Ah, privacy. In a fast-paced, digital world we live today, it can be considered as a commodity already. It might surprise you—but there are numerous ways that your personal information can be stolen, hacked and even justs looked at. You never know, but there are a lot of companies out there who have access to vital pieces of information such as your family details, phone number, address, and even personal income information.

You might be wondering, what’s the big deal with keeping this information private anyway? Well, once companies gain access to it, they will know your personal preferences—which they can use to be able to sell their products and services. Furthermore, you’re also a likely target for hackers out there who simply love to steal your identity and personal information.

So, how can you protect your internet personal privacy while browsing? Follow these easy to follow tips below:

1. Be wary of filling out unnecessary personal information online

 The general rule of the thumb: the more personal information you share on your social profile, the greater the possibility that other people are going to get their hands on it. Never overshare. Keep your profile as minimal as possible. It’s better to be low-key than to let people access your date of birth, personal mobile number or email address.

Just like your social media profile, never fill out forms that require your sensitive personal information to avoid making it searchable on the internet. If you have to do it, you can make use of a disposable email account—one that you don’t use for professional or personal reasons. That way, it will be easier to filter out unnecessary email spam in your primary email account.

2. Regularly clean your search history and log-out from search engines and websites

Whether you like it or not, web browsers are going to keep track everything you type in the search bar. Therefore, to keep your computer working at top speed as well as to maintain your privacy, it helps to clear up your search history regularly.

Usually, when you log in to certain websites, it will require you to make an account for you to be able to be granted to the services and features it has to offer. So, to be able to safeguard all your valuable personal information, and to prevent anyone from accessing it, it’s better to log out the moment you’re finished.

The auto-complete feature is also there for the convenience of the user. However, if it’s privacy that you’re looking for, you have to remove it.

 3. Watch what you download, listen to your gut

The thing is, you have to be careful if you’re downloading anything online—whether an e-book, song, video or software. It saves your computer from ever malfunctioning in the future as well as ensures your privacy. Be extra-careful when downloading files as some companies use programs to report your searching habits, and use that information to send you unwanted ads and emails.

Furthermore, follow always listen to your gut. When we go against our better judgment, our instinct, that’s where we usually find ourselves weaving through difficult situations. Don’t go to places on the web that you’ll later on feel regretful or embarrassed about.

4. Be alert for potential scams, keep your computer and mobile phone protected

Help Protect Your Internet Personal Privacy When BrowsingNever let your guard down. If something seems too good to be true, then be on the lookout because chances are, it probably is. Emails claiming you won some prize and links that will lead you to websites that can steal your personal information or give your computer a virus are out there and you should be wary of them.

So, think before opening up links being sent to you by friends, acquaintances, and other websites. To make sure it’s legit, look for the secure encryption—it usually has an HTTPS in the URL. Also look for possible misspellings and improper grammar as these may present as subtle red flags that the link isn’t safe.

You can keep your computer safe from accessing unsecured and harmful content on the internet by installing a firewall, sticking to regular updates on programs like your anti-virus software, and periodically scanning your computer for malware.

5. Use two-factor authentication as well as a password vault

 Two-Factor authentication means that you can lock down all your accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, Apple ID by entering a unique code that goes directly to your mobile phone. The feature makes sure that other people can’t easily access your accounts, even though they may have your email or password. This might seem like it’s a little time-consuming—but it’s worth it if you want to keep all your accounts secure.

A password vault, or manager, will help you remember all your passwords from different accounts. It can even help you generate incredibly strong password suggestions that you can use. It prevents things like phishing attacks and others from getting their hands on your passwords.

Taking care of your online reputation

Again, we can’t stress it enough—the internet has unlimited sources of information. Anyone can Google you and instantly know essential things about you. However, you have the power to control how much you share by taking all the necessary precautions we have suggested.

Your privacy on the internet is a lot less secure than you think. Surprisingly, these days there are so many ways that companies, scammers and hackers can get hold of your personal information. It’s better to be safe than be sorry.

Therefore, it’s vital to use a VPN, also known as a Virtual Public Network, for private web browsing. It functions mainly to secure and encrypt all communication if you’re on an untrusted public network making your digital footprint illegible. It also has the power to manipulate your IP address, making it like you’re coming from a different country or location. To access to the best VPN service out there in the market, visit the website Fastest VPN.

Tim Tremblay  created and runs Fastest VPN Guide, a website which offers accessible and unbiased information on all things VPN, online privacy, and online security related. You can visit the website here. Tim is a self-proclaimed geek at heart and comes from a world of computer networking and IT security. Over the years, he has gained extensive experience managing corporate VPNs. He also spends a significant time evaluating consumer VPN providers, both from a technical and a usability point of view. When it comes down to it, Tim knows a thing or two about what makes VPNs tick. And if anyone can tell you what separates the great from the not so great, it's him.