Do you feel like your digital self is slipping out of control? Have you let yourself install too many apps, clicked “I agree” a few too many times, lost track of how many accounts you’ve created? Perhaps you feel you’re not as in control of your digital life as you’d like to be.
Don’t despair! This 10-minute Data Micro-Detox is for you. All you’ll need is the devices you use (laptop, smartphone, tablet) and access to the internet.
Step 1: Discover how do they know it's you!
There are a few different ways you’re unique on the internet, and this is how websites and trackers can recognize you online. This happens surprisingly often as some trackers, like Google analytics and the Facebook Like button, are present across large swathes of the Internet.
One of these “unique-ifiers” is your browser fingerprint. When you visit a website, trackers in the website can see a lot of different things about your browser. Taken together, this often forms a unique or near-unique pattern: a browser fingerprint.
Step 2: Browse more privately
No browser’s default privacy settings are actually private by default, but luckily this can be changed.
Chrome, Firefox and Safari all offer a “private browsing” mode; and you can cut down on data leakage by changing your settings manually.
- In Firefox, go to: Preferences > and go to the pages General, Search, Content, Privacy and Security.
- In Chrome, go to: Preferences > Settings > Show advanced settings (located at the bottom of the page).
Once you’re in the settings, make sure you:
- Change your default search engine to one that’s less interested in collecting your data: DuckDuckGo is a good option, or Searx.
- Clear your browser history regularly.
- Delete cookies.
- Check the box Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request.
Step 3: Flush out publicly available data on Facebook
Try out the changes below for some deep cleansing of your publicly-available data on Facebook.
Log in to Facebook, and go to: Settings > Privacy
- Turn off Location.
- Select Friends for Who can see your future posts.
- Select Friends for Who can look you up using your email address or phone number.
- Select No for Search engines linking to your profile.
Now go to Settings > Timeline and Tagging
- Select Only Me or Friends for Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in and for Who can see what others post on your timeline?
Step 4: Sharing is caring
Every time someone else tags, mentions or upload data about you, it adds to your own data build-up — so it’s crucial to get others on board! Start by convincing at least one friend or family member to try out this 10-minute Data Micro-Detox, and mention your detox plan on Twitter or Facebook using our hashtag #glassroom
Step 5: Do a full 8-Day Data Detox
Congratulations! You’ve made it through your Micro-Detox… but now it’s time to take things a step further. Come by The Glass Room to pick up your very own 8-Day Data Detox Kit! It’s free and it’s fun; and we guarantee that by the time you’re done, you’ll feel digitally lighter and more in control than ever before