Large corporations collecting our data and resetting passwords after every major data breach can feel like an inevitability we just have to accept in 2019. But there are ways to protect your data and privacy.
A disclaimer before we continue: the apps I recommend in the video below will not make you 100% secure. That’s impossible. What they will do is help keep your data more secure and more private. (If you can't watch the video for whatever reason, just scroll down for the full shortlist.)
The most important tool is a password manager. Using a password manager to randomly generate long complex passwords is arguably the most important step you can take in making your online accounts more secure.
Choosing a browser other than Chrome can seem like a futile effort, given its dominance of the market. But when it comes to data privacy, there are much better options.
In addition to using a more privacy-focused browser, using a VPN service to mask your internet traffic is also a great way to be more secure online. My colleagues have written extensively on how to choose the right VPN and how to make sure the one you’re using is trustworthy.
I already made a video about how messaging apps are a mess, so I’ll keep it brief. In an ideal world, we’d all convince our friends and family to use an open-source end-to-end encrypted messaging platform like Signal.
Given how fragmented cross-platform messaging is, iMessage and WhatsApp are good alternatives. They’re end-to-end encrypted and popular. Obviously, one is owned by Apple and the other by Facebook, so it’s up to you how much you trust these companies to keep your data private.
It feels like every day there’s a new data breach that exposes customer data and credit card information. That’s why we recommend using Apple Pay or Google Pay wherever you can. Both services hide your actual credit card number behind a virtual one, so merchants are never given that data. That can be a lifesaver if a retailer has a major data breach.