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There are many ways to surf the web and get email, some are more private than others. In this post, learn about new ways to focus on privacy on the web.

There is a saying that if you are not paying for a service, you are the product. This is a little simplistic, because sometimes even if you are paying for something, your data is still the product. People often don’t read the documentation that they agree to when they start to use a new app or website. Even if they did, they might not understand the nuance of what personal data that app or website is collecting and how it is being used.

The examples in this blog post are apps and websites that focus on providing users with the ability to do simple things, go online, search and get email, in a more secure way. These apps and websites give us new ways to focus on privacy on the web.

Email

How is the content in your email used? Most email companies say they do not scan the content of individual emails for the purpose of selling ads. In in the past, this was common practice. Email providers do scan the content in emails in order to identify dates and common phrases. They do this to provide a level of service to the user which you may appreciate.

If you prefer using a service that is explicitly more private than that, you may try something like Hey. Review Geek did a recent review of the Hey email service.

To use Hey for email costs $100/yr. What you get is an email address that ends in @hey.com. There will be no ads. Your information will not be saved or sold. You can only access your Hey email through the Hey.com website or the Hey app. You can’t access your Hey email through the Mail app on a phone, tablet, or computer.

The service is new, and as more people use it, it will certainly grow and change, but at its core, it is designed to be private.

A good article about other email providers focussed on privacy, from PC Magazine.

Browsing

Modern day browsers have many settings which can make your experience more private. All browsers provide some way to open a window that does not track your history. This is Private or Incognito.

Safari, Apple’s browser, now provides a setting that will always use private browsing as the default.

Read the Apple instructions for Private Browsing.

  1. In the Safari app  on your Mac,
  2. Choose Preferences
  3. Then click General.
  4. Click the “Safari opens with” pop-up menu
  5. Then choose “A new private window.”

Searching

Everyone is familiar with the ads they see both in the results of a web search, and also around the edges of the search window. Ads are tailored to your browsing history. This is why you will see ads for those shoes you were looking at an hour ago.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track your search history, and does not sell ads. You can use the Duck Duck Go search engine with any browser. Simply go to the DuckDuckGo website and start searching.

Summary

With new ways to focus on privacy on the web, users have more ways to choose what information they give away. Mix and match. Pick and choose. The choice is yours, and you should think about it carefully.

These are not all of the apps or websites that are focussed on privacy. The examples here are intended to give an idea of what is available.

If you have questions about these products, or privacy in general, give us a call. All of our help is free!

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