Technology is everywhere. You might use your microwave to heat your morning coffee. On the way out the door, you use your smartphone to check your email. Your car is a hybrid, combining gas with electric power to get you to your destination.
All of that would have dazzled the average person half a century ago. It’s also probable that if you went forward in time fifty years, you would encounter tech that seems as marvelous to you as someone from 1950 would think about today’s gadgets and vehicles.
There is one thing about today’s technology that some people don’t like so much, though. It is very good at pointing out exactly where you are at all times or what you are doing. Let’s look at three ways you can hide your location and activities if you would prefer to protect your privacy.
A VPN is something many people want these days. VPN stands for virtual private network, and there are all kinds of things you can do with one.
For instance, you can block anyone online from seeing your physical location if you’re at home working on your desktop, laptop, or tablet. You can also use a VPN to update Active Directory passwords.
If hiding your presence interests you more than anything else, you can contact Nord or one of the other popular VPN options. This will prevent someone to whom you’re speaking from seeing where you are in the world.
There are abundant reasons why you may not want someone to see where you online and why you would purchase a VPN to conceal your location. For instance, maybe you want to watch one of your local baseball teams, but Major League Baseball has blackout restrictions in place. You can utilize a VPN to get around that and check out your team’s games in peace.
Block GPS Tracking on Your Smartphone or Other Devices
You should also realize that when you have a smartphone or some other device with you, such as a tablet, companies are geo-tracking you. All such devices now have GPS installed, and that might bother you because of privacy issues.
Many people also need to block geo-tracking because they want unrestricted TV access. We mention sports, but individuals in some countries can’t watch the shows they want on Netflix or elsewhere because of their nation’s restrictive policies.
One way you can block tracking is by turning off cookies. You can do this fairly easily in most instances, depending on which device you have.
Of course, if you block cookies when you go online, that will restrict how you can use certain sites. When you go to your web browser’s settings and hit “Turn Cookies Off,” you might not be able to see all of some websites or use them in particular ways.
The third way to block entities from tracking you that we wanted to mention is plug-in management. A plug-in is a third-party software piece. It can be proprietary, but not always.
When you install it, it functions within another operating environment. If you go to eCommerce websites, you will often deal with plug-ins without even realizing it.
The social media icons that appear on such sites are one example. The payment solutions they use, like Apple Pay or Google Pay, are others.
You might not know this, but hostile plug-ins do exist. Some of them might track your browsing habits, whether you decide to buy anything from the site you visited or not. You can see their impact when ads start popping up in your browser featuring the items you looked at on that particular site.
Some eCommerce sites take things one step further, though. They might sell other companies your online habits. That’s a privacy invasion most people don’t enjoy.
You can disable plug-ins by going to your web browser’s control panel. The tradeoff, naturally, is that if you do want to buy something from one of these sites, you probably will not be able to do so. You’ll need to think about whether you wish to retain your privacy or whether you want what that company features on their site.
As you can see, some tracking methods exist so you can move around freely on the internet. There are definitely steps that ensure your online privacy, but taking them can handcuff you in some ways.
Consider your online objectives when figuring out the best path forward in this regard.