Online privacy is important to everyone, whether you actively protect it or not. The problem with privacy is not that we don’t care about it, but that we don’t always know how to protect it, or don’t have the time and motivation to go scanning through the settings of every website we use. Whatever the reason, many users don’t take good enough care of their online privacy, leaving sensitive information on Facebook, Gmail, and even Amazon and eBay, public.
Recently, I told you about things you should not share on Facebook if you care about your privacy, and also shared a cool tip about disabling Facebook’s Graph Search. In a comment to that article, reader suneo nobi shared a Chrome extension with me called Priveazy, saying it helps make some privacy tweaks. Not expecting much, I checked this extension out, and imagine my surprise when I discovered a real magic solution for all my burning online privacy problem. This, without exaggerating, is what Priveazy provides. Curious? Read on to find out what it can do for you.
What Is Priveazy?
Priveazy is a Chrome extension (soon to come to Firefox too) and a website that is comprised of three parts: The Chrome extension called Priveazy Lockdown, a Web app, and the Priveazy classroom. The Chrome extension and Web app have a similar function, and help you protect and maintain your privacy on various online accounts such a Facebook, Google, eBay, LinkedIn, Amazon, etc. The classroom includes detailed lessons about various subjects such as Web Browsing Safety, Facebook Privacy 101, Home Wi-Fi Security, etc. Each of these parts helps you achieve better online privacy. It all depends on how much time you have and how much you want to learn.
Priveazy is like MyPermissions on steroids, helping you and reminding you to take care of your privacy by making it easy and intuitive.
Priveazy’s Chrome Extension
The Chrome extension is the simplest of the three, and offers the easiest, most intuitive way to protect your privacy.
After installing the extension, a red lock icon will appear in your address bar every time you log into a site supported by Priveazy. Click it to find some basic tasks you should complete to ensure your privacy is protected.
These are more than mere tips, though. Clicking a task will automatically load the relevant settings page, along with detailed instructions on how to change that specific setting. After completing the change, mark this task as complete. When all tasks are done, the red lock icon will turn green, and you’ll know you’re privacy is as safe as it can be on this specific website. Alternatively, you can set a reminder to do this task later, although you’ll need to create an account on Priveazy for that.
Unlike apps like PrivacyFix, Priveazy doesn’t scan your accounts’ settings, so it doesn’t know what you’ve already done by yourself. If one of the recommended tasks is something you’ve already done, just mark it as complete and move on.
Priveazy’s Web App
The Web app works on similar principles, but offers more information and tasks for each website. Start by choosing the website you want to work on. Priveazy will present a list of tasks you should complete, and if you create an account, will even award you achievements as you progress through your tasks. You’ll also find an interesting FAQ for each website, explaining things like why you should care about your privacy on this website, who can see your profile on this website, etc.
As you can see, each task comes with detailed instructions, and includes direct links to specific settings pages and clear screenshots. Here, too, you can set reminders to perform tasks later, which will appear in the Reminders tab on top.
As you progress through the list, the app will keep you informed on how much of the list you’ve already completed, and will show this percentage on the website’s icon. Your task count also appears in your achievement board, along with the number of quizzes and classes you’ve completed (in the Priveazy classroom).
The Priveazy Classroom
The Priveazy classroom is for those who want more than just changing some settings on Facebook or Twitter. It includes in-depth lessons about various subjects, tasks lists you need to complete, and quizzes you can take to assess your knowledge.
Some topics only include a quiz and some tasks, while others include detailed lessons, teaching you all about the subject and the privacy issues that can arise from it. The topic’s tasks are available in key places throughout the lessons, letting you put to practice what you’ve just learned.
Priveazy won’t do the actual work for you – you still need to care enough about your privacy to change the necessary settings. It does, however, makes the task 10 times easier by telling you exactly what to do, how to do it, and by loading the relevant settings page automatically. If you’re into gamification, you’ll also enjoy completing tasks for achievements, protecting your online presence as you go.
Do you find Priveazy useful? How do you protect your online privacy? Any useful tips to share? Add them below.