Cyberdyke is a computer professional from the Pacific Northwest. She has worked for companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and McAfee. As a child, she wasn't finding any books that appealed to her, so she began writing her own stories. Today she joins us to share some important computer safety advice. Learn more about her and her writing at her website.
Protecting Your Browser History: Why and How
By CD Cyberdyke Savage
Many of us are not aware, as we interact with the Internet, that we are leaving a trail or history of where we’ve been. Each time you type something into your open search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Safari, etc.), it is saved into your browser. To view where you have traveled on the Internet, click the ‘History’ button on your browser. Things you might find there: that embarrassing medical condition you’ve contracted and have been researching, the naughty anniversary gift you purchased for your spouse, or that unknown word you heard on TV. Who knew it was sexual bondage? All of that, and so much more, make up our browser history.
Why all this matters: in April of 2017, the US Congress, decided to allow Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) such as Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc., to sell our browsing history. This is a huge blow to privacy. Anyone can now have access to what you do on or with the Internet if they are willing to pay.
We shouldn’t really be surprised that these companies are salivating to make money off our privacy/data. After all, Facebook and Google have been doing it for years.
Here’s what I recommend you do to protect yourself; stop using Google. They know too much as it is. Follow the instructions in this story to find out what Google knows about you and to delete that information.
Use DuckDuckGo as your search engine. They don’t track you, nor do they keep any of your history. Their search results are just as extensive as Google.
Use Brave as your browser. Unlike Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc., they don’t track you. TIP: It's more secure not to save and reopen tabs when opening your browser. (I receive no financial benefit in recommending either of these companies)
Both of these options are available for Androids, iPhones, Mac, and Windows. On the iPhone, Safari is the default browser and can’t be deleted. Access ‘Settings,’ turn off ‘Cellular Data/Wifi’ for Safari, and it will stop accessing the Internet.
Being smarter about the security of digital online technology should be a part of everyday life, especially now that we are so dependent on our devices. To learn more about how to do this, click here.