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The Tools You Need for Digital Privacy & Security in 2021

Written by Jenny Carter, blogger.

As we reach the mid-point of 2021’s first quarter, it is becoming apparent that our old attitudes to online privacy and security no longer suffice. A confluence of events including the global pandemic, the rise of work from home models, and a growing number of sophisticated cyber threats have sparked a movement of sorts; one that keeps privacy at the fore.

Now, people all over the world are increasingly aware that they need to batten down the digital hatches and keep their data and sensitive information private and safe. There is a definite link between privacy and cybersecurity; if your activity and data are both hidden, then you are less likely to become an attacker’s target.

With that in mind, here we go over the tools you need to ensure your online protection in 2021 and beyond.

Best tools to guard privacy online

Proxies

A proxy server is a digital tool that is designed to create distance between a user and their online activity. You can think of a proxy server as an intermediary between the web as a whole and the end-user, such as yourself. The benefits of using a proxy include increased cybersecurity, privacy, and even improved performance.

As a gatekeeper of sorts, proxy servers are both firewalls and web filters rolled into one. In regards to the latter, businesses can use proxies to limit employee access to certain parts of the internet and individual users can use proxies to stop children from seeing certain types of content, for example.

Additionally, proxy servers hide your true IP address, therefore shielding your actual physical location from prying eyes.

VPNs

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs for short, have some similar qualities to proxy servers. For example, with a VPN switched on, your real IP address is hidden, your internet activity is carried out on a private network, and the VPN acts as an intermediary between the user and the internet. On top of that, VPNs encrypt all your web traffic and data transmissions for security. A VPN works by generating a private browsing network through a process known as tunnelling. 

When you’re choosing a VPN for better security and privacy, always choose a high-quality, paid subscription as free versions are notorious for selling your data to third parties.

Encrypted email providers

It might be one of the world’s most popular email providers, but Google’s Gmail leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to privacy. Ever had an appointment miraculously appear in your calendar without your input? That’s because Google’s platform can view the content of your emails. Convenient perhaps, but it’s a real privacy no-go.

Instead, switch to a full encrypted email provider so your private emails stay private. One top choice is ProtonMail, which offers full end-to-end encryption, making your emails near-impossible to hack or decode.

To boost your digital security, and keep your online activities private (as they should be) start making use of the three top tools detailed above.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

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