‘Off Grid’ Unlikely, But You Can Keep Lower Profile Online, Experts Say

(CBS) — In today’s digital world, how can you stay safe online? Can you at least be less visible or less traceable?

CBS 2’s Erin Kennedy reports.

Every time you use your phone, you are leaving a trail of digital information.

“There are apps that are constantly collecting your GPS coordinates so they can track exactly where you go and when you go,” says Paul Petefish of Evolve Security.

The only way to prevent that is to get a pay-as-you-go cell phone.

But really, how many people could get by without a smart phone or computer?

The issue is this: How can you make your digital footprint less visible?

“I think you can get away with still connecting people and not exposing yourself,” Petefish says.

One way Karl Blumenthal protects himself is by using app called Signal for texting.

“Your messages,” he explains, “when they come and go are encrypted, so that if anyone intercepts them in between, they don’t understand what they’re seeing.”

He also uses Privacy Badger to prevent being “followed” online. He ditched Google for the more private Duck Duck Go search engine.

And because even he can’t stay off social media, he uses a TOR browser that hides that he’s in Chicago.

Vanay Henry avoids social media. He says he feels like hackers and phishers could get to his private information through his online accounts.

“People are constantly looking at ways or weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your network,” he says.

He uses mobile security apps Lookout and Avast to keep track of who’s targeting him.

He has Amazon’s Alexa. He does not share his password with the device.

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