This post is in collaboration with Mention Me.
A few months ago, I got an alert on my phone. It was from Google, who is the one data giant I have probably interacted the most with over the years.
It was a notification that my credit card bill was going to be due in a couple days. Not just that it would be due–but how much.
I wanted to throw up. How the heck did Google know how much I owed on my credit card? I hadn’t given them permission to access my account, save my password, or anything of the like.
My email is associated with Gmail. So is the OS on my phone. While I don’t do much with my credit cards on my phone, I do set up those accounts using my Gmail address.
So Google pretty much knows everything about me. I’m willing to bet they know a lot about you, too.
There are obviously other data giants out there who have gone a step further and proven themselves irresponsible with our data–resulting in testifying in front of our government. Yes, Facebook.
And I’m not sure how to solve our privacy problem now that the internet is such an integral part of our lives.
But I do know there are a couple of ways we can keep our finances a little more locked up.
Use a VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. By using a VPN, you get a lot of different privacy benefits. You connection is more secure, prevent tracking and keep your location invisible. VPNs do cost money, but depending on how much you value your privacy, they can be worth it. Just be sure to do a ton of research on the company first, as there are some shady ones out there.
Get a Blackphone
My phone freaks me out more than anything. It knows what I look at when I’m bored (sneezing baby pandas,) it knows where I am at all times, and I have so many apps on it. I actually try not to do much banking via my phone save for some budgeting and other auxiliary financial apps because it creeps me out that much.
But there is a solution to that, too:
Get a Blackphone.
Blackphones are the most secure phones on the market, ensuring your data isn’t going anywhere you don’t want it to. They’re a little expensive, but aren’t priced too much differently than the latest iPhone.
Watch Your Browser
I prefer to use Firefox as my browser as they have a pretty solid history of respecting and sometimes even promoting privacy. If you want to be extra careful, use one of their incognito tabs.
If anyone knows of any even more secure options I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Get an email address with a domain that doesn’t sell your data.
On this one, I’m at a loss. I’d love to have a personal email address with a domain I can trust to never actually look at my emails and scan how much debt I’m carrying on that one card, but I don’t know if that exists.