With huge data breaches, hacks, scams and more, we do not have control over our data anymore. Marketers tracking our every move online, shady people getting hold of our accounts and pictures, non-governmental organization owning our sensitive information, all of this has made internet no longer a safe place.
Well, no need to worry. We can still protect our privacy and stay secure online only if we opt for some very helpful safety measures. Here’s the list of tips and tricks that will help you improve your privacy online.
1. USE VPN
The most secure way to protect your online privacy in this digital age is to always use a VPN (virtual private network). Find a reliable and mostly reviewed VPN, install and turn it on before you start using online platforms. It works as an Encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet servers. Once you turn it on, all of your data will travel only through this tunnel without any breach or hackers.
2. Free is never safe
Free online services, downloads and public Wi-Fi networks are the very common reasons of viruses and cyber-attacks. Always search for the reputation of the particular service or software before you decide to use any. Never share personal or sensitive information like Credit Card details while using public Wi-Fi. Be careful of what type of connection you have when connecting to public Wi-Fi unless you are using a VPN.
3. Use strong passwords
Strong passwords are the key to a strong account. Create passwords with unique numbers and letters that will not be easily guessed or decoded. Avoid using a spouse’s name, home address, phone numbers, last name, favorite color, or other identifying factors that someone can easily associate you with. Use a mixture of numbers, letters, symbols, and a combination of upper- and lower-case numbers to make it stronger and longer.
Lastly, never share your passwords with anyone, and make sure to change them frequently.
4. Think Before you Click
Being smart about what you click is a part of online security. There is a certain type of content that you should avoid which includes suspicious ads, click baits, free offers, email links, and other unsolicited advertisements. Cybercriminals use hot topics, catchy content, current news comprising of extreme graphics. Never fall for it. Be cautious, your trusted source might be masqueraded hoping to get you in their traps of getting user information.
5. Clear Cache
Always clear your browsing history, cache, and saved cookies on a daily basis as it can lead to your personal information. Do not keep any records of your history and you will have much lower chances of online tracking.
6. Check for reliable sources
When you visit different websites for online shopping or online banking, make sure that you follow up with these precautions: check for the Padlock icon in the URL bar, “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”, grammar and spelling mistakes in their site addresses. The padlock indicates that the website is encrypted and secure while the Grammarly mistakes indicate that the website is a copy of a legitimate site. Keep a follow up to all these precautions before you dig into the websites.
7. Block Tracking
Your browsers reveal quite a lot of information or data about you when you visit a site. It might include history, interests, behavior, and other aspects. To avoid getting tracked, use Incognito mode. It prevents your browsing history from being stored.
8. Use Apps with End-to-End Encryption
End-to-End is the most secure line of communication that blocks hackers and malware from getting access to your transferred data. Data is encrypted when its sent from the sender and can only be decrypted by the receiver. In this way, your data gets transferred in the most reliable and safe manner. Go for the most modern apps as they all use encryption.
9. Maintain Social Privacy
Almost all of us have our social accounts on different platforms that contain a lot of information about us and surprisingly we might not even sure about what is private and what is public! Are we? Make sure to check on your social privacy settings frequently and decide what information you would want to share with the public and what’s needed to hide.
10. Beware of Malwares
Whenever you decide to download any software to your desktop or mobile, choose only trusted websites. Downloading from a spam site could eventually cause damage to your systems as viruses or malware comes integrated with the desired software without you being able to even notice. So, always download from trusted sites and stay secure!