Data Privacy Day has come and gone. But here at Mozilla, helping educate people about online privacy is so important to us that we want to be your guide to protecting your data for the next four weeks. Save this page to Pocket, come back every Wednesday and find a couple of quick things you can do to help you live your best and safest digital life. Don’t wait for the next data privacy agreement or breach. Add a playlist and you’re done when your favorite song ends.
If you have 10 minutes this week…
Use two-factor authentication
We bank, shop, work, store photos and chat online. That’s a lot of data that can become vulnerable to hacking. Don’t risk it: Take a minute to list the important accounts and set up two-factor authentication for each. This will link your phone number to your account, so when you sign in, you’ll see a prompt for a secure code sent directly to you—an extra layer of security.
Frequently connect to public Wi-Fi? You should really consider getting a VPN
A coffee shop with free Wi-Fi? Convenient, but not only for you. Hackers on a Wi-Fi network can see what sites you’re browsing, even if the traffic itself is encrypted. Additionally, many mobile apps don’t implement encryption properly, leaving your data vulnerable to attacks. This is where a VPN or Virtual Private Network comes in handy. It encrypts your connection, protecting your privacy and preventing attacks from misconfigured applications. It also hides your IP address, protecting your identity and location. Some VPN services will log and sell your data to marketing companies, but Mozilla’s VPN will not. Backed by a mission-driven organization, we will always exceed your bottom line.
If you have 7 minutes this week…
Make finding and deleting old accounts part of your spring cleaning
Chances are, you have a lot of accounts online that you’ve forgotten about and websites don’t. Maybe you made an impulse purchase on a website three years ago. Maybe you went through a teenage blogging phase that you’ve forgotten.
If you save your usernames and passwords in your browser, you can easily view a history of the websites you have accounts with. Find it in Firefox by clicking the application menu in the top right corner and selecting “passwords”. There you will find a list of usernames and passwords saved by the browser from different accounts. Bonus: Firefox will notify you if a violation has been detected on certain websites.
Limit sharing your location with strangers
We wouldn’t want most people we know to know where we go all day, so why would we let strangers track our location? When you give apps access to your location, that data can be shared with marketing companies, who then use it to sell us salads and $12 luxury items. You can turn off location tracking for apps here:
- iPhone: Settings > Privacy > Location Services
- Android: App > Permissions > Location
If you have 5 minutes this week…
Hide your email address
Do your inbox a favor: use an anonymous address instead of giving out your existing email address to sign up for trials, one-time discounts, and one-time sign-ups. Create an account on the Firefox Relay website, where you can generate email aliases that forward messages to your inbox.
Prevent Facebook from tracking you
Meta stock may be dwindling, but if you’re one of the 2.91 billion Facebook users who use the social media platform for business, work, or just to keep in touch with family, add the Facebook Container extension for Firefox. This will put a “fence” between Facebook and your browsing history and data, so it can’t join other pages of your online life without an invitation.
Check your phone’s privacy settings
Please take a moment to review your mobile device’s privacy settings for each app and update them as needed. Here’s how to get there:
- iPhone: Settings > Privacy
- Android: Settings > Privacy > Permission Manager
If you have 2 minutes…
Let your devices update themselves
Software updates are important. They can also be annoying. Protect yourself from hackers and internet disruptions by letting your phone and laptop download security patches automatically. Here’s where you can enable automatic updates:
- iPhone: Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Update
- Android: Settings > Software Update
- Windows: Start > Settings > Windows Update
- Mac: System Preferences > Software Update
Learn how to identify a safe website
See HTTPS in the address bar? Make it a habit to check for it before entering your password or personal information on a website. Better yet, enable HTTPS-only mode in Firefox. Click on Firefox in the menu bar, click on “Options” and look for “Privacy and security” in the menu on the left. Scroll down and tap HTTPS Only Mode. The next time you come across an unsecured website, you’ll see a “Secure connection unavailable” page.