A big chunk of our lives is lived on the internet. We do research, shop and connect with friends and family online. That’s why we need to know how to protect our personal information, because more than just prying eyes lurk in the cyberspace. Savvy criminals are able to steal your identity, burdening you with car finance or emptying your bank account overnight.
A good anti-virus programme is an absolute must, but it is not always enough. There are also many software programmes and internet tools that enable you to have a safe browsing experience through preventing exposure of your PC to malicious third parties.
These five tools will let you browse the World Wide Web anonymously:
- Encryption tools help safeguard your personal information and data stored on your computer by using a special type of software which programs the information on your machine so that it cannot be retrieved without using the correct encryption key.
- Ad-blockers are nifty tools that protect you while browsing and also increase your machine’s performance and speed, by blocking certain adverts even before they are loaded. If adverts cannot be blocked, they are hidden within the browser, so that, even though they load, you will see them and will have a better browsing experience.
- Anonymous browsing tools are perfect for you if you do not wish to share your browsing habits on the web. When surfing the web, details such as your computer’s IP address (which identifies it like your street address, identifies your place of residence) and other information will be visible. However, by using an anonymous browsing tool such as VPN (Virtual Private Network), your details and location will be hidden and encrypted, making you anonymous on the web.
- Proxy bypass is a little more advanced tool that lets you hide your IP address through use of a proxy server. A proxy server is a computer system that sits between you and the internet. So, when you are browsing and a site requests your information, it will get the information of the proxy and not yours, effectively working as a gateway for information while protecting you.
- Anonymous email privacy plugin helps you remain anonymous when sending email messages. Every time you send a message, your email provider keeps a record of your personal details and tracks your every move, which can lead to lots of spam landing in your inbox. If you are sick of this, take a look at anonymous email plug-in. However, with South African laws around the CPA (Consumer Protection Act) and POPI (Protection of Personal Information Act), you would be well advised to ensure you use this tool with care.