The internet continues to transform how we work, connect and share information with others. With this growing influence, online privacy has become a crucial focal point.
It seems like every other week, there’s a story about a corporate database being hacked and releasing people’s private information into the wild.
Information has never been more accessible than it is today. All it takes is just a little bit of digging for anyone to find sensitive information about you online at the click of a button.
Below are a few simple strategies you can employ to protect your digital life:
1. Use a Strong VPN
A virtual private network commonly referred to as VPN is a tool that encrypts your connection and gives anonymity while surfing the net.
A VPN lets you create a secure connection to another network over the internet. VPNs mask your IP address so that your online activities are virtually untraceable from hackers and third-party intruders.
In today’s world, a VPN is a must-have, especially when you are on public Wi-Fi, perhaps catching up on some work in a restaurant or at a library.
The market is flooded with VPNs, so it’s important to check their reviews on vpnoverview to know which best suits you.
A VPN makes it virtually impossible for cybercriminals to access your data for misuse when you are out and about online shopping.
A strong VPN also gives parents peace of mind that their children are protected from inappropriate materials while browsing the internet.
2. Limit What You Share on Social Media
Perhaps the most important way to protect your online privacy is by limiting what you actually share on your social media platforms.
Studies show that approximately 52% of internet users shared personally-identifying information through their social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This makes it rather easy for criminals to harvest your private information to then steal your identity and access your financial information.
It makes sense to skip the “about me” field every time you are on your social media profiles.
3. Browse in Incognito
When you don’t want to leave any digital footprints, it’s advisable to do your browsing in private mode.
Most web browsers like Chrome and Firefox let you browse incognito. This way, your device doesn’t save any browsing history, temporary internet files or cookies.
However, it’s good to note that this only applies to your PC. If you are surfing the net on a company computer even in private mode, there is a likelihood that your employer or internet service provider (ISP) can still get a hold of your browsing activities.
4. Use a Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) simply means confirming your identity using two factors instead of one to increase your accounts’ security.
With so many innovations happening in our phones and computers, our digital accounts have become a treasure trove for cyber-criminals.
The worst thing about this is that sometimes there are no signs of a hack-in; you might realise it when it’s too late and your information has been stolen.
Google accounts and similar have the 2FA provision via your mobile device as a second factor before letting you log in to your account.
5. Use a Quality Antivirus Software
An antivirus is software installed onto your PC to protect your device from harmful malware. Antiviruses offer a ray of sunshine to a bleak world full of viruses.
It keeps hackers from corrupting your data hence protecting you from being a victim of identity theft.
Additionally, a good antivirus will let you declutter the computer hence increasing your device’s processing speed.
6. Always Be Careful What and Where You Click
Hackers are always on the look-out on ways to prey on unsuspecting victims. One such way of compromising your privacy is through phishing attempts.
Phishing is a cyber-attack that uses disguised emails to trick you into providing valuable financial or personal information. Scammers often send fake emails that appear to come from banks or other credit providers to random individuals.
These emails will often prompt you to click on a link to verify financial information to either keep your account from being closed.
Clicking on the link takes you to a spoofed web page that looks like an actual bank’s homepage.
When you enter your personal data, it goes straight to the scammers who then use it to fleece your finances.