A lot of people are unaware that these websites even exist, and their entire purpose is to compromise your internet privacy.

Whitepages or FastPeopleSearch are two of the more popular sites, but there are dozens more. On these sites, you can enter the name of pretty much anyone and find personal info about them.

Here are just a few examples of details you can find on these websites:

  • Names
  • Emails
  • Address history
  • Phone numbers
  • Education history

This is all available to anyone with an internet connection. Some have a paywall, but others offer everything for free.

Here’s why it’s a problem:

An obvious concern is that a stranger can find out where you live simply by searching your name on these sites. You’re not able to see who is searching for you, or if you’re being searched at all.

But it gets worse.

Hackers, scammers, and telemarketers all use these sites to fuel their mission of pestering the rest of society. They automatically scrape as much information as possible, and these sites don’t do anything about it.

What they do instead is scrape each other. They never want another site to have more sensitive information than they do. This means your data ends can start on one site, and end up on dozens of others within a week or two.

This makes it easier for it to be found by shady characters. The end result is more hacks, identity theft, stolen credit cards, and a bunch of annoying calls during dinner.

These sites can operate like this because they’re technically sharing information that can be found in public records. They are simply collecting this information and making it available for anyone to find.

We believe this makes a huge difference when it comes to internet privacy, but the law thinks otherwise.

Fortunately, there is something you can do about it.

These sites have to respect your internet privacy by allowing you to opt out. This means if you submit a request to have your information removed, it’s against the law for these sites to ignore it.

It can be pretty time consuming to do it all manually (especially since there are so many sites). We recommend using the new privacy protection software we launched to do it automatically instead.

Search Engines

Search engines like Google can pose a major threat to your internet privacy even if you’re careful.

The core function of a search engine is relatively harmless. It’s when you add all the fancy tech that they start getting more intrusive.

Modern search engines collect data on what you search, where you search it from, and how you interact with their search results. There’s not a whole lot you can do to stop them from doing this (other than not use their search engine).

The benefit is it helps them provide better search results to users based on the engagement they monitor. Showing the most relevant results based on your behavior and location help you find what you’re looking for, faster.

The downside is this creates a massive amount of data that could potentially be hacked. Even if you’re comfortable with the act of search engines collecting this data, from a security standpoint it’s something to think about.

No company is bulletproof when it comes to a data breach. Even Google admitted to one a few months ago.

You can maintain a little more of your internet privacy by using a VPN when searching, and not logging in to an account tied to that search engine. This still isn’t a perfect fix.

Another interesting alternative is a private search engine like DuckDuckGo. They won’t track you, which means you can search the web privately.

Maintaining your internet privacy with DuckDuckGo

Instead of making money by collecting data and delivering highly targeted ads based on user behavior, they keep things simple. Ads are shown based on what the user types into the search bar, nothing more.

We think this is a neat idea because they’re leaving money on the table by taking this stance. If you’re worried about your internet privacy when it comes to search engines it might be worth giving a site like this a shot.

Social Networks

Social networking sites pose a number of challenges when it comes to maintaining internet privacy.

The nature of how they operate and monetize means they’re collecting vast amounts of data to help them deliver a highly addictive experience and more targeted ads.

Just think about the amount of data that users give Facebook. Through information like relationship status, location, and likes (this is a big one) they get an extremely accurate sense of who you are.

And the majority of this information is volunteered.

One of the main challenges when deciphering any debates around social networks is the neglect to read the terms of service. The majority of users on these platforms have no clue what’s in the terms before they sign up.

This leads to an environment where the social network is legally protected, but some users feel uncomfortable with the data that’s being taken.

Sometimes they find out after they become frequent users, and sometimes they know before signing up (and deal with it because they want to stay connected with family and friends).

Similar to search engines, sites like Facebook walk a fine line with the intention behind what they collect. On one hand, some of the data they collect can be used to deliver a better user experience. This is why people use their sites in the first place.

On the other, they are a business and they want to make money. More data leads to more revenue (just look at Facebook’s 2018 Q4 earnings).

This is where companies start to overreach and potentially encroach on their users’ internet privacy.

Not only that but when so much data is being stored the risk of a massive data breach is high. This has already happened to Facebook and it’s likely to happen again at some point.

Then there’s the human element you need to watch out for.

Social networks make it incredibly easy for individuals with harmful intent to operate with little chance of being caught. Creating a fake account is simple and easy to automate, and it’s totally possible you have one of these accounts in your network.

This means when you post personal information you could unknowingly be compromising your internet privacy. You can never be 100% sure who’s seeing what you post.

You also can’t be sure if the content you see can be trusted as well. We know that attempts have been made to try and manipulate certain groups of users on Facebook in the past (here’s a 100-page report if you feel like going down the rabbit hole).

So what can do you? Are social networks compatible with the concept of internet privacy at all?

The most obvious solution is to avoid using these sites altogether, but we understand that you may not want to do that. Pictures of your aunt’s cat aren’t going to view themselves!

Here are some quick tips to safeguard your internet privacy on social networks:

  • Use the privacy settings (only share content with those you trust)
  • Limit the information you provide on your profile. Supply as little as possible.
  • Don’t share potentially compromising details in your feed (location, personal info, etc.)
  • Be aware that there’s an element of risk simply by choosing to be on the network in the first place

One thing to be aware of when it comes to restricting your profile on social media is the impact it can have on any branding or reputation management efforts.

If you have any active campaigns going on with the intention of increasing your visibility online you’ll want to think about keeping your social media profiles public (if those efforts are more important to you than internet privacy). You can’t have it both ways so you’ll need to decide which is a higher priority.

Cookies

A cookie is a file sent from a website to your computer. This file is stored in your web browser to help websites remember information or track actions you’ve taken on the site.

A common example of this would be Amazon remembering items you had in your cart from the last time you were on their site. Another way this is often used is to remember if a user is logged in to a certain website or not.

This is why whenever you clear your cookies you end up having to sign back into a lot of your most-used accounts.

While most cookies are harmless and serve only to make your browsing experience more convenient, they can also impact your internet privacy in a number of ways. There are various forms of cookies that range from intrusive to outright malicious.

The first and most apparent way this is possible is through the tracking of your online habits from parties you can’t identify. There are certain cookies designed to track and collect as much of your online actions as possible, instead of making your web browsing experience more seamless.

There’s also a type of cookie called a “zombie” that comes back from the dead. This means that after you delete the cookie it can resurrect itself and continue tracking what you do online.

It’s complicated to explain how this is done from a technical perspective, but all you need to know is it’s a pain to deal with.

Managing your cookies is something we highly recommend doing if you value internet privacy. You can’t browse the web without picking up a few of them, and you should get rid of them periodically before they become a problem.

Here’s a good resource that will show you how to do this on most browsers and devices.

Fingerprint Software

It’s becoming extremely common for fingerprint scanning to be used as a method of security or identity verification. You can even find it on phones and laptops these days.

The benefits are it can shorten the amount of time it takes to log in to an account or unlock a device. The added layer of security is a much-lauded bonus as well.

But there might be a major downside.

If we removed all boundaries and optimized our whole online experience for convenience, things certainly would be faster and more convenient (in the short term). But that would come at the cost of almost all your internet privacy.

Fingerprint scanning software is a good example of this. While it has a number of solid short-term benefits, the potential downside is pretty scary.

You have to remember that no matter how big an organization is, they can get hacked (and likely will at some point). This goes for your fingerprint data as well.

Even if the data is only collected locally, it’s still collected somewhere. This makes it accessible to someone with the right technical chops.

And just in case you think we’re being a bit paranoid here, this has already been done.

Fingerprints can be used for a number of scams and criminal activities. The really troublesome bit is since they’re considered one of the more foolproof methods of identity verification, they’re unlikely to be questioned.

Out of all these possible issues, we believe fingerprint info lives in a world of extremes. It makes things very convenient and is less commonly found in large data breaches.

However, in the unlikely event it makes its way into the wrong hands, it could be very bad.

Pictures and Videos

This has been one of the more debated internet privacy issues over the last few years. This is due to the combination of everyone having a camera in their pocket, with the ability to quickly share their pictures online.

It takes no time at all for an unwanted image or video to spread on the internet. All it takes is for someone to share it with their followers on social media, or post it on a photo-sharing website (where it will likely get indexed by search engines).

At this point, the damage is done and you’re fighting an uphill battle.

So why is this such a common issue? You would think that there would be some legal recourse for situations like this.

Here’s where it gets tricky:

An expectation of privacy is the sticking point in these discussions. Just because someone feels that their privacy is being violated when a picture or video is taken of them, they might not have legal footing.

If you’re in a place like your home, a public restroom, or a hotel room, then you’re protected legally. But if you’re taking a walk in a public park, for example, you’re not. You can request that a video or picture not be taken of you, but there’s no legal requirement for someone to listen to you.

Another unclear but common situation is the distribution of mugshot photos online. These are technically part of public records so this is a totally legal practice.

The problem with this is that public mugshots significantly damage your professional and personal life after your arrest.

But the situation behind the mugshot is typically lost in the noise.

You could be arrested on the suspicion of illegal activity, yet released because you were completely innocent. However, your mugshot is now available for anyone to find online when they look you up.

We should also think of people who made a mistake when they were younger, served their time and wants to move forward as a law-abiding citizen. The law has said they’ve been rehabilitated by the state and can rejoin society, but their old mugshot can prevent them from fully doing this.

Right now your only option is to try various tactics to get the mugshot removed. Legally you’re out of luck.

The only kind of issue relating to photos or videos where the stance is clear is revenge porn.

Intimate photos or videos taken of someone and distributed without their content is against the law in most states (as it should be).

There’s still some progress to be made. There are a few states that don’t have revenge porn laws yet, and some of the penalties are too weak in our opinion.

But for the most part, it’s pretty straightforward.

So what does this mean for your internet privacy? In short, you need to be smart.

Even in situations where you have the law on your side, these are situations you don’t want to be in. Getting images removed from Google and the internet, in general, is a time-consuming process.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Probably the most overlooked culprits in the internet privacy landscape are the actual internet service providers themselves.

An internet service provider does exactly what the name hints at, provides you with access to the internet. Some examples are Comcast Xfinity, AT&T, Verizon Fios, and CenturyLink.

The fact that they’re overlooked doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, because an ISP is the MOST likely to be shady. They have a history of doing what’s best for their bottom line at the expense of consumers’ internet privacy.

There also aren’t very many large ISPs out there. This poses a problem because it leaves them with a weak incentive to respect their customers.

If you want to switch your ISP there typically aren’t many to choose from in your area. Not only that but the experience of dealing with customer support when trying to switch is miserable (hello Comcast).

So most people just stick with their provider.

This led to large corporations that don’t need to worry about upsetting their customers too much.

As a result, they began testing the limits of what they could get away with.

A typical practice that compromises your internet privacy is the collecting and selling of browser history. This has been going on in some capacity for a while now, and it’s expected to get worse.

The issue is they’re the first layer of interaction when it comes to your use of the internet. This means if you value your internet privacy and want to safeguard against these practices, you’ll need to try some different tactics.

Here’s what we mean by that:

You can be extremely diligent with your use of social media and search engines, but your ISP will still be able to track your activity. This is because you need to go through them to access these sites in the first place.

The best way to get around this is by using a virtual private network (VPN for short). Doing this helps you reclaim some of your internet privacy by using a private network to hide your online activity.

We don’t want to get into the technical details, but it’s rather easy to set one up yourself. This will prevent ISPs from being able to track what you do online and sell that information to other companies.

The Nasty Stuff

In addition to the possibility that your internet privacy could be taken advantage of by massive companies, you also have to worry about individuals with bad intentions.

These concerns are far more direct. Instead of a nosey social network or data breach, these are malicious attempts to hack or steal.

Viruses and malware are one common example of this. By placing these on your computer a hacker can gain access to sensitive information that you don’t want to be shared. From there they could use it to try and gain access to any of your online accounts, or just sell it.

Some of these attempts are far less tech-savvy. Phishing and social engineering are two of the most prolific techniques in this category.

Both of these typically involve the criminal pretending to be someone they’re not in order to trick the victim into giving up access to sensitive information. These attempts will typically come via email or over the phone.

Internet privacy is under siege now more than ever. If you want to keep yourself safe you need to be aware of what scams are being attempted and maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

Now that we’ve freaked everyone out, there’s only one thing left to do:

Just kidding.

Sure, maintaining your internet privacy is more difficult than it used to be. But that doesn’t mean you’re helpless.

Far from it.

In fact, there are a handful of effective tricks you can use to keep your online experience enjoyable and more private. They’re fairly simple to implement, and most won’t cost you any money at all.

Remove Your Info From Data Brokers & People Search Sites

Earlier we covered the internet privacy issues that sites like Instant Checkmate can cause. Now it’s time to remove your info from them.

It’s very likely that sensitive information such as your home address is on dozens of sites already. The problem is it can take a while to find out what sites have your info and remove it one at a time.

That’s why we made a nifty new tool that can help.

All you need to do is head over to this page to get started. You’ll need to log in to your BrandYourself profile (or create one if needed) to find the tool.

After that things get really easy. You just head over to the new “protect private info” section and start the automatic scan. This will uncover which people search sites have your information.

Then you just need to push the big blue button to remove your data from these sites. We’ll automatically submit opt-out requests to all of these sites and monitor their progress over time.

It typically takes a couple weeks for these sites to honor the requests. The time delay is a result of them receiving so many requests on a daily basis (and because nobody likes them).

By getting your info off of these sites, your internet privacy will be much more secure.

Use A Virtual Private Network

Using a VPN is a great way to make sure your internet privacy isn’t taken advantage of by other companies.

How a VPN works to aid your internet privacy

A VPN will essentially mask your activities online because you will be accessing the web through a private network. This private network helps ensure that your actions are hidden because they will appear to come from another server.

You can also use a VPN to encrypt the data that you’re sending out. This adds another layer of security because normally you would be sending out raw data (which is easier to track).

Using a VPN isn’t free but we highly recommend it if you’re serious about your internet privacy. The cost is typically in the 5-10 dollar per month range, so not too bad.

You can use a VPN on your computer as well as your phone. So if you do a lot of browsing on your phone you’ll want to make sure it’s set up there as well.

Change Your Privacy Settings

This is one of the easiest ways to keep your internet privacy intact, but it’s often neglected.

You should take advantage of the privacy settings on any website where you engage with other users and post content. They all have them, and setting them up can help you stay protected.

There are a lot of options you can choose from depending on which sites you use. The major features to look at are who can see your posts, who can message you, and who can view your profile.

We won’t tell you what specific settings you should go with. Instead, we’ll say this:

The more private and restricted your profile is, the better.

This means if you’re unsure about what to select, defaulting to the safer option is always a good idea. The people who matter will be able to see what you post, but prying eyes won’t.

A surprising number of Facebook accounts are fake, and if you’re a regular user of the platform there’s a chance you could be friends with one of them. Being picky about who can interact with your profile (even among your friends) will go a long way in maintaining your internet privacy.

Avoid Sharing More Than Necessary

A lot of the damage that people do to their internet privacy is self-inflicted. Whether it be on social media, blogs, forums, or comment sections, sensitive information is given out willingly on a regular basis.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix.

Preventing this from happening to you is all about having the right mindset. When you’re aware of the potential downsides of sharing too much online, you’ll be less likely to do it.

Maintaining your anonymity while using the web is essential if you value your internet privacy. Leaving breadcrumbs behind means there’s a higher chance you’ll have a problem in the future.

Here are some details you definitely want to avoid sharing:

  • Your name
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Contact info
  • Family history
  • Medical information
  • Education
  • Financial information

We could expand this list quite easily, but the items above are most easily used to identify people online (or hack them).

Never share these on publically-facing platforms where they can be seen by others. This should only be entered into legitimate websites that you can trust (and even then there’s always the chance of a data breach).

Use Private Search Engines

Private search engines are a great way to keep your internet privacy intact while still browsing the web. If you’re interested in trying this out we highly recommend DuckDuckGo. They’re the Google of private search engines.

The advantage of using a private search engine for the sake of your internet privacy is simple, they deliver the information you want without all the extra tracking.

Unlike typical search engines, personal info isn’t monitored and stored. Advertisements are delivered in the old-fashioned way of being strictly related to search terms only, and user data is never part of the equation.

We recommend that you give DuckDuckGo a try and see how you like it. It’s remarkably similar to using Google, and once you get used to a couple of the differences it’s rather seamless.

If you can get used to it, your internet privacy will be much better off.

Maintain Your Computer

This is probably the least exciting solution on the list, but it’s one of the most impactful.

Having a virus or outdated software likely means your internet privacy is at risk. It might not be fun to spend time on this, but it’s absolutely necessary.

There are a number of viruses and software exploits that allow third parties to monitor what you do on your computer. This not only violates your internet privacy but your privacy as a whole.

Even worse, there’s malware (malicious software) that can keep track of what keys you press on different websites. This makes it all too easy for your passwords to be stolen and used to access accounts you use.

So how do you prevent this?

The first thing you should do is scan your computer for any viruses. Dust off that antivirus software you never touch and put it to work!

If you don’t have any installed and want a free solution you can use Kaspersky for PC and Avast for Mac. These will help you identify any potential security issues or corrupted files on your computer.

Next, take a look at the software you have installed on your computer. Delete anything you don’t use anymore to reduce the risk of outdated software providing a backdoor into your device.

Just taking these two steps will go a long way in making sure everything is secure. Do this every couple of months at minimum to ensure it stays this way.

Is It Realistic To Expect Internet Privacy In The Future?

At this point, you should have a better understanding of internet privacy and what you can do to protect yourself right now.

But what about in the future?

There’s a lot of speculation that internet privacy issues will only continue to get worse as time goes on. The growing market for private data is showing no sign of stopping, and we’re becoming even more attached to using the web.

Even more concerning is the role the government plays in all this. Their disinterest in protecting internet privacy rights for consumers doesn’t leave many feeling optimistic.

But we think there’s still hope.

As internet privacy continues to erode, public interest in protecting their rights online is growing. This has led to various companies creating products and services designed to help.

DuckDuckGo is growing their private search engine, VPN companies are defending you from ISPs, and we’re protecting your privacy online with our personal info remover.

This combined with voters who have a better understanding of internet privacy is what we need to safeguard the future online.

It might be an uphill battle, but we believe it’s winnable.