What You Should Know About Your Online Privacy

In our technology-driven world, just where and how much of our data is being shared? For Data Privacy Day, we’re going to be showing you just how private your personal data really is and exactly what you can do to be on top of your online privacy.

Who is sharing your data?

Keeping your personal information private in the digital age can be a bit trickier than you’d initially expect. No matter where you go online you’ll inevitably end up leaving a digital trail that databases can track.

Third-party advertisers love to track your online habits and then sell this information to other online marketing organizations. By doing so, organizations can begin to market specific products and services to you based on your online activity. Whether its through signing a privacy agreement for a social media site or simply allowing cookies for a particular site, you may end up forfeiting more of your personal information than you initially expected.

What data is being shared?

Most of the data being shared online usually ends up containing someone’s online activity or their personal information. As we mentioned before, online organizations utilize records of your online activity to accurately market to your interests. There’s a reason you’ve been seeing more dishwasher ads after looking up “broken dishwasher” on Google.

However, sometimes the data being shared isn’t just meant for marketing, but for more malicious pursuits. Last year, Facebook revealed that 87 million users had their data exposed in a data breach; while this leaked data might be used by some renegade marketing agency, it’s likely that cybercriminals will comb through the data looking for bits of personal information they can piece together and profit off.

Cybercriminals are always on the hunt for your personal data as it gives them a higher chance of accessing financial information. Phishing scams have been common practice lately, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on your cybersecurity knowledge.

When is your data being shared?

Your data is almost always being shared in some form. Most of the time people aren’t even aware that their data is being shared, but in the digital age it’s much more common than you think. It’s nearly impossible to have a completely empty online record – online databases are constantly swapping bits and pieces of information to compile online profiles. This isn’t meant as a scare tactic, the internet simply works to collect relevant data like this.

On the more malicious end of the spectrum is where you’ll find the dangerous type of data sharing: data breaches. Data breaches happen all the time, and their goal is to gain access to your information.

If you believe you’ve fallen victim to a data breach, we recommend contacting your bank immediately and changing all your account passwords. Click here to learn how you can create a strong password.

What can you do to protect your data?

There are handful of things you can do to protect your data online, but the best way is to make sure your accounts are secure with strong passwords, and use a VPN.

NordVPN

When it comes down to securing your account, the first thing you should be wary of are your passwords. Having complex and secure passwords are a must for your cybersecurity, as it keeps your accounts and your data safely contained without fear of being compromised.

However, if you really want to beef up your online privacy, using a virtual private network (VPN) is your best bet.

Imagine a VPN as a hack-proof, encrypted tunnel for online traffic to flow. Nobody can see through the tunnel and get their hands on your internet data. A VPN effectively keeps your online data safe from prying eyes, allowing you to browse worry-free.

At FixMeStick, we always recommend NordVPN for your privacy needs, as it gives you peace of mind each time you’re online. Especially if you need to use public Wi-Fi, access personal and work accounts on the road, or want to make sure your browsing history is kept to yourself.

Want to learn more about VPNs? Check out our guide here, and make sure to get 70% off your NordVPN purchase by clicking here!

6 comments

  1. Garth Rayment -

    I live in Calgary and Shaw Communications is my service provider for internet & cable. I currently have a Blue Curve Gateway XB6 WiFi modum. From what I’ve read on line lately, the Shaw Gateway will not allow a VPN. Is there any way around this as I would love to have one.

  2. Ralph Nave -

    I have your StartMeStick. Does that use Nord? Can it protect cell phones as a VPN?

  3. Jonathan -

    Hi Garth,

    That’s a good question! I did some digging on my own end and found that this a common issue with Shaw Gateway, however there doesn’t appear to be a clear solution to the issue. According to one of their representatives VPN setup is not something they support with consumer accounts.

    Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!

  4. Jonathan -

    Hi Ralph,

    Unfortunately the StartMeStick does not come equipped with NordVPN. In this case, it would be be to purchase a NordVPN subscription as it covers both PC and mobile use!

  5. Laurie -

    How does VPN compare to start me stick? Can they be used at the same time?

  6. Jonathan -

    Hi Laurie,

    Good question! The StartMeStick and VPN are fundamentally different services. While the StartMeStick does provide additional security, it doesn’t provide the same level of security that a VPN provides. Using a VPN ensures that your IP address and online activity is effectively private and hidden from third-party trackers and malicious actors, which the StartMeStick does not provide.

    The answer your last question – yes, they can be used at the same time. NordVPN allows you to install a Chromium extension, which you can use within the StartMeStick!

    Let us know if there’s anything else we can help with!

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