You've likely made a resolution in the past that turned out... well, let's just say it didn't turn out so well. 😞
Not this year!
Our recommendation? Resolve to take back control of your personal data online. Most people believe that control of their personal data is broken, but don't know what to do to fix it, or worse, think they can’t do anything to fix it. We're here to tell you that you can achieve this meaningful resolution through a few quick steps, each of which make a huge difference protecting your privacy: from stopping big tech from sucking up all your browsing data, to adding extra protection to your passwords and email. And, once set up, unlike going to the gym or mastering a new skill, it doesn’t take much effort to maintain.
So, let’s make 2020 the year we take back our online privacy!
Step 1. Update your software
Software on devices like phones, tablets and computers gets out-of-date over time, and old software can contain security bugs or settings that leak personal data. To reduce your exposure to these privacy risks, check for updates to your apps and operating systems, and even better, set them to update automatically. That way you'll always have the latest, safest versions.
Step 2. Update your privacy settings
Now that you have the latest software, dig into the latest privacy settings and update them. Here are step-by-step instructions for all the major device types.
Make sure you also go in and adjust per-app location settings, so that your location history isn’t leaking where it shouldn’t. For bonus points, review the apps you have installed. If there are any you haven't used for a while, remove them to reduce the chance of your personal data being shared.
Step 3. Download DuckDuckGo on all your devices
If you’re unfamiliar with DuckDuckGo, we're the leading provider of privacy protection tools to help you seamlessly take back control of your personal information online. We’ve been providing a private alternative to Google Search at https://duckduckgo.com for over a decade, and also offer a mobile private browser for iOS/Android (DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser) as well as browser extensions for Firefox,
Chrome, and Safari (DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials) to protect your desktop browsing. With just one download you'll get tracker blocking, secure connections to websites, private search, and privacy grades for websites you visit. Privacy, simplified.
Step 4. Use a password manager
Privacy and security are not one and the same, but the two can go hand-in-hand. If your accounts are not secured, your privacy is at risk. Have you ever used the same password on more than one website? If the answer's yes, then your privacy may be compromised due to data leaks. The fix is easy: start creating unique passwords for every website you use. That may sound like a lot of work, but it’s not when you use a password manager. Password managers generate and store secure passwords for you automatically. Many browsers now have them built-in. Or, you can use a browser-independent tool like LastPass, Dashlane, or 1Password that work across multiple browsers.
Step 5. Set up two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is where you use a code to login in addition to your password. You want to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible, and certainly on your major accounts (email, financial, etc.). You can check if major sites have it available at Two Factor Auth, which also links directly to the right documentation pages.
And that’s it! With the above five steps, your personal data will be much more private online. Please let everyone know if you’re vowing to take back your privacy in 2020 by sharing the hashtag #ProtectPrivacy2020.