Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ten Ways To Protect Your Web Privacy

Events such as AOL's release of private search history have prompted many search engine users to be a bit more cautious with their searching habits.

Now, most of us have no need to hide our search history, but there's no harm in more cautious Web surfing. Here are a few ways you can protect your Web privacy:

1. Private information

Do a search for yourself in any search engine and see what comes back - you might be surprised! A good Web safety rule of thumb is to avoid filling out forms that require personal information.

2. Clean out your search history

Most Internet browsers keep track of every single Web site you type into the address bar. In Internet Explorer, you can delete your search history by clicking on Tools, then Internet Options. In Firefox, all you need to do is go to Tools, then Options, then Privacy.

3. Clean out your cache

In order to promote a faster browsing experience, all browsers keep copies of Web sites you've visited in a temporary "cache" file. The same process I described above to clean out your search history can be used to clean out your cache (just different buttons, it's very simple!).

4.Search with a proxy

Surfing with a proxy is one of the best ways to stay anonymous on the Web. Read more about it in my article titled Anonymous Surfing 101.

5. Avoid registrations

If you're as tired as I am of sites forcing you to go through registration just to view their content, than BugMeNot is for you. It's easy to use and makes life much simpler, not to mention it's a good guard of your online privacy and enables you to surf anonymously.

6. Clean up your cookies

Most websites have "cookies", tiny software programs that track your visits. You don't want to completely disable cookies because your Web search experience will definitely suffer, but you should clean them out every once in a while. PCWorld has an excellent article for Internet Explorer users titled Protect Yourself: Clear Your Cookies and History; for Firefox users, try Using the Cookie Manager.

7.Use an independent search engine

If you log onto the Web through an ISP such as Comcast, Earthlink, etc., don't use their search tools to browse the Web, because they'll be able to keep tabs on everything you're doing. Use an independent search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Ask, etc. (you can take your pick of 100 search engines!).

8. Disable auto-complete

Many browsers and even search engines have an auto-complete feature that suggests endings for whatever word you might be typing in. This is a very convenient feature, however, if you're looking for privacy it's something you'll want to get rid of.

9. Careful of your downloads

Not only is this a good idea for privacy advocates, it's also a great way to keep your computer from freezing up. Be very cautious when choosing what to download from the Web; some programs include adware that will report your surfing habits back to a third-party company that will then use that information to send you ads (spam). A good place to find credible free downloads (I test them myself) is the About Web Search Free Downloads section.

10. Be careful where you surf

This is pretty self-explanatory: don't go places on the Web that you would be embarrassed to have your spo, husband, children, or employer see. This is a very low-tech way to protect your Web privacy.

Note: If you want to protect your privacy and keep your secrets then use Ixquick - the world's most private search engine!


dannybuntu said...

Number 11 - do not upload photos of yourself...

Rakesh, do you happen to know how to boot an iso from a hard drive?

Rakesh Kumar said...

Thanks for No. 11. Well, I have tried to resolve your query.

Please checkout my latest post.


dannybuntu said...

Awesome. Much Thanks :)