Posted on August 10 2022
As we've seen in recent days, our digital footprint can be used against us. There are many reasons why someone would want to protect their identity and everyone should be prepared with how to do so. While there’s no easy, full-proof way to remain completely anonymous there are some reasonable actions you can take to try to protect yourself.
Many like myself have adjusted their vocabulary from “safe sex” to “safer sex,” which more accurately describes what we’re typically referring to with contraceptives and STI prevention methods. The same applies to the internet and what we can do to protect ourselves online, hence the the title of this post.
Here's what you can do to be safer in today's world.
1. Use encrypted messaging apps.
iMessage, Messenger, etc. are not safe from subpoenas. Look at encrypted alternatives such as Telegram and Signal.
2. Use a VPN. Incognito mode is still tied to your IP address.
Seriously. Research VPNs like Mullvad or NordVPN.
3. Shop carefully.
If purchasing something potentially incriminating (such as a pregnancy test), use cash and do not scan a loyalty card or enter your phone number or email at checkout.
4. Turn off location services when needed.
Don’t want it to be known you were at a specific location? Turn off location services on your phone before leaving your house. Don’t use Google/Apple Maps. Look at directions in advance or use a trusty ol’ Garmin that isn’t connected to the internet.
5. Get rid of Alexa. Check which apps have access to your microphone and disable accordingly.
On an iPhone, your microphone access can be found under Settings > Privacy.
5. Find a trusted support system.
Sadly, many people are reported by friends and family members. Confide only in those you trust wholeheartedly.
While this isn't a comprehensive list of actions you can take, it's a start. Do your own research (while using a VPN).