The digital world is a big place. “Big” would actually be an understatement. The digital world is infinitely big and is always expanding. It is safe to say that one can get lost in the World Wide Web and come across multitudes of data ind information. However, roaming the digital world can be a risk. With the NSA tracking our time online to hackers trying to get into your accounts, the internet can be a hard place to navigate through safely. I’ve come across three helpful resources that could help you surf the web with precautions.
The first one I would like to talk about is the guide How to Control Your Data on Chrome. This guide gives certain steps you can take to protect your privacy while using Google Chrome. One thing it mentioned was the use of “Incognito Mode”. With incognito mode, there is no recording of your browse and search history, as well as cookies and temporary files. All in all, incognito mode clears most, if not all, traces of you being on the internet after you are done using the browser. Another step you can take is changing your search engine. Because Chrome is made by Google, Google is automatically the default search engine. With this, Google is able to collect your data. Instead of letting them do this, you can change the search engine to something more reliable, such as DuckDuckGo, a search engine that prioritizes the privacy of the user rather than data mining.
The second resource I came across is a video called Citizen X. This video talks about your citizenship based on the data you come across online. Organizations like the NSA look into your data online and other data you come across to determine how but of an “American citizen” you are. Many websites we use may be owned and run my American companies, but the data can be stored on servers outside of the United States. This is where Citizen X comes it. This citizenship isn’t based on which country you were born in, but rather the data that we generate online; so instead of being citizen to one country, your data can make you part-citizen of many countries at the same time. The video states that the NSA is legally not allowed to spy on US citizens, but in order for them to decide if you are a US citizen online, 50% of your data must be from American servers. Any less than 50% makes you eligible to be spied on by the NSA.
The third and final resource I looked into is another guide, one that shows how to Create and Maintain a Strong Password. This guide showed different techniques and strategies when it comes to keeping your accounts safe by making a strong password. Something interesting that they showed were these charts that showed examples of different passwords and how long it would take for a hacker to figure it out. Starting out with just the word “purple”, a hacker would be able to figure it out immediately. Add a few more words to it elongates the time for the hacker to figure it out. Each word can add a day, a few more can add months, and longer passwords can even take hackers years to crack it. It may be common sense, but it’s always good to know that more complicated passwords are stronger and will keep your data and accounts safer.