If ever there was a reason to consider privacy and security beyond the basics of username and password it’s because even Apple is getting hacked. Those outlaws in Turkey may or may not have a few hundred million iCloud accounts ready to be locked up or purged, but just the thought should send us out looking for ways to keep others from getting in.
Here’s my quick list of how you can be better hidden and why it’s worth your while.
As to the latter, it should be obvious. If everyone is out to get you, a little paranoia is a good attitude to have, right? So, tread carefully online.
Two-factor Authentication – this is high on my list these days and a good way to keep your Apple ID out of the hands of Turkish rednecks, President Trump’s Russian friends, and President Obama’s embedded government forces.
Apple has a good step-by-step on two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. It adds an extra layer of effort, but provides much more security because no one can hack your account without you getting notification.
Use A VPN – that’s virtual private network, and while some are free, most have a price tag but what they do is keep you online but off the public four lane highways where all the pirates roam. It’s a very good way to disguise your iPhone, Mac, and iPad online.
A VPN also allows you to change or mask your true location. That means all those Amazon ads that stalk you online with ads because you have not yet purchased what’s in your shopping cart are fully foiled. If you take a few other steps.
Remember, too, ISPs- in some locales, your internet service provider is required to maintain a log of your online life. The VPN prevents that.
Search Better – Google is the default search engine for Mac users, but that can be changed and should be changed. If you use Gmail then Google can put two and two together and determine that you’re the one searching for all those rhino horns on the blackmarket.
I use DuckDuckGo instead. No ads, no tracking, just search results but if you must use something else make sure it has an incognito mode. Something is better than nothing.
Browse Better – believe it or not, not all Mac browsers (or iPhone and iPad) are created equal. Google’s Chrome wants to display ads and track you and there are hoops to jump through if you don’t obey. Even Safari is suspect because Apple gets hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year to keep Google the default engine. Stick in an ad blocker.
Last year I wrote about what data gets tracked in Beware The Dangers Of Online Tracking. It’s a worthy read because you’ll be surprised at how much information gets collected about you, and Google can track it all back to you, your account, even your home.
Websites are even worse. Many subscribe to Google Analytics and run advertising from Google Adsense, probably the worst traffic tracking offenders on the interwebs. Note that NoodleMac has a few ads, but no trackers, not even an analytics tracker and that’s by design.