Our modern world is more connected than ever. We are using our phones, computers, and smart devices daily and relying on them more and more.
While this is really convenient, a lot of the time these devices and the software running on them don't respect the privacy of their users.
Here are a few tips on how you can improve your own privacy
1- Social media privacy settings
It is very likely that you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a couple of other social media platforms.
A good idea is to check your post privacy settings.
- Set your personal posts to friends only. (Or don't share them at all, if you don't need to)
- Set your less personal posts to friends of friends.
- Try not to set anything to public, unless you specifically want it to get a lot of reach.
2- Data Collection
A lot of applications collect data from the users. This is a huge privacy concern.
It is generally a good idea to check the the telemetry data collection of the OS on your device (Android, Windows, etc..).
It's also worth checking the settings for individual apps.
Check the settings for "Telemetry Data Collection", "Usage Statistics", or anything in that sense. They're usually found under privacy, data, or security.
3- Checking App Permissions (Android)
Check the permissions of apps. Some apps ask for access to your storage, location, microphone, and a lot more. This is a huge privacy concern as a lot of the time the apps don't even need these.
This brings us to the next point, which is limiting the internet access of apps.
4- Using a Firewall
There are a lot of firewall apps, many are open source too. What a firewall app basically does is that it blocks all internet connections coming to and from the application.
This could be useful to block internet access to apps which don't need internet to work. This will stop the apps from being able to send any collected data from the user to their servers (if there is any).
A popular firewall application for Android is NetGuard which is open source and free.
5- Pausing your search engines activity settings
Search engines such as [Google, Bing, etc] collect a lot of data from your phone and seaeches, this is to personalise your ads, your searches, recommendations, etc..
As an example, If you're using Google you can head over to https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity and check which data you want to disable the tracking for.