Digital security is a complex subject, and understandably so. Few of us have the technical knowledge to explain exactly what happens every time we click a web link, send an email, or upload a file to the cloud — much less who is privy to these interactions. However, it's also unwise to shrug your shoulders and not give it another thought. At the very least, we should all have a general awareness of what we reveal about ourselves online, and how the spread of this information can affect us in the real world.
If you take online security seriously, there are many tools that can help protect your digital identity and keep your activity private. A VPN, or virtual private network, is one well-known tool that has seen a recent surge in popularity, but it's far from the only one available to you. Proxies, secure browsers, private search engines, and even your existing browser's private or “incognito” mode all offer benefits and drawbacks.
Varonis Systems published an infographic that analyzes the pros and cons of various online privacy tools. The following quick reference guide provides an overview:
You may see this and think that there's no single tool that provides total privacy online — you'd be correct in that assessment. However, it's still worth looking into how each of these tools (or some combination thereof) can help you keep your online activity private. Check out the full infographic below, or download the full-size version here.