How can we protect our privacy?
With its new General Data Protection Regulation, the EU has laid a significant foundation for improvements in how our data is protected. Yet effective protection is something that only we ourselves can provide. I pay attention to a few simple things. Here are some examples:
1 The weather report
Let's say you're looking up the weather in Hamburg three days from now. It can just so happen that your travel plans end up in your digital footprint, to which countless servers have access. Many apps, especially the free ones, collect lots of data about us, then in turn sell it so that they can finance themselves with the earnings. Among these you'll also find weather apps. Unlike a weather website, the phone's system enables a weather app to have far more access rights to it and the private information that it contains. That's why when using apps especially, I pay particular attention to which access rights I grant them. Or I look for similar online alternatives that are easier for me to limit. Because while using a website, you can make sure that your search takes place anonymously. The article Dive into the Darknet explains how this can be done.
2 Cautious Wi-Fi use
For security reasons, everyone should enjoy public hotspots with caution, as they are often unencrypted and hackers can easily exploit them. Deutsche Telekom's hotspots, in contrast, offer a secure connection, as they establish what is known as "VPN" connections. These are encrypted and anonymized. For privacy protection reasons, it is generally advisable not to keep the WiFi permanently activated, as this will enable you to prevent a potential recording of your movement profile. Such a profile can be generated when the Wi-Fi connection has been activated. That's why I pay particular attention to when I turn on my cell phone's Wi-Fi function and when I don't.
3 Search with an invisibility cloak
Online searches are a tricky subject when it comes to privacy protection. This is because everything I search for discloses very personal information that can be stored in my digital footprint and analyzed. Fortunately, there's a search engine explicitly dedicated to privacy protection: Startpage.com. It utilizes the Google search results. But in contrast to Google, Startpage.com doesn't store any personal information or search terms, doesn't set any tracking cookies, involves no third-party supplier code and only collects the data it uses for internal statistics in a completely anonymous way.