Big data is an evolving term nowadays that describes the voluminous amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data; potentially to be mined for gathering information. 3Vs; the extreme volume of data, the wide variety of data types and the processing velocity of the data, is being characterized under the umbrella of Big data; the data capture in terabytes, petabytes, and in exabytes, overtime. Raw Data collects from multiple sources like; business records, scientific experiment results, real-time sensors – IoT, etc., to be analyzed at a different velocity.
Justified or not, Big data is a dual-edged sword. It enables hackers to access information of millions of people easily (143 million Equifax customers’ data breached lately) and at the same time helps in fighting malware; it save human lives when used in crime prevention and health care, yet destructive.
Keep de facto in mind, we may be lucky not be a victim of the data breach, but our data is being used in some biomasses for marketing. Our data is being breached every moment by different apps and websites that we cannot avoid it entirely as we are unaware of the ways the marketers are getting our personal information. Don’t worry, “the only solution to the problems caused by today’s technology is tomorrow’s technology” you can still protect your privacy by exercising the following security protocols without compromising your online presence.
Elude the hackers for now
- Disable Spotlight Search Suggestions
Spotlight transfers your personal information to Apple, if you don’t like your Apple device to share your data with the company and it’s discretion; simply switch the Spotlight suggestions off. Toggle to deselect Spotlight suggestions in the System Preferences.
- Double-check your Security and Privacy settings
As you download an app, you will be asked to report your location to the app developer or in case your location service is ON, the apps determine your location automatically. If you don’t want to share your physical location with every other app, then disable your location service feature completely or restrict selectively. To disable this feature, go to the system preferences and choose Location Services under the Privacy tab.
You can allow selective accessibility for the core macOS apps like Contacts, Calendar, and Reminders, as well. We recommend you to add your social media apps’ credentials to the Internet, System Preferences pane, to manage their location accessibilities. Last but not least install antivirus software.
- Start using Alternative Search Engines
Thanks to the alternative search engines that ended the Google era; an era where Google was a synonym of ‘search.’ We are not talking about Bing or Yahoo; there are search engines other than the well-known, they don’t collect your personal information while browsing. SearX is an ads-free open source meta-search engine, that does not store users’ information yet aggregates the results of other search engines.
You can also use StartPage (offer Google search results with absolute protection) and DuckDuckGo (does not collect personal info with ads based on the searching terms), to enjoy secure and private browsing; with this nobody knows which adult content you browse last time.
You can still use Google browser but after logging -out your Google account, as it minimizes the amount of data it collects.
- Install anti-cookie and anti-tracking extensions
You must be heard of Disconnect, Adblock Plus, or Ghostery and other popular browsing extensions. Such extensions play with the website rules that invisibly tracks your online presence that turns you invisible latter. Try to use anti-locking and anti-cookie extensions with your existing browsers, don’t have the time to search, then consider Privacy Badger. Such extensions automatically block any tracker or ad that go against the user content principles. The best part; you don’t need any manual configurations or settings to use such extensions.
- Use a VPN software
A VPN solves your all privacy concerns issues; it’s a technology that hides your real IP in the digital arena and assign you server-designated IP, that won’t let your ISP or other surveillance intelligence to track your location. A VPN encrypts your data from your Mac, leaves no digital footprints in the virtual world. You can also access geo-restricted content with the best VPN, without compromising your digital identity.
“Dance like nobody’s watching; Encrypt like everyone is!”
- Delete Suspicious Apps
It’s a known fact that all the apps you download on your Mac may collect your data for one reason or other. We recommend you to opt for the paid apps, which actually inform you about the data collection policies, while freebies do not bother to make things more transparent to you. Many times free apps also request you to download an additional software that might steal your data without your consent.
Stop wasting your computer space with junk files it doesn’t leave your system quickly; unwanted files remain in your system after uninstallation. There is a specialized software that deletes suspicious apps and protects your digital privacy.
- Unlink your Accounts
Have you ever noticed why every other app and website requests (again and again) you to link your account and frankly speaking it way more comfortable and convenient to avoid continuous reminders and connect your Google or Facebook instantly? We highly recommend not link your account on every website; why? Because if one of the linked sites got hacked or has malware ads, then your account would be at stake and all the other essential accounts that you have linked before. It’s just like inviting hackers to come and breach your data.
In addition, don’t use two Google accounts simultaneously; log-in one account at a time.
Be careful while oversharing on social media platforms, they are highly prone to malware and cyber threats. Social media is still a technology and has the potential to risk your digital privacy. Your one photo is enough to track and breach your social media profile, so think twice before sharing something on the most short-sighted platform; so-called tagged as social media.
Suggested Reads: Mobile Communications: A Cutting Edge Technology
It’s your responsibility to secure your online existence from the Big data companies; spare some time and learn the privacy basics to prevent websites and apps from data collection and always consider the consequences of your actions beforehand.