As per a new report by the New York Times, South Korea’s government is using smartphone location data, surveillance camera footage, and credit card purchases to track its coronavirus patients. And while it’s safe to say that such measures are being made to guarantee everyone’s safety, the question still looms in everyone’s minds: How do you protect your privacy under the COVID-19 outbreak?
Protecting Your Privacy Under A Pandemic
In an increasingly electronic (and connected) world where a GPS can easily pinpoint your location anywhere in the world, it goes without saying that when you use technology that incorporates voice commands and location data, you are also giving up something in exchange. And that something is your right to personal privacy, in all levels.
And since technology moves fast, it’s already been happening, with dozens of health websites tracking, storing and sharing your personal data without telling you. In fact, a recent analysis of 100 health sites revealed that 78 percent of them shared user data with Google’s advertising arm Doubleclick, while 48 percent shared data with Amazon.
So how do you protect your privacy under all of this?
Well, you may want to take several steps, such as using your phones for only small calls without other fancy features. Another step is to avoid using Google products for now, especially whenever you use the internet. You can do this by following these pointers:
- Refrain from using Google search engines. Rather, use alternatives like Qwant or DuckDuckGo.
- Uninstall Google Chrome and use another browser such as Opera, which is available to both mobile and computer devices. Additionally, Opera offers a free VPN service that Google Chrome doesn’t have, making it far more superior when it comes to security.
- If you use a Gmail account, try to use a non-Google email service.
- If you’re still a student, refrain from converting Google accounts you made into personal ones.
- It’s also good to block any third party cookies on your browser.
- Use ad blockers as well as anti-tracking add-ons.
- Make sure that the websites that you browse are trustworthy.