10 privacy tips for safe Internet surfing

1. use multiple email addresses

You should protect your e-mail address and not provide it at every opportunity. Create a second email address for yourself to use, for example, if you’d like to participate in a forum or contest. This will help you avoid commercial emails and spam.

2. search the web with alternative search services

Since search engines like Google or Yahoo not only search for your keywords, but also collect data about the searcher, you should use alternatives when searching the net. One provider that guarantees no data about you is the search engine Ixquick.

3. surf anonymously

If you do not want to be identified by your IP address when surfing the Internet, use an anonymization programlike a VPN that ensures that you remain undetected. The Internet service megaproxy.com, for example, offers a free service that allows you to connect anonymously to the desired page.

4. avoid dubious sweepstakes

Keep your fingers off frivolous sweepstakes, because instead of winning you will be expecting a flood of spam emails. Behind the temptingly formulated offers are usually address merchants who want to earn money with your e-mail address.

5. caution against alleged security gaps

You should be particularly sceptical about e-mails that warn you of alleged security vulnerabilities. In most cases, this is an attempt to install malicious software on your computer. If, for example, there is a security hole in your Internet browser, the provider of your browser will ask you to update it.

6. do not send bug reports

When a program crashes, Microsoft offers to send a bug report. However, you should not do this, as it is questionable who will receive it and rumours have it that far more than just the problem description is sent to the company.

7. avoid personal information

One should not publish more personal information than necessary – this also applies to social networks. The more private information you disclose on the Internet, the more likely it is to be misused. Also never use important passwords on a public wifi!

8. use encrypted data transfer

  1. Sensitive data such as bank data or passwords should never be entered on unencrypted Internet pages, otherwise unauthorized persons can read along.
  2. You can see whether a website is encrypted by taking a look at the address bar: With an encrypted page, the address begins with “https”.

9. check free software

If you want to download a free program from the Internet, you should take a closer look, because there is a danger that it contains viruses or spyware. To be on the safe side, you can use the free software from the download area of Computerbild.de, for example.

10. delete tracks

  • Regular deleting of the browser history can prevent that page operators know exactly about you.
  • Therefore, it is important to regularly delete the list of websites visited, cookies, saved passwords, form entries and unnecessary saved data.