How to protect your personal info online with these 5 great privacy app benefits

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As more of our personal lives take place online, companies have to find new ways to appeal to consumers in the digital sphere — and that involves gathering personal information. Advertisers, search engines, internet service providers, and social networks alike want to use private consumer information for marketing purposes. As personal information becomes more valuable as a form of currency, we need privacy apps to help protect us online. 

According to a 2018 survey from Arm Treasure Data, 64.2% of consumers are concerned about web giants like Facebook and Google tracking their online behavior. This growing worry is understandable. After all, when we share personal information online, we also relinquish control over how that information is used and stored. Unfortunately, the majority of companies operate with the attitude that internet privacy is a worthy trade for the convenience of going online. 

But you shouldn’t have to feel exposed if you don’t want to. You can take control of your online privacy and guard your personal information with the help of tools like privacy apps. 

What a privacy app can do for you

Unlike most apps, which can actually diminish your privacy by demanding you share certain details, the primary purpose of a privacy app is to enhance your level of protection everywhere online. 

There are many different types of privacy apps, some of which work to encrypt your internet traffic, block trackers as you browse the web, or show you how accessible your personal information is. Here are some of the most common types of privacy apps:

  • Virtual private network apps

  • Anonymous mobile browser apps

  • Encrypted messaging apps

  • Search engine apps

  • Permission apps

  • Password manager apps

Although all these tools are useful, it can be tricky to rely on multiple apps to achieve the level of privacy you want. That’s why FigLeaf wants to provide an easier solution: an all-in-one privacy app that gives you control over your information. Here are the privacy app benefits FigLeaf offers:

  1. A tool that lets you scan for breaches

  2. A masked email address

  3. A private Wi-Fi connection

  4. A private login function

  5. A tracker blocker tool

  6. Masked payment info

Consider how FigLeaf’s six privacy app functions can give you a more enjoyable, more private digital experience.

1. A tool that lets you scan for breaches

The first step to protecting your personal information is knowing how much information you have floating around online. Sharing too many private details could leave you more susceptible to a data breach. According to the RSA Data Privacy and Security Survey 2019, 45% of U.S. respondents said their personal information was compromised in a data breach in the last five years.

Fortunately, FigLeaf has a built-in tool that lets you scan for breaches. All you have to do is enter your email address, then you’ll get a status report that tells you how much of your personal information is accessible online, how vulnerable it is, and whether or not anything has been compromised. 

The tool checks for personally identifiable information (PII) like your email address, mailing address, phone number, credit card number, account usernames, and passwords. Once you know who has access to your private information, you can make more informed choices about what you feel comfortable sharing.

2. A masked email address

Participating online — whether you’re subscribing to a newsletter or commenting on a blog — requires sharing some personal details, like your email address. And because your email address is linked to everything from your social media accounts to your purchases, companies can use it to identify you and learn more about your online preferences and habits. That’s where a privacy app with masking capabilities can come in handy.

Part of FigLeaf’s suite of benefits is a masked email address that can stand in for your real one. Keeping your private email hidden from sites and advertisers can give you more peace of mind and cuts down on the number of unwanted ads and emails you receive.

3. A private Wi-Fi connection

Internet privacy is always in flux, which means you can’t rely on the same level of protection in different places. Not only does every website have a different degree of privacy, every Wi-Fi network also has its own privacy promises and restrictions. Some networks are riskier than others. For example, working, browsing the web, or inputting PII on public Wi-Fi can leave your personal information less protected. 

With FigLeaf, you can browse the web on a private connection. A private Wi-Fi connection means your personal information is encrypted, so no one has access to it. 

4. A private login function

As we migrate more of our accounts online, the amount of private information we put on the web inevitably increases. And when you have a lot of information to remember, it’s tempting to use the same passwords to reduce confusion and save yourself time. 

According to a 2019 survey from a Google and Harris Poll, 52% of people reuse the same password for multiple online accounts, and only 24% of people use a password manager. Using one password may be more convenient, but spreading such sensitive information across the web can reduce your internet privacy, making it easier for hackers to access your accounts. 

That’s why FigLeaf offers a private login function. Our password manager tool creates strong, unique passwords for each site and account you use and stores these passwords in an encrypted file, so no one but you can access them. Then, whether you’re using your mobile banking app or favorite social media platform, you can log in with more privacy and less hassle.

5. A tracker blocker tool

Most websites you browse monitor your online behavior, recording which pages you visit, which ads you click, and how much time you spend scrolling. By observing your activity, they can gather information on your:

  • Location

  • Occupation

  • Financial situation

  • Interests

  • Habits

  • Preferences 

Using your information, companies can filter what you see online and stuff your feeds with targeted ads. Though some consumers enjoy receiving personalized ads, most people don’t like the methods companies use to do it. In the RSA survey, for example, 68% of respondents said they think it’s unethical for companies to track their online behavior to tailor advertisements. 

FigLeaf has a tracker blocker that helps you hide your personal information from websites, so companies can’t track your online activity. This reduces the number of targeted ads you receive and prevents companies from gathering unnecessary information. 

You don’t always have to keep your information hidden, though. FigLeaf lets you customize when and where you use your tracker blocker. If you want to get email updates from your favorite company, for example, you can disable your tracker blocker and stay visible. On the other hand, if you want more privacy as you browse certain sites, you can keep the blocker on. 

6. Masked payment info

Whether you’re shopping for shoes or paying your utility bill, making payments online is fast and convenient. However, the cost of this convenience is less privacy. Sharing your credit card details can leave you more vulnerable to identity theft and data breaches. In the RSA survey, 78% of consumers said they were most fearful of losing control over their financial information. 

Though this fear makes sense, we think you should never have to choose between privacy and convenience. With our privacy app, you can have both. If you feel uncomfortable sharing your financial information on the web, FigLeaf can give you a virtual credit card to use when making purchases. It masks your real credit card number, so you can rest assured knowing that no one has access to your financial details. 

Reimagining the concept of internet privacy 

At FigLeaf, we’re redefining the concept of internet privacy by putting the control back in your hands. Our app lets you choose how visible you want to be at any given time online — and to change your mind as often as you want. We believe that when privacy is a choice, humanity is free. Free to explore, innovate, and connect in whatever way feels most comfortable for you.

Author: FigLeaf Team