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This months’s newsletter is all about protecting your online privacy.

Whilst I fully appreciate that it’s a topic about as fun as a compulsory GDPR webinar, it’s also very important.

In this issue I’m sharing some easy ways you can protect yourself from unscrupulous data-munchers, including recommendations for privacy-respecting web browsers, search engines, messaging apps and more.

You can also read my guilt-free guide on how to remove the trackers you might have on your website without realising.

Digital privacy, like anything else, is something that should be approached with an attitude of progress not perfection. Every small change adds up to a positive impact.

As always, I love reading your replies so if anything in this month’s newsletter piques your curiosity, please do feel free to give me a shout.

Protect your online privacy

When I last wrote about steps people can take to protect their online privacy, I commented that most people don’t seem to be too bothered by it. A year later and there has been a shift towards being more mindful about protecting our digital privacy.

Privacy-focused alternatives to the likes of Google search, WhatsApp and Google Analytics are becoming increasingly commonplace, and the good news is that there are numerous small changes you can implement to make your online life a little more private.

In this post, I go a bit deeper to help you liberate your digital self with these small changes!

How big tech companies stopped data mining and started handing out shovels instead

We all try to do the right thing by the people who use our websites, don’t we? Unfortunately, without it being obvious, giant tech companies like Google and co have given us lots of “free” tools like analytics and video embeds to make our lives easier to mine the data of our users.

But in addition to the functionality provided by these third-party scripts, they also allow the unmitigated harvesting of personal data across the internet.

Not only do many of these scripts pass your users’ private data back to the third-party companies, they also slow down your website considerably. This is bad for your customers, bad for SEO and bad for the environment.

In this blog, I highlight 7 ways in which your site might be abusing the data of your visitors.

Bo’s Top Digital Minimalism Tips

Since Paul started his digital declutter last month, I’ve had far fewer photos taken of me to update my PlentyOfDogs profile. However, I’ve picked up some good tips of things to do when you are trying to spend less time online and more time napping. Here are a few of my favourites.

  • Delete your web browser off your phone’s home screen, as this removes the desire to look things up simply because it is convenient to do so.
  • If you have an Android phone, go to Digital Wellbeing settings where you can do things like turn on focus mode and make your screen greyscale during the evening.
  • If social media is part of your marketing strategy, avoid the scroll hole by asking a marketing sidekick to monitor your social media and flag up things that require your personal attention.
  • Check your personal email only on your laptop. Delete the app from your phone.
  • Limit yourself to watching no more than 2 episodes of a single show per week (no more boxset binges!).

Love, Bo (Stockport’s favourite web design hound)

Get your website ready for 2021

Here in the UK, schools are about to restart and we have a roadmap for when all businesses will be open and hopefully operating as before. While we prepare for this return to some form of “normality”, people will continue to go online to shop and find information about businesses.

Now could be the perfect time to make sure your site is working well: achieving your business goals and serving the needs of your visitors.

If you would you like an experienced web designer to review your website, I can help. I’ll assess your website in terms of page speed, usability and search engine visibility and give you recommendations on how to improve it.

Get a professional website review

Elsewhere on the internet

  • Personal data in UK politics – UK political parties use personalised ads to influence your vote. Here’s how.
  • New Lives in the Wild – Ever thought about binning off capitalism and living off-grid? Meet a man who’s done just that! Very interesting and pleasingly non-preachy.
  • Sustainable Web Design – The Internet produces almost 4% of global carbon emissions. Sustainable web design is an approach to designing web services that puts people and planet first.

Get the most from your website

More ways I can help you make your website work harder for you:

  • Power Hours – Let’s spend an hour together where you can tap into my web design expertise to help improve the usability, SEO or page speed of your website.
  • Page speed optimisation – I’ll speed up your website to be more eco-friendly, make your customers happier and show up higher on search engines.
  • Online SEO training – Small group sessions where you can learn how to make small but mighty changes to help your site show up more prominently in search results. Proudly jargon-free!

The PJWD Newsletter

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The monthly PJWD newsletter is full of tips and advice on web design, digital privacy and sustainability (plus dog photos).

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