Magpie Tech Tips

May 11, 2017

How to Protect Your Business’ Privacy Online – Step 1 of 4: Private Browsing

Private browsing. It's just one way to keep your online activity private and away from prying eyes.

Several customers asked us about protecting their privacy, in light of recent legislative activity.  We’re happy to assist!  Everyone should take steps to keep their online activity private, especially when it comes to their business data.

Why is privacy important to businesses?  Three reasons:

  1. Businesses must protect their privacy to avoid competition copying their IP (Intellectual Property).
  2. Business must keep their customers’ private information (like credit cards and SSNs) secure.
  3. Everyone has a right to privacy, personally and professionally.

You can do plenty of things to protect privacy online. We’ll give you four such activities in our Tech Tips.  One right now, and more in the next 3 issues of WOOF. These are ordered from the browser level to the Internet connection level.

Step 1: Enable Private Browsing

Every major browser has a privacy mode built in.  It’s called “Incognito Mode” or “Private Mode.”  When used in this mode, your browsing history is not stored on the computer.  But, unless you take other precautions, search engines and ISPs can still track where you’re going.

To enable Private or Incognito Mode, choose your browser from the list on this page & follow the given steps:

How do I set my browser to Incognito or Private Mode? – ComputerHope.com

For example, in Google Chrome:

  1. Open a Chrome window.
  2. Click the menu button at top right.
  3. Click “New Incognito Window.”
  4. The new Incognito Mode browser window will open. Browse the Web normally.

If you want to go a little further, the Blur add-on by Abine shields your information, passwords, and payments from tracking. It’s made for Firefox and Chrome, and costs $39/year for Premium.

The other half of Private Browsing is to privatize your searches.  Remember, Google and the other search engines track your search history and use it to show you relevant ads.

To privatize your searches, use the DuckDuckGo search engine. It acts almost identically to Google—except it doesn’t track any of your searches.

In the next Tech Tip we’ll address Step 2: Disk Encryption. Protecting all the files saved on your computer.

Got a tech question you need answered? Please email us at woof@planetmagpie.com and we may make it our next Tech Tip.