How to reclaim your online privacy

Emma McGowan 11 Jun 2021

Take steps today to limit the social media data being collected about you and reclaim your digital privacy from location tracking, ad tracking, and more.

Millennials are the first “digital natives,'' people born into a world of digital tools. Every generation that follows will also grow up with touch screens, apps, and internet-connected devices as regular parts of life, but Millennials were the first to experience this new reality.

Now that Millennials are coming of age, some may be starting to see digital privacy a bit differently than before. To young minds, notions of privacy are usually relegated to keeping things secret from friends or parents or teachers. Your basic iPad-using tween is not thinking about the digital fingerprint they’re leaving behind or the metadata being collected from their online actions – they’re focused on the newest Minecraft upgrade, and don’t try telling them there’s anything more important than that! Ad tracking and web tracking are abstract concepts to them,  not active concerns.

In addition, the popular apps used by younger generations tend to lull them into a false sense of having more control over their data than they actually do. 

“For them, pictures posted on Facebook and Instagram are temporary; easily removed and deleted,” writes 17-year-old Anna, guest blogger for the European Data Protection Supervisor. “Snapchat is especially associated with this sense of impermanence.” 

Writing more about her generation’s attitude toward online privacy, she adds, “This can lead to naiveté online as they often don’t think about the consequences of their actions – blindly trusting their technological hand-held guides.” 

Anna wants Millennials and younger generations to know that their data is being collected and the result will impact their lives. Data harvesting is a critical tool in advertising and marketing and its job is to analyze every user for vulnerabilities that will separate them from their wallets. 

“Adolescents need to be taught how to be safe,” Anna writes. “They need to be taught how to govern the internet in a way that does not reveal too much personal information.That’s where we come in. Digital freedom is high up on our priority list at Avast, and we want to empower Millennials (and everyone else) to reclaim their online privacy across all social media. Even if you’ve given up, thinking your data has already been seen and captured by every third-party around the world and then some, you can still staunch the flow of information you are otherwise constantly feeding trackers, tracers, and data collectors.  

Learn how to reclaim your privacy from the four major social media platforms below. The steps are incredibly easy to follow, and you’ll feel more in control of your digital life. 

Facebook Privacy Refresh

Instagram Privacy Refresh

TikTok Privacy Refresh

Twitter Privacy Refresh

Now that you’ve reclaimed your own privacy, share these tips with any of your friends and family who would also benefit from a healthier, safer way to use the internet. If we don’t all continually stand up for our privacy, we could lose it to insatiable money-making algorithms. Let’s insist on more digital privacy so we can end this Orwellian fugue and provide a more worry-free online world to all the future generations of digital natives.

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