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Protecting Your Privacy Online is Worth the Hassle

There are tools to help you safeguard against intruders

Chris Oritz Staff Reporter
Published:
Updated:
5 min read
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LastPass gives tons of warnings about using the same password for multiple uses, I love its password generator as well. Helps to get away from the sports team names or kids birthday passwords we all tend toward.
- Lucius O’Dell, business consultant


Protecting your privacy means getting rid of bad habits. That includes refraining from using passwords that give away your personal information. Most people are probably guilty of using addresses, birthdays, and even names for online passwords. It doesn’t take an online sleuth to figure out that this is definitely not a good practice. Strong passwords should include a combination of numbers, symbols, and non-dictionary words, mixing capital letters and lowercase letters. This will help protect your password against online hackers and other bad actors.

And when you have to create a password for every website and app you visit, it’s easy to get lazy and use the same password. Needless to say, this makes you and your privacy easy targets. If a bad actor gains access to one of your accounts, he or she can gain access to a number of your accounts.

Indeed, juggling dozens of passwords for everything can be a bit daunting. Luckily, there are password management apps that can not only help you manage all your online passwords but help you create unhackable ones. One app like that is LastPass.

Not only does the app store and update passwords for all your accounts, it randomly generates hard-to-hack passwords.

Lucius O'Dell, a business consultant, said LastPass has cut down on all the “what’s the password now” Slack and email messages.

“I have an enterprise account that allows me to share folders with my remote team members to share those business-related passwords,” O’Dell said. “And I have it set to OneTouch verification on my iPhone and iPad that lets me access it and update passwords in real-time across all devices.”

While many of LastPass’s features are free, it offers even more for pro and enterprise accounts, including unlimited password sharing, a full gigabyte of storage in your encrypted vault, and premium multi-factor authentication for even more security.

“LastPass gives tons of warnings about using the same password for multiple uses,” O’Dell said. “I love its password generator as well. Helps to get away from the sports team names or kids' birthday passwords we all tend toward.”

Don’t Get Your Goose Cooked

Google has made it so easy to use its products from making its search ubiquitous everywhere on the Internet. But it’s no surprise Google makes its money by knowing who you are and what you’re searching for.

But if you’re willing to do a little work, you can surf the net while also protecting your privacy.

DuckDuckGo is a private browser that lets you browse online free from third-party advertising trackers and other threats. DuckDuckGo’s network is totally encrypted and your searches are not logged or saved. Also, to help keep you safe, the app gives you a detailed report on the sites you visit, assigning them a security grade A through F.

Brad Shannon, a communications consultant, said he started using DuckDuckGo after some of his clients who were concerned about cybersecurity, made him more aware and concerned about his privacy online.

“I was also not happy when Google left ‘don't be evil’ behind and went fully into gathering and exploiting data for profit,” said Shannon. “Honestly, it feels like you can't ultimately get away from Google - but if I can separate from them at least some, that seems like a good idea.”

With its mobile browser, you can use bookmarks and history just like a normal browser but DuckDuckGo features a “fire button” that easily clears out everything so nothing stays on in the background. Shannon said he thinks more people should think about their privacy when online.

“I think more folks are becoming aware of that,” he said. “We put so much of our information out there without thinking about it, and bit by bit it seems like not much, but it adds up.”

VPN, What is it Good For?

It seems like everyone is talking about VPNs, from logging into a VPN for work and from home or using one to watch movies from different countries. However, if you don’t know what a VPN is or how it works, then you can’t know how one can protect your privacy online.

VPN is short for virtual private network and it works by redirecting your Internet connection and disguising where your Internet connection is when it connects you to websites, according to CNN. VPNs encrypt your information, blocking it from any bad actors who might be intercepting your traffic - including your own Internet service provider.

While most people use VPNs with their desktop or laptops, there are VPNs for your mobile devices like Snap VPN. The Snap VPN app will create a proxy server on your phone so you can protect your privacy on your device even when connected to a public hotspot at places like airports and coffee shops. You can choose from servers from around the globe and even discover how UK Netflix is different from Netflix at home.

Still, privacy protection isn’t free. Snap VPN costs $40 a month or $100 a year. Most VPN services include a fee. But you have to determine how much your privacy online is worth to you. 

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  • #1 Password Manager & Secure Vault! Store passwords and manage your identity. 

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  • Browse the web privately, search anonymously, and escape ad trackers.

    4.7 Ratings 674K+ Reviews 10M+ Downloads

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Protecting Your Privacy Online is Worth the Hassle

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