How can I prevent data collection?

2 min
Tags: data protection Privacy policy Data collected block trackers digital presence personal data

Data collection is ubiquitous in today's digital world. Companies, governments and other organizations are constantly collecting information about us, often without our knowledge or consent. It's understandable that many people feel uneasy about this. But there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of data that is collected about you. 

What happens during data collection?

Data collection refers to the gathering of information about individuals through sophisticated technologies. Data collected includes location, browsing history, shopping habits, social interactions and much more. This information can be used for various purposes, including marketing, product development and even surveillance. 

It may be annoying, but it is important to read the privacy policies of websites and apps before you use them. Ideally, these policies should clearly explain what data is collected and how it is used. If a privacy policy is not clear or you do not agree with the terms, you should reconsider using the service. 

Using tools for data protection

There are numerous tools and services to help you protect your data. These include VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) that encrypt your internet connection and browser extensions that block trackers. Specialized search engines that do not store user data are also a viable alternative to popular search engines such as Google etc. Various providers also offer encrypted email services that prevent third parties from reading your emails. If you use your smartphone frequently, you can access data protection apps that manage permissions, restrict access to your data and inform you about data breaches. 

Checking settings and app permissions

Many services have privacy settings that you can customize. You can usually decide for yourself who can see your posts on social media or how your data is used for advertising purposes. Take the time to review and adjust these settings to maintain your privacy. The same applies to apps. Digital programs can have access to a variety of data, including your location and contacts. Check the permissions that apps request and check whether they are really necessary. If not, deny access or uninstall the app. 

Caution with public Wi-Fi

It is extremely practical to access public Wi-Fi in a café or shopping center and save on data consumption this way. However, public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure and are the perfect gateway for hackers to access your data with little effort. For this reason, always avoid sending sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details over a public Wi-Fi network. 

Unpopular, but efficient: Reduce your digital presence!

The most effective means of preventing data collection is also the most unpopular. By reducing your digital presence, you prevent hackers, companies, governments or organizations from accessing your personal data. The less information you share online, the less can be collected. Think carefully about what information you share on social media and other online platforms, even if it's tempting to quickly post the latest vacation snapshot or a funny video of the kids. Sometimes less is simply more. This is all the more true when it comes to the security of your personal data.