If you’re worried about the safety of your private data online, you’re not alone. Many people are concerned about how vulnerable their online data is to misuse and theft. As technology becomes advanced, the less secure online data becomes. This means the risk of experiencing a breach of online privacy is higher today than it was five years or a decade ago.
But all is not lost—there are steps you can take to enhance your online privacy and ensure that your personal and financial data are protected as you navigate your favorite news, social media, and entertainment sites online. Below we share five online privacy tips to help you achieve this:
1. Minimize The Personal Information On Social Media
Social media platforms have become a sensation in today’s world. Though they make it easy for people to share information with friends and family, they pose a major online privacy risk. Placing too much personal information on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram makes it easy for cybercriminals to access your personal information. With such details, they can easily steal your identity and even gain access to financial information.
To protect your data online, avoid filling the ‘about me’ field when creating profiles on social media. Providing details such as your date of birth can make you an easy identity theft target. Also, consider putting limits on who can see your posts, and only allow those that you’ve invited personally.
When creating passwords for social media accounts, use at least ten characters that include numeric, special characters, lower, and upper-case letters. Avoid using easy-to-guess or personal information like pet names and birthdate in your password. This way, other people will not be able to log into your account.
2. Surf The Web In Private Mode
One way of preventing your computer from saving temporary files, cookies, and browsing history is to turn on the private mode feature as you surf the net. Different browsers provide versions of this kind of privacy protection. On Firefox, the feature is known as ‘Private Browsing’ while on Chrome, it appears as ‘Incognito Mode’.
Surfing the internet in private mode makes it difficult for other people to track your browsing history. Even so, this doesn’t mean that your internet service provider or employer can’t track the sites that you visit.
However, you can boost your privacy by searching the internet anonymously. If you haven’t been surfing the web in private mode, you can still delete your digital footprints. Check out securitygladiators.com/erase-digital-footprints/ to learn how to do so.
3. Keep-Off Phishing Links
The most common strategy that hackers get you to compromise your data security is through the use of phishing links. Often, scammers will try to get you to share valuable personal data through the use of such links or fake emails that they associate with credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions. In most instances, phishing emails come with links that scammers ask recipients to click to verify their personal information to prevent closure or freezing of the account.
In most instances, phishing links open up to spoofed sites that look like those of financial institutions. The trick is that entering personal details on such links provides scammers with the information they need to compromise your security.
Of importance to note is that financial institutions don’t request for personal information via email. If you get an email asking for such information, it’s most likely a phishing email. Protect your privacy online by confirming the destination of suspicious links before clicking on them.
4. Install Virtual Private Network Software
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are software that allows you to access the internet anonymously and privately. They do so by forming a private network out of a public internet connection. Using a VPN, you can mask your IP address to make your online activities untraceable.
To protect your data, use a VPN whenever you’re using Wi-Fi in public spaces such as coffee shops and libraries. VPNs work well in blocking cybercriminals from accessing personal information by breaching your online privacy.
When choosing a VPN, opt for one that embraces a no-log policy. This means it won’t gather data relating to the information that you transmit through the network. Such a VPN does not keep personal data on users, the sites they visit, or even what they search or download. This means activities that you undertake online via such a VPN remain anonymous and private.
5. Enhance Security On Mobile Devices
In today’s world, most people use mobile devices to watch movies, respond to emails, and search the internet. To protect your data privacy, consider improving the security on your mobile devices. For instance, lock your mobile phone with a complex passcode to prevent people from accessing your information in case you lose it.
Be cautious when downloading applications. Some apps are embedded with viruses. Rather than downloading a free one, buy apps from legitimate sources. Update the apps or software that you install on mobile devices. Ignoring them can make your gadgets vulnerable to external attacks.
With the ever-increasing threat of data breaches, protecting your privacy online is of paramount importance. Besides the five tips discussed above, the traditional step of installing antivirus software remains one of the most effective ways of keeping hackers at bay. Ensure that your mobile and desktop devices have an up-to-date antivirus to guard against spyware, malware, and any other viruses that can compromise your online privacy.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.