It’s that time of the year where we reflect on the year that has passed and think about what we want to achieve in the year to come. 

If you are into privacy like we are, or find that focusing on tightening your digital footprint is something that stays untouched on your new year resolution list year after year, you might want to try these commandments. They’re way easier and more fulfilling than diets and exercise.

You shall:

Keep your searches private by using search engines like Startpage to prevent tracking and annoying retargeting ads using their “Anonymous View” feature.

Set up multi-factor authentication. We know this adds an extra step to your login process, but it also adds an extra layer of security. We recommend setting this up on important accounts that hold personal information such as email, banking, etc. If you’re not sure if it’s available… check out twofactorauth.org

Avoid using the same password for your account logins and use a password manager to help keep track of your passwords. Password managers will help you generate and store your passwords in a secure way. Some browsers have it built-in or you can use tools like Dashlane or 1Password that will work across different browsers. 

Use a private email service to control your personal information. With StartMail, your messages will be kept private. Plus, with features like aliases, you can keep your identity safe and maintain an uncluttered, spam-free inbox!

Install a VPN (virtual private network) to help you protect your IP address and your privacy.

Keep your software current with the latest updates. Older software may contain security bugs that could leak your information. We recommend setting up automatic updates to help you have the latest, “bug-free” versions. 

Update your privacy settings. Take time to adjust your apps, and make sure that your location and other information is not being shared without your consent. Maybe you have some apps you haven’t used in a while; take time to remove them to reduce the danger of your personal information being leaked.

Install antivirus software on all your devices and be sure to keep it up-to-date to prevents new threats.

With all of these commandments followed, your online privacy will be better guarded against external threats. We promise it will be worth your time and will bring you added peace-of-mind about your privacy in the new year!