The Resolution of Privacy: 5 Ideas for 2018 from freemexy's blog

2017 taught us that you can’t trust your government entities, ISPs, or any other parties to protect your privacy by default. Confounding congressional acts, flawed FCC decision-making, corporate corruption, and rising cyber crime made that all too clear. Instead, you must take matters into your own hands. With that in mind, here are five privacy resolutions you should commit to for 2018, even if your other resolutions fall by the wayside.

1. Always update your software as soon as possible.
Apps and operating systems are constantly improving. That’s a positive, but unfortunately some improvements are necessitated by bugs and vulnerabilities. These deficiencies can render your devices unsafe to use until a software update is performed. While you don’t always have the bandwidth to dedicate to automatic updates, you should make an effort to update your software as early as conveniently possible. Using a device with known security risks is pure, avoidable recklessness.

2. Delete your data regularly.
You should try to store your most personal information offline, but understandably, that isn’t always realistic. To keep your sensitive data safe, make sure you regularly delete it when it’s no longer of use to you. This includes everything from texts messages and emails, to photos and videos; it also includes unused apps. Apps are highly sensitive because they have potential to share your information with other apps and third parties. For some files it may be necessary to delete twice. Photos, for example, are often temporarily still stored on your phone even after you delete them. To permanently erase, you must manually delete them a second time.

3. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) for all your accounts.
You should know by now that a strong password is a must for all of your online accounts. But no matter how long or complex your string of characters are, you can still do more to secure your logins. Two-factor authentication requires you to present two separate validation components before granting access to your account. With some services, such as Instagram, two-factor authentication is optional; you should consider it a privacy requirement. To extend two-factor authentication to all of your accounts, consider a password manager.

4. Actually read privacy policies.
You’ve probably signed up for an account or downloaded software and been asked to confirm that you’ve read and agreed to a policy. Even more, you probably checked to confirm you read that policy without hesitation. But did you actually read it? Likely not. Ditch that good-for-nothing that habit in 2017, and don’t look back. At the bare minimum, you should scan privacy policies and TOS agreements to see what data you’re consenting to share, and who it will be shared with. Many companies sell your data to third parties – and you’ve probably agreed to it blindly. If you take a closer look at privacy policies, you’ll know what data-sharing you’re agreeing to, and you may think twice about it.

5. Connect to a VPN daily
One privacy policy that may not be too revealing? Your broadband provider’s. In 2017, Congress agreed to let ISPs sell customer data without consent. Thankfully, you can combat this obscene invasion of privacy with encrypted VPN connections. VPN hides your web traffic, severely limiting the amount of data your ISP can collect and share. And it’s not just useful at home. VPN service also hides your online activity from snoopers and cybercriminals on public networks, so you can maintain your digital privacy wherever you are.
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