I want to 

Keep My Information Hidden From The Public

First Things First

You can’t have privacy without security. But, what’s the difference?

Privacy is your right to have control over your data and how it is used. Security is how your data is protected.

If you can’t adequately protect your “data”, everything you do online, you can’t hope to maintain your privacy. Luckily, there’s simple steps anybody can take to steup up their security.

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Use a Password Manager

What is a password manager?

A password manager is simply a piece of software that will keep track of all the passwords you use on different sites.

But I only have 1 password!

Using the same password on every website you log in to is not a secure solution, because if one of those sites is hacked, the attacker will be able to use that password to hack the rest of your accounts.

So what should I do?

That’s where these password managers come in. This software will generate a unique password for every site you have an account with, and keep track of them all automatically so it’s still easy to sign in.

Choose a password manager here to get started, or click the button below to learn more about how to use a password manager from The Verge.

1Password

1Password is super easy to use, starts at $3/month or $5/month for a family plan, and will keep your passwords in sync across all your devices.

LastPass

LastPass is a free password manager with optional premium functionality.

BitWarden

BitWarden is an open-source password management solution with cloud-sync options, or you can host it yourself!

KeePass XC

KeePass XC is a more technical open-source password manager with clients for various platforms.

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Enable 2-Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication adds a second layer of protection to your accounts that support it. You may be familiar with accounts that send you a text message with a code to sign in, or have a code generated in an app you need to log in. That’s 2FA!

Enabling 2FA on your accounts is simple. For most users, we recommend an app called “Authy”, because it keeps your 2FA codes stored securely in the cloud, in case you lose your phone or the data on it.

Choose a 2FA app here to get started, or click the button below to find out which sites support 2FA, and how to enable it for your accounts.

Authy

Authy is a simple two-factor authentication app for iOS and Android which saves your 2FA codes securely in the cloud for safekeeping.

Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator is a free 2FA app for iOS and Android which stores your codes on your phone, but currently does not include any 2FA code backup functionality.

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Check Your Accounts

Once you have a password manager and 2FA app setup, you’ll need to start updating your security. This might take a while, but getting a unique password on each account alone will get you in the top-tiers of internet account security 🎉

Want some motivation? A website called Have I Been Pwned, run by prominent security researcher Troy Hunt, has been collecting emails from data breaches for years. Enter your email on his site and it will show you exactly how many data breaches your account has been a part of, chances are it’s more than you think! Getting those accounts secured should be top priority, as well as changing the passwords on any accounts that share a password with accounts in the breach.

Getting Started with Privacy

Web Browsers

Almost everything you do is in web browser. If you want privacy, use a web browser that respects you.

Firefox

Firefox is a fast, reliable, modern, and privacy-protecting web browser.

Unlike Google Chrome, Firefox won’t track your data and send it to various companies. Firefox also allows you to simply install a number of add-ons that will improve your privacy online.

Brave

Brave Browser is based on Google Chrome, so if that’s what you’re used to you’ll love the familiar experience.

But unlike Google Chrome, Brave removed all of Google’s tracking, and has a new privacy-respecting advertising model that will pay you to browse the web!

You’ll also need…

An Adblocker: uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is a free browser extension that will block ads online.

Advertisements aren’t just annoying, they can send you to malicious websites that will try to steal your information or make you download viruses to your computer. Blocking advertisements will keep you protected from many of the threats you’ll see online. Brave Browser has an adblocker built in, but if you’re using Firefox or Chrome you should download uBlock Origin.

Social Media Settings

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Set Your Accounts to Private

If you’re able, set your accounts to “Private” mode, this will hide your posts from the public (including search engines), and it will allow you to control who’s following you at any given time.

How to enable Private mode on Instagram. How to enable Private mode on Twitter.

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Delete Your Old Accounts

If you haven’t used an account in over 6 months, you probably don’t need it anymore. Go through your old accounts (especially accounts with public information like social media) and delete anything you haven’t used in a while.

Sharing With Family And Friends

Just because you’re focusing on privacy in social media doesn’t mean you can’t still share posts and photos with people you know!

Share with only "Friends"

On Facebook you can choose who to share your posts with: Everyone, Friends of Friends, or Friends Only. If you want to know who your posts are being shared with exactly, make sure your posts are only being shared with Friends.

Made a lot of Public posts in the past? Learn how to change all your previous posts to “Friends Only” or “Only Me”.

Share Photos Privately

Not all your photos need to be shared to the world. Consider sharing your photos directly with people who might want to view them instead of posting them on Facebook or Instagram. 

Apple users can use iCloud Shared Albums to send photos to friends and family. Android users can use Google Photos to share with any email address. And if you’re feeling technical, you could try hosting your own Nextcloud installation (basically a Google Drive or Dropbox alternative) to share photos and files from your own computer.

Use Instant Messaging

Like your photos, consider who needs to be reading your posts. Whenever possible, consider sending messages privately with an Instant Messenger app like Wire or Signal instead of in public.