Herb McMillan For Anne Arundel County Executive
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MD Higher Education Commission Near Completer
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“Nationals October 2019

Internet Privacy: How to Keep Advertisers From Taking Your Data

| April 25, 2022, 06:00 PM

HackerHave you ever thought to yourself, how did the internet know I was thinking about this?

Well, it’s because online advertisers with GDPR compliance collect your data and browsing habits via ‘cookies’ to personalize ads.

Every ad, social media page, and website you view collects data on your location, surfing habits, marital status, age, income, and preferences. In 2020, 47% of Americans suffered data theft which led to losses amounting to $712.4 billion.

To keep advertisers from taking your data, you can use VPNs, ad blockers, text via secure messaging apps, create strong passwords, install antivirus, download software from verified sites and avoid sharing too much personal info online.

Knowing how to safeguard your data is crucial as it limits the data you expose out there, makes it less annoying and protects your finances.

Use Ad Blockers

You can choose not to allow personalized ads by downloading the adblocker app from the play store or apple store. The adblocker not only blocks obnoxious adverts but will also protect your privacy by blocking advanced data profiling.

Additionally, you can turn off personalized ads on your signed-in Google account. Here’s how:

  • On your Google account, select Data & Privacy
  • Select “Things you’ve done and places you’ve been”
  • Go to “Ad Settings”, then Ad personalization
  • Restrict ads by turning off this feature

When you opt out of Google’s personalized ads, you’ll still see adverts, but they won’t be tailored to your interests, browsing habits, or demographics. Rather, they’ll be influenced by criteria like the page’s content or your geographical location.

Install an Antivirus

Although malware attacks are not as prevalent as they were about a decade ago, they’re still there and can be used to scan and steal your info. You’re at risk of opening unknown files and links or if you share your PC with different people.

Talk to an IT expert today for updated antivirus depending on your computer’s operating system. TotalAV Internet Security, McAfee and Avast are some great options to get you started.

Apple users are generally safe with the in-built security features of macOS, especially if they only install software from the Apple Store and use Safe browser extensions.

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Use End-to-End Secure Messaging

You have probably seen apps saying they offer secure end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp. This typically means your messages are safe and cannot be read other than by the party you’ve sent them to.

If a messaging app is entirely encrypted, advertisers may be unable to use your private data to offer features such as personalized ads. Also, automatically generated calendar invites and other functions are blocked while maintaining private communication.

Install a VPN

When your pc, smartphone, or other devices goes online, a VPN encrypts your traffic, hiding where your pc, phone, tablet or other device is when it accesses websites. It also encrypts data you provide over the internet, rendering it unintelligible to anyone who intercepts it -including advertisers.

Restrict Browser Extensions

A plugin can access all of your information for most browsers and, in theory, send it elsewhere. Thus, even uninstalling the extension has no difference.

When you download an extension, your computer or browser warns you about this, but no one reads the warnings.

On your browser menu, click on the options menu, select more tools and click on extensions. To deactivate the extension, click on Enabled to uncheck it or lick the trash can icon next to the extension you wish to remove.

Additionally, do not forget to store your passwords in a secure location other than online such as an MLC or TLC SSD. Your passwords are the key to all your personal information.

Take Action To Protect Your Data

Identity and personal info theft can be a nuisance and cause financial loss. You may avoid the risks and inconveniences of a data breach if you know what to expect and take a few basic precautions to protect yourself and keep watchful.

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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