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Security & privacy

Top 10 privacy tips of 2019

Privacy is fundamental to a safe and worry-free life. Unfortunately, there’s little opportunity to live privately in today’s digital age. Companies are constantly after our personal data so they can build marketing profiles. Meanwhile, snoops and cybercriminals are looking for sinister ways to learn about you.

So what can you do? As we’ve seen in the past year, there are small steps you can take to make your lifestyle more private and secure. By choosing to live a more private life, you can save money, free yourself from stress and keep yourself safe from cybercrime.

To get our readers started, we’ve put together a list of Komando.com’s top privacy articles for 2019. These are some of the most popular stories we’ve written on privacy, and each one contains real-world tips and tricks that can help you stay hidden from prying eyes. Ready to go private?

The most popular privacy stories of the year

We’ve handpicked the most popular privacy-related stories of the year to help you make better decisions when exploring the web and social media. You might not be aware of all the little details of every platform’s privacy policy, but these stories will teach you how to protect yourself from snoops and data-harvesters.

10. Simple way to protect your privacy on social media sites like Nextdoor

Nextdoor is one of many social media sites you can visit, and is designed to bring back the good old-fashioned chatter between neighbors. But all this fun comes at a price: your privacy.

Other users now have access to information like your address, which can put your right to privacy at risk. What dangers lurk here and how can you protect yourself? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

9. You’re not paranoid, your phone really IS listening to EVERYTHING you say

Have you ever noticed weird coincidences between the ads you see and the things you talk about while your phone is in the room? It’s enough to make you wonder if your phone is listening to you.

Some experts say yes, definitely, but others say no. Regardless, there are four things you can do today to stop your phone from listening to you.

8. Stop your phone from being tracked with these settings

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The modern web is an information economy. This means that companies are acquiring information on everyone and then selling it to advertisers. That little device in your pocket is one of the main contributors, but there are ways to stop it from gathering all that data. We’ll show you how.

7. 7 ways to stop robocalls now

Robocalls aren’t only annoying, they can also be dangerous. But there are ways to fight back, and you don’t even need to look further than the phone in your pocket. You can block numbers, turn on Do Not Disturb mode, use your carrier’s tools, or use third-party apps to end this telephonic menace.

6. 6 signs your phone has stalkerware (and what to do about it)

Of all the “wares” out there, stalkerware is one of the most frightening. There’s nothing fun about malware or ransomware. They can leave you feeling foolish and abused.

But stalkerware is specifically designed to know where you are physically located. In many cases, stalkers know exactly what you’re doing and when. So how do you know if your device has stalkerware installed? Here are clues your gadget is infected with some form of malware.

5. 10 mistakes people make online

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We all make dumb mistakes on the web, but one wrong move can compromise your data or worse.

Whether you’re a seasoned tech pro or just getting the hang of this digital life, take a look at this list of 10 mistakes people make online, along with do-it-yourself security tips. Knowledge is power, and with today’s surge in online scams and crime, you have to stay vigilant.

4. 7 digital privacy tricks you’ll wish you knew before now

We surround ourselves with devices. Our cars respond to us, our smart TVs listen to us and every camera in every tablet and laptop is a potential spying device.

Even when we’re alone, miles from the nearest human, our phones are gateways to the universe, just waiting to share everything it knows. There are many ways to keep our personal data away from snoops and hackers, and these digital privacy tips can help you do just that.

3. Companies can track your iPhone – unless you change these settings

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You hear about data breaches all the time. They happen to millions of people around the world, and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it.

Apple recognized the need for better security, so it released a special new feature in iOS 13. If you want to keep your private data safe, you might want to take advantage of this new setting.

2. How to detect hidden cameras in Vrbo, Airbnb and vacation rentals

You’re not paranoid — you are being watched. Facial-recognition cameras, store surveillance cameras, traffic cameras are all watching. Then there are cases where cameras have been found in hotel rooms, Vrbos, Airbnbs and other vacation rentals. We can’t help you with cameras run by the government or stores, but we do have tips on what you can do to make sure your vacation rentals are free of hidden cameras or at least fully disclosed to you.

1. Your smart TV is sending data to Netflix, Facebook and Google

If you think smart devices are a smart decision for your privacy, you might want to think again. Several of the most popular IoT devices were discovered to be sharing private data with third parties.

And smart TVs, the things you watch all your favorite streaming shows and movies on, happen to be the worst offenders of all. Why are so many devices and their makers obsessed with collecting data and selling it? Here’s what you need to know, and why it matters to your privacy.

Bonus: 10 Reasons to dump Facebook in 2019

Facebook is one of those things many of us still begrudgingly use, but with all the issues you might be reconsidering whether your information is safe. Should you break up with Facebook?

We’ve got 10 good reasons to consider it, followed by a list of things you can do to protect your information if you’re forced to keep or are reluctant to give up Facebook.

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