Are you worried about your privacy in 2020? Well, I am. It’s getting very dangerous out there. That’s why we decided to give you our projections for future privacy concerns. Don’t worry, we’re also hitting you with some things you can do to get your privacy in check.
What will Privacy in 2020 Look Like?
Privacy in 2020
This isn’t the first year we’ve raised concerns over the future of our privacy. When 2018 was just around the corner, we were worried about how our privacy would be dealt with. As we predicted, 2018 saw a rise in privacy-oriented internet users. Facebook, Google, and other Big Tech companies faced backlash for their poor management of user data and people started understanding how important security and privacy really are.
2019 was no different as more than 4 billion records were breached. Now, as we end 2019, we want to take a look at a few trends that have us genuinely concerned about our privacy in 2020. We’re also going to discuss how individuals can safeguard their devices against possible future threats. Hopefully, we can all start our year knowing that we’re doing our part in keeping our information safe.
The Rise of the Internet of Things
I have talked about the dangers of IoT devices many times before. However, I do want to emphasize a few points:
All IoTs can be found on a search engine called Shodan with a list of metadata. Anyone can see your IP address.
Most people leave the default password for an IoT as is. That password can be googled if you have the make and model (metadata).
Your whole internet network can be accessed through an IoT device.
I cannot stress enough how dangerous this tech is.
We know that companies like Facebook store and share our data. Obviously, there has to be some kind of repository storing them all? How else are they going to manage and analyze them?
There are huge databases, perfectly organized that analyze user habits. A few industries now require access to the databases in order to increase their revenue. That is how you can have things like “targeted ads” and how companies can “use your data to improve” their products.
Now, we can’t really predict the future. That, I think, should be obvious. What we can do is assess how the current threat model could scale with the rise of technology. As you’ve seen above, we think that most of our privacy threats will be coming from our devices and our online habits.
For that reason, I’ll be sharing 3 things you should all be doing to try and minimize future threats. Of course, this is not an “end-all” list, but it is a good place to start.
Here are three things you should be doing to start protecting your privacy in 2020:
You should start paying more attention to both your devices and your software’s security updates. Developers and phone manufacturers regularly release updates that fix bugs and add security features against new malware/hacks.
People who use Apple products usually are on top of these updates, seeing as the company kind of forces them into it. Android and Windows users, on the other hand, aren’t so lucky. These users should make a habit of installing all updates as soon as possible.
Tip: if this isn’t something you can do on your own, turn on automatic updates for your phone’s OS and for your security-based software. Make sure that auto-update is set to work on WiFi only in case you have a limited data plan.
Another thing people should start doing en masse is buying their anti-malware software. Free anti-malware can be found all over the internet, and while some options are genuine, they are few and far between. Free software isn’t really free, and if you’re not paying for a product you usually are the product.
Start investing in some proper anti-malware software to guarantee that you’re protecting your devices as much as possible. I would even go so far as to suggest 2 anti-malware software: one to consistently run in the background and one for any heavy-duty damage control you need to do.
VPNs on Routers: No Longer a Luxury
If you’re a regular reader, you knew that this tip was coming sooner or later.
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are tools built to provide privacy and security. Their purpose in life is to encrypt your data and re-route all of your traffic through a properly secured server. People use VPNs to make sure that no one can tap into their connection or steal any bit of data from them. Now, the device that has an active VPN on it is secure. Routers are what devices connect to to get access to the internet. Do you see where I’m going with this?
If you want to guarantee that your data, all of your data, is always secure, install a VPN on your router.
Don’t like the idea of your ISP spying on you? Install a VPN on your router.
Have a lot of IoT devices? Install a VPN on your router.
You’ll be able to secure every single internet-connected device. Now, VPNs aren’t anti-malware software but they do protect you from direct hacks. So, use both and you’ve got one private internet experience.
Look, when I started working here Charles gave me the same advice. I looked into it and was a little disappointed with the price range, there are cheaper alternatives out there. However, I eventually gave it I try. Honestly, they have a really cool money-back guarantee that lets you test it out for a whole month first. I figured I can just opt-out. I didn’t. It was one of the smoothest VPN experiences I had had. You can check out the in-depth review for all of the technicalities but for me, I won’t be giving my account up anytime soon.
That being said, I understand if the price is just too much. For any reason, if ExpressVPN doesn’t work for you, try out these VPNs instead:
So, ladies and gentlemen, these are our concerns for our privacy in 2020. Remember, the solutions we offered are simply the basic foundations of a privacy-oriented life. Make sure that you’re always informed about what’s going on in the tech world.
Do you have any other tips to maintain your privacy in 2020? Leave it in the comments, I’d love to read it.
A reader, writer, and avid internet user. Hiba has spent the better part of her adult life looking for ways to have a safer and more user-friendly online experience, all while praising the uses of VPN connections to anyone who would listen.