Protect Your Privacy before Sharing Your Computer

Maybe you secure your passwords or encryption of important files, but do you log into Facebook every time you turn on your PC? Or e-mail? Wants to borrow as a friend to your computer to his or her e-mails, they can be embarrassing information about your life without stumbling even attempted. The computer knows a lot about you, and it is quite willing to share if you say it, otherwise Fortunately, there are many ways for you to protect your digital privacy in meat space. This guide shows you how.

The Web

Most of what we do is on the web these days, so that’s where we’re going to start. First we’re going to take a look at some of the simple things you can do to improve your privacy and then the more extreme measures you should probably ignore.

Regularly Use Private Browsing

While the general assumption is that private browsing sessions are for porn, it’s actually useful for many, many more. For example, many sites that you constantly logged in as a service – but the costs are that someone on your computer you can access your account. The most popular sites prevent major account changes without checking first forgotten, but that does not stop people from prying held in all kinds of information you would prefer to have private.

Ever have someone snooping your Facebook account? Does not feel good, does not it? If you really want to avoid sniffer, referring your Facebook experience – social and site activity in general – to a private browsing session. Because you will not be signed at Facebook in your regular browser session, this will prevent Facebook’s single sign-on feature by which you (or someone on the computer) to assist in any other locations she lied. Basically, the fewer sites in the less said about someone in your account information if they have access to your computer worries have registered. This is the inconvenience of manually logging every time, but the price is a bargain when you are in certain activities and want to disappear without a trace access.

Re-write Browsing History

Private browsing is great if you remember to do it, but sometimes forget, and sometimes not aware, you want to remove a piece of history, until it is too late. Whatever the case may be, it’s easy enough to wipe out a selection of elements, or absolutely anything. With most browsers, the link that will remind you Ctrl + Shift + Del (or Command + Shift + Delete on a Mac). This is to evacuate quickly access settings your browser history. The latest versions of most browsers you can select a time period to purge (etc as in the last hour, day, week), if you do not want, that you let go of everything, but you can still get closer by just selecting ” Show Full History “menu of your browser history and delete individual items.

Remove Autocomplete Suggestions in Text Inputs

So your history’s safe, but what about when your friend puts their cursor in your search box, starts typing, and the browser automatically offers to fill in the blanks using terms you’ve previously typed in? You can selectively rid yourself of embarrassing autocompletes in text inputs by highlighting an autocomplete option and pressing Shift+Delete.


For Amazon purchases, all you have to do is sign in, access your account, and scroll down to the bottom of your options. There you’ll find a choice called “Improve Your Recommendations”. Click on it and you’ll see your entire product history — but with a wonderful little checkbox to the right of each product: “Don’t use for recommendations.” Tick it and you’ll stop getting those untimely recommendations for home pregnancy tests, or whatever is causing you public grief.

Extreme Methods

All of the above methods are fairly simple and easy to manage. If you are incredibly paranoid and want to be as private as possible, but there are more extreme options. You can disable cookies, search your Web browser history, and always remain private. When you are done with a browser session, you should immediately exit your browser, because some files may be cached until you do. Maybe you also want to disable Flash, because there is something independent of the browser works. Basically, turn off everything. Does not sync anything. Do not save passwords. Do not use anything that makes your life more comfortable. This is extreme behavior, and if you’re in a situation that it should seriously consider always even out of this situation requires, but it is worth noting that there are many ways to avoid a part of your browsing session is saved locally on the computer use.

Your Desktop or Laptop

The obvious, easy solution is password-protecting your machine every time you step away from it, but that comes with its own set of disadvantages. Primarily, it implies that you don’t trust anyone and have something to hide — which can make snoopers unnecessarily paranoid. It also means your machine isn’t accessible on the network (unless you set up wake on LAN). Nonetheless, a password is often the best option. If you don’t know, here’s how to password-protect a Windows computer or a a Mac. There are a few more creative and specific options, however, so read on if you’re looking for alternatives.

Create a Doppelganger Account

Chances are you have your own laptop for your own use, but that does not mean that you are the only users they have 100 percent of the time. Sometimes a friend is to use it for a minute, to borrow while you’re away, or just snoop, if you are not looking. Lock your computer with a password is often not enough in such situations as friends, not stuck borrowing your computer screen and a password sniffer gonna snoop (that is, if they want to they’ll find a way in). What can you do? Create a doppelganger account. That is, you create a second account on your computer under your name (just add your middle initial or something more unique to the account name), which can change when you hand over your computer with someone else . This way you can lock your private account for your own use and a “clean” doppelganger account for everyone else. Just be sure you do not give that account administrator rights of any kind or other account to access your files. This method can mislead sniffer and keep all your friends are doing, isolated from your main user. Plus, thanks to Fast User Switching, it’s pretty fast as well. While not foolproof, of course, these tactics have the same security such as password-protect your machine has a few extra bonuses.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to mislead anybody, you can simply create a (or use your existing) guest account for virtually the same effect. A guest account is also locked down far more than a regular account, plus, if you’re running Mac OS X, any files that were created while the guest account was in use will be deleted as soon as the user logs out.

Create a Private Account

In what’s basically an inversion of the previous tip, you can create a private account that you can use for activity you want to hide. The Mac OS X guest account feature is excellent for this scenario because it deletes everything you do when you log out. On the other hand, you may not want that. If you want to create a regular account, you can always make up a fake name and attribute it to a friend.

Hide Specific Folders and Files

If you don’t want to lock down everything you can just encrypt or hide specific files. One of our favourite methods in Windows is hiding files inside of other files (check out the video version here), but are plenty of other options. Mac users can download

Cryptor for individual file and folder encryption.

Your Smartphone

Smartphones are the newest technology creating a need for a privacy lock down so your options aren’t quite as plentiful. That said, there are still a few things you can do on the various platforms.

Password-Protect Your Device

There isn’t much you can do on iOS other than add a password. On the plus side, this is very easy to do:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Passcode Lock.
  4. Enter your desired four-digit passcode.

As far as we can tell, jailbreaking won’t provide you with a means to secure your phone any further. Fortunately, a passcode should be enough to keep out most people.

While Android has further options for encrypting data going to and from your phone (such as SSH tunnelling ), a password is really your best bet here as well. Here are the steps:

  • Go into your Android’s settings.
  • Choose Security.
  • Choose Change Unlock Pattern and enter the pattern you want.
  • Check Require Pattern.

Other Options

If you want to take it a little further than a password, our mobile security guide can show you how to set up remote wipe and a few other things to better-secure your smartphone. You may also want to set up Find My iPhone for your iDevice (here’s how to do it on older devices) or roll your own Find My iPhone equivalent for Android.

These are just a few good ways to better protect your digital privacy in the real world, but there are certainly more. If you have any great tips or suggestions, be sure to share ‘em in the comments.

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