What can I do to protect my online privacy?

rhames

I’m not exactly a tin-foil hat wearer, but I would like to reduce the amount of information about me that is easily available to companies, the government, etc. Are there effective ways to increase online privacy that don’t require a lot of effort. Basically, I’m looking for the easy things I can do. Thanks.

Topic: Internet
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jimlynch
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Some good tips here:

Protect Your Privacy Online
http://www.usa.gov/topics/family/privacy-protection/online.shtml

Number6
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If I were to pick three easy things, I would say: (1) Use incognito or private browsing.This will clear your browser of all cookies each time you close it, including tracking cookies. You are not really incognito though, your IP address will still be known. (2) Use a privacy minded search engine like Duck Duck Go or ixquick. This will prevent a trail of information about your search history from being kept and used by third parties. With ixquick you can also choose “post” instead of “get” to keep your search terms out of webmasters’ logs. (3) Turn on “Do Not Track” in your browser. I am not certain how many online advertisers actually respect it and comply, but some of the big ones actually do, so it will help at least a little to minimize targeting advertising. If you really want more privacy, you will need to use a proxy server service like Tor. Like everything else in life, it is a balancing act. How much effort do you want to make, and what level of privacy is acceptable? You have to determine you own personal answer to that equation.

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