There’s no such thing as privacy in the modern world. Sure, you could try to live off the grid, but sooner or later some tech genius or hacker will eventually figure out the town, street, and postcode of the rock you’re living under. It also doesn’t help that the websites and services we take for granted are constantly tracking our every move (we’re looking at you, Mark Zuckerberg).

But even though it may seem like a lost cause, there are some things you can do to protect your privacy -- or at least make it difficult for anyone to steal your identity.

Hide your online activity

Believe it or not, people can learn a lot about you just by tracking where you spend your time online. You may not be worried if people know you like Game of Thrones and cat videos, but what if they managed to dig up compromising information? Things like your social networks, business information, and embarrassing sites you visited last night could be exposed to the public.

“Look everyone, Jim reads Twilight fan fiction.”

By knowing about your obsession with comic books, for example, marketers can make highly targeted ads that entice you to spend a fortune on action figures. But if hackers manage to obtain your browsing information, they can either send super effective online scams or just blackmail you.

If you really care about your privacy, use a secure browser with private browsing features. Google Chrome, for instance, has an “Incognito mode,” which deletes all the cookies, temporary internet files, and a record of the sites you visited in a browsing session after you close the window. When paired with a VPN -- a virtual private network that redirects a user’s traffic to a secure, encrypted server -- it’s almost impossible for anyone to figure out what websites you visit.

Secure your devices

No matter how secure manufacturers say their devices are, keeping up with updates and installing security software goes a long way. With antivirus software, for instance, you can prevent hackers from spying on you if they managed to sneak in spyware on your PC.

You should also be careful with the apps you install. Some apps will ask permission to access your photo library or Facebook contacts. If you grant access to every app you’ve installed, you could be giving away your sensitive data to evil corporations.

Mind what you post

As tempting as it is to post a picture of your breakfast or a candid selfie (there’s no such thing), you should mind what you share on social media. Sites such as Facebook have vague privacy policies that can only be decoded by a team of lawyers. In fact, in recent reports, the amount of information Facebook is selling to advertisers and third parties is shocking. Everything from your private messages with friends to terrible photos you posted ten years ago are all being recorded.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do other than deactivate your social media accounts. But if having “friends” and “connections” is important to you, make sure to adjust your privacy settings so that only friends can see your posts. Another way to protect yourself is by simply watching what you share online. After all, no one likes a show off.

“Going to France, and I have all my personal information to prove it. #blessed”

Adopt password best practices

Passwords have long been the most vulnerable parts of any system, and it’s easy to see why. Today, people think they’re pulling a fast one on hackers when they set their name or birthday as their password. Don’t be like these people. Create long passwords or “passphrases” that have a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers.

Also, don’t use that same password across multiple accounts. Because if one gets compromised, all other accounts that use the same password are also at risk.

If you think you’ll forget your passwords, don’t worry. Password manager software will help you remember your passwords for all your accounts.

Online privacy is a precious commodity. And given the worrying advancements in cyberattacks and online surveillance, there are even fewer places to hide your identity. Fortunately, we here at Red Key Solutions can keep your privacy under heavy lock and key. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.

Red Key is a leading cybersecurity company serving New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond. Click here to learn more.