Tips on How to Protect Your Online Privacy

These days every news platform is talking about online hacking. From governments collecting the personal records of internet users to advertising companies, everyone is interested in your data. Therefore, it is completely normal to be concerned about your privacy online and feel the need to secure it, especially in a time where information is the new currency. You do not need to be doing something wrong to feel the need to hide your internet activities, protecting your personal information and yourself from hackers, governments and advertising companies should be your right and conscious choice. Here we have some tips to help you protect your privacy online:

Use a strong password

A simple yet a very important tip; use a strong password. A ten character alphanumeric case sensitive password is obviously much stronger and more secure than your typical abc123 or the date of your birthday. Why do you need a strong password? It is because the more complex and difficult the password is, the harder it is to be hacked. As an example, it would take 289217 years to break a ten-character password that uses symbols, numbers and letters, while it would take 14.17 minutes to break 0123456789. Also, you can use two factor authentication (2FA) to further secure your accounts. It is a method that has been adopted by Google and Facebook where instead of only asking for your username and password, sites will also ask for an additional piece of information, such as a code sent to your telephone. Additionally, always use different, strong passwords for different services and platforms because if a security breach affects one of the sites you use, a hacker can access any other services you have signed in using the same password. If you find it difficult to remember all the different complicated passwords, you can always use a password manager.

Clear the cookies

Websites use cookies to keep a user logged in and to “improve” the user’s experience. Cookies are stored on your devices when you visit a certain website, they contain your username, password and any other information you share with the website. They basically are your online footprints. You can manage them, edit them and delete them at any time. However, some cookies could also sneak in your search history and collect your data creating a “behavioral profile” of your online activities. This profile could be sold or shared with a third-party advertising company to target you with advertisements compatible with your search or purchase history. This particular use of cookies has urged Europe to set a law that forces websites to inform their visitors if they use cookies and ask for their consent.

Secure your interactions

If you have a business or a company and contact many clients worldwide make sure that you always have secure interactions, especially with new contacts. Use phone validation services and clean your contact lists to avoid contacting any invalid numbers. This will save time and money while making sure you are contacting real people and not scamming numbers. In addition to that, create multiple email addresses, one for your business, one personal and one for your financial accounts. This will add additional security and prevent hackers from getting all of your information in one setting. Also, if you use shipping to your distribute your products, make sure to use an address validator. This will guarantee that your shipments reach correct addresses and secure your interactions IRL as well. Securing your interactions will guarantee that you have a safe and risk-free internet experience.

Secure your devices

Never underestimate the importance of a strong antivirus and security software. A reliable security program will protect your device from malware and protect your online privacy. While using the web, you are vulnerable to hacking, spying, phishing and adware. Download a security software on every device you use and choose the right one depending on your usage and priorities. Also, always keep them updates as most software updates are connected to fixing privacy issues, as well as bugs.

Social Media

Following Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous congress hearing after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, many social media users became justifiably concerned about their online privacy and some even started deactivating their Facebook accounts. While that is completely understandable, it is not the only available solution. To ensure that your social media experience is safe and secure, first, make sure to read the privacy settings offered and understand them and know how to modify them. Also, avoid clickbaits and fake news because hackers can use these links to hack your account and steal your valuable information. Furthermore, delete any old accounts you do not use anymore and avoid accessing your accounts using public Wi-Fi or public devices.

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