How To Defend Your Privacy In The Internet Age

The internet has done a lot to kill privacy. Reverse image searches, check-ins, ubiquitous social networks, data marketplaces, and almost unintelligible privacy settings and policies have removed any anonymity the internet once provided.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Some of this is harmless — data we willingly hand over and won’t miss, but there are exceptions. Your physical location and private messages, for instance, are not necessarily things you want to broadcast.

Yet every time you enter your address on the internet, you leave yourself open for exploitation. Especially if the service is hacked. And your devices themselves possess a lot of information about who you are and what you do.

There are simple strategies for you to try and claw back some of your privacy in the internet age. Configure your devices to stop them giving away your information, ask services to stop sharing your data, and try out some of the numerous services that stop scripts and trackers.

But what may be the best strategy to protect your location online is also an old school one — get a Post Office Box. Your location can’t be compromised if you never give it out in the first place — if you list your local post office box to accept deliveries. With a PO Box, your mailbox becomes a screen between you and the internet, rather than a gap in your defenses.

Even better, a PO Box defends your mail. Instead of being readily accessible to neighbours and passers-by, a PO Box puts your mail behind lock and key away from prying eyes. And it protects it all from the elements — rain and shine. This is especially useful if you’re going to be away for any stretch of time.

You can also get alerts to let you know when you have mail to collect. With Mail2Day alerts, you can receive a delivery notifications on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Don’t let your mail hang around for a second longer than it needs.

And with even more parcels flying around every day, a PO Box provides the perfect solution for when you shop online — a delivery without giving out your home address.

To sign up for a PO Box for you or your business, download an application form or pick one up at your nearest participating Post Office. This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your needs. Compatible smartphone or device required in order to receive Mail2Day push notifications. Apple devices require a minimum iOS8 on iPhone 4s or later.

Trending Stories Right Now