Science, Technology, and Social Media

5 Apps to Protect Your Privacy in an Age of Digital Surveillance

Introduction 

One of the toughest questions of the digital age where to draw the line between privacy and the privacy law. Digital technologies take advantage of sharing and at the same time government and tech companies keep people’s activities under surveillance. We live in a digital surveillance age where there is no such thing as true privacy. The web page your visit shares your data with various third parties and so do the mobile apps. They collect overly sensitive information such as call records and location even when you are not using them. 

Facebook, the biggest company on the Internet collects a lot of data when people use the services. The tech giant knows who your friends are, what type of content you like and read as well as all your data. Another one is Google, it knows what you search for, what you shop for and what you buy, and where you go when you navigate with Google Maps. The data these tech companies collect is called the first-party data and the information collected is extremely sensitive. These companies also have a long track record of mishandling the data.  

The tech firms and advertisers behind this surveillance are hidden from the users. They have created one-way mirrors from where you can only see apps, ads, web pages, and yourself. But behind that glass, trackers take note of all things you do. Both Facebook and Google have created a network of commercial surveillance with their tracking technologies, cookies, and terms of use. Facebook has an entire repository of your data the company has. In Facebook, navigate to the bottom of the Settings menu where you can find all the photos and videos you have shared, messages and chats, even GIFs you have interacted with. 

Sign in to Google, click on your profile picture, and hit the My Account button. Here you will find a section for Personal Information and Privacy. This section is the repository of everything Google knows about you. 

The primary motive of these companies to collect the data is to target users with relevant ads. You might have noticed that when you search for something on Google like shoes, dresses, or a new Xbox game, you see the ads on Facebook, YouTube, and other websites a few hours or days later. This is because Google and Facebook track you and watch what you lookup online.   

When your data gets into the wrong hands, it can jeopardize your privacy. So, users need to be vigilant while using the internet.

There are various privacy apps available to protect you from Google and Facebook from tracking you. Let us look at our top 5. 

5 Privacy Apps to Safeguard Your Privacy

A VPN

Surfing the Internet using an unsecured Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop could expose your personal information and browsing patterns. The unsecured networks are unencrypted, making it easy for cybercriminals to attack you and sell your information to others. 

The solution to staying safe while using the internet and secure your network is to use a VPN.

A reliable VPN has a robust set of features offering you multiple layers of security. It has its DNS servers that inhibit even the most sophisticated attackers from sneaking on your activities. If the VPN drops, it has a kill switch that activates instantly blocking your internet connection to keep you safe.

TrackOFF Basic

Facebook and Google always track what you do on the internet. The better they do so, the more they can target ads. They can even sell your profile. Do Not Track systems are prevalent now, but the companies have switched to browser fingerprinting techniques to keep track of you.  

This is where TrackOFF Basic comes in. it ensures your browser does not track what you do online. When you visit a website, the browser sends information like your IP address, browser version, and even the fonts on your computer. Usually, this information helps the website to provide a better experience. However, there is so much data running from the browser that trackers create a unique fingerprint easily and recognize you when you visit another site. 

TrackOFF Basic mixes things by altering the fingerprint for each website to secure your online activity. 

Burner Mail

In cinemas, secret agents use phones to connect with their authorities and then destroy them. Burner Mail uses the same idea with emails. It is a browser extension that identifies pages that ask for an email address and swaps it with a burner address. 

Messages reach your regular email inbox, but the replies seem to come from the burner address. Burner Mail does not ask you to create a new email address and you can even alter the receiver for a particular burner mail or send the mail to more recipients.

Burner Mail manages burner addresses offering you security while sending and receiving mails. 

Cyber Privacy Suite

What you do online and on your computer is your business, but in most cases, your info and user habits are tracked by companies who want to monetize your online behavior or steal your identity. You need a powerful app to save off malicious attacks and Cyber Privacy Suite does the job well or protecting you. 

Cyber Privacy Suite fights data breaches, stops web tracking, prevents webcam, and microphone hacking. It has a fingerprint scrambler, personal profile protection, real-time cookie blocker, login credentials encryption engine, sensitive document encryption mechanism, ad blocker, and dark web scanner to keep you safe and secure.

DuckDuckGo

Google and Facebook engage in tracking all your online activities and may share them with the websites you pay a visit to. 

They also record your search history with the time and details of your device, to trace them back to you. 

DuckDuckGo works as an alternative for your default search engine. When you search the internet using the browser, it does not record any search information. Moreover, it is ad-free, gives you unbiased results, and compatible with all browsers. It is best to secure your online tracking. 

Conclusion

These are our top 5 privacy apps you should use to safeguard your online activities from malicious attacks and targeted ads. Your identity is extremely valuable and if it is stolen, it can compromise everyday activities and damage your reputation, both professionally and privately. 

Duncan Idaho

Duncan is a science and technology reporter for CDN and serves as the lead geek correspondent. Follow him if you like rockets, mobile tech, video games or ... just about anything nerdy.

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