A DIGITAL LIFE E-GUIDE Keeping Things Private Online Ever had your status update read by more people than you intended? Did your last embarrassing search query pop up while showing something to your friend? Has anyone ever hacked into your email account? Anything you post or do online can be seen by strangers, used by companies for advertising purposes, or even misused by people with malicious intent. Your online privacy is constantly at risk. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to protect it. They will not only help you minimize the amount of personal data tracked by websites and services, but they can also be used to tighten the security of your accounts, making sure no data goes out without your consent. We’ve classified these privacy tools into three categories—browser tools and features, online tools, and site/app settings and features. Browser Tools and Features Plug-ins and Extensions Plug-ins and extensions expand your browser’s functionality, but did you know they can also increase your privacy? Some extensions like Adblock Plus1 disable cookies and plug-ins that track your activity. They also disable social media buttons, which send your data to social networking sites like Facebook and Google+. Private Browsing Don’t want anyone knowing about your frequently visited sites or personal search queries? Opt for private browsing. It allows you to go online without saving your personal information, browsing history, or cache on the device you’re using. Most browsers offer private browsing modes like Private Browsing (Safari, Firefox), Incognito (Chrome), and InPrivate Browsing (Internet Explorer). The option is available on some mobile browsers like Firefox for Android.2 You can find the private browsing option under your browser’s Tools, Settings, or Options menu. You can also use keyboard short-cuts like Control/Command + Shift + N (Chrome, Opera) or Control/Command + Shift + P (Firefox, Internet Explorer). While private browsing clears your browser of your online activities, websites, ISPs, and even your employers can still track the pages you visit in real time. 1 http://adblockplus.org/ 2 http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/mobile/ Delete Cache, Cookies, and History Every time you go online, you leave a trail of digital “crumbs” in the form of cookies, cache, and browsing history. Regularly deleting these can remove traces of your online presence and activities. There is a drawback though. Deleting cookies will require you to enter your user name and password each time you visit a site. You can delete your cookies, cache, and history by accessing the Tools, Setting, or Options menu. Disable Autofill/Autocomplete Relying on browsers to remember your data might seem convenient. Imagine not having to type the same things over and over again. But this convenience can come at a price. The autofill feature can reveal data you don’t want others to see, like your user names and passwords. You can disable this feature on the Tools, Settings, or Options menu. Online Tools Anonymizers or Proxy Avoidance Tools If you want to make your online activity untraceable, use anonymizers. These act as proxies between the Internet and your computer. They hide any information revealing your computer’s identity, such as your IP address and your exact location. Anonymizers aren’t limited to desktop computers. Tor Project, a non-profit organization specializing in secure and private communications, offers desktop browsers3, an iOS browser4 and an Android app5 to help hide your online presence. Privacy Scanners Just how much personal information goes in and out of the sites you visit? Using privacy scanners, you can check your current privacy settings on websites and get recommendations on what to improve. Privacy scanner apps are also available for mobile devices. Trend Micro™ Privacy Scanner for Facebook lets you monitor and control who can contact you or access your personal information.6 Some privacy apps can even identify which of your apps gather what type of information, so you can be aware of any activity happening without your knowledge. Self-Destructing Messages Make sure no one else reads the private messages you send by using self-destruct messaging services like BurnNote.7 Once your messages are sent out to and read by your intended recipient, all traces of them are deleted. 3 4 5 6 7 https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/onion-browser/id519296448?mt=8 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.torproject.android&hl=en https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trendmicro.socialprivacyscanner https://burnnote.com/ Site/App Settings and Features Privacy Settings Don’t settle for the default. It’s always better to tinker with your account settings. Most social networking sites have a comprehensive list of privacy settings. Facebook, for example, lets you control the how much of your information people can view. Twitter also offers private accounts, allowing you to screen who can view your tweets. Some companies, like Google, provide you a master account for all their sites. You can “turn off your Google Web History” so your search queries and other activities won’t be linked to your online profile.8 Multi-factor Authentication You don’t want strangers snooping in your email accounts and reading your private messages. That’s why passwords exist, right? But relying on passwords alone can be risky since they can be cracked.9 This is where multi-factor authentication comes in. Multi-factor authentication makes accounts more secure because it uses “something the user knows” (your password) and “something the user has” (a phone). Prying eyes won’t be able to open your accounts because even if they guess your password, they will also need your phone, containing the code you were sent. Several services and sites now offer multi-factor authentication. Facebook10, Google11, and Yahoo!12 all have settings for this feature. Other sites like Amazon and WordPress support multi-factor authentication via the Google Authenticator app.13 8 9 10 11 12 http://support.google.com/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=54057 http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/08/passwords-under-assault/ https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150172618258920 http://support.google.com/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=180744 http://developer.yahoo.com/blogs/ydn/posts/2011/12/yahoo-introduces-stronger-user-authentication-second-sign-in-verification/ 13 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.authenticator2&hl=en End User License Agreements (EULAs) EULAs—those long and often confusing statements you need to agree to before signing up for accounts—have become the bane of users everywhere. In fact, a lot of users don’t bother reading them.14 Though the EULA is technically not a privacy feature, it can help you gauge the amount of privacy you’re given. Familiarity with EULAs is also an advantage, given how some sites change their policies regularly. For instance, Instagram updated its policy to claim the right to users’ photos without payment or notification.15 After much backlash, it removed that particular detail in its policy.16 14 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/04/feature_tech_licences_are_daft/ 15 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57559710-38/instagram-says-it-now-has-the-right-to-sellyour-photos/ 16 http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57559890-93/instagram-apologizes-to-users-we-wontsell-your-photos/ Abuse and Responsible Use As the term implies, privacy tools are meant to protect your privacy. However, these tools can also be abused by cybercriminals to mask their identities and illegal activities. Your fellow users could likewise misuse these tools for activities that may be illegal or malicious. Sudden and unannounced changes to EULAs can also be viewed as abuse. EULAs may contain or add stipulations that may actually be detrimental to your privacy.17 Your data can actually be turned over to law enforcement without your knowledge. So what can you do? Familiarize yourself with privacy settings and tools. There are many privacy tools offered online, most of them free. Also keep yourself updated with the latest changes to the policies of your frequently used sites. They may affect your online accounts and the information you share. Always take the time to explore and adjust your privacy settings accordingly. Remember, everyone has the right to privacy, but this doesn’t mean they should abuse the tools intended to protect that right. Protecting your privacy comes with exercising your right to be a responsible online citizen. 17 http://business.time.com/2012/08/28/7-surprising-things-lurking-in-online-termsof-service-agreements/ TREND MICRO TRENDLABS Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global cloud security leader, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with its Internet content security and threat management solutions for businesses and consumers. A pioneer in server security with over 20 years’ experience, we deliver top-ranked client, server and cloud-based security that fits our customers’ and partners’ needs, stops new threats faster, and protects data in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ cloud computing security infrastructure, our products and services stop threats where they emerge— from the Internet. They are supported by 1,000+ threat intelligence experts around the globe. 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