Online privacy is an important issue these days. Everyone is worried about the amount of their private information available on the internet and how it is vulnerable to misuse.
By making simple changes to your accounts and devices, you can take a step forward to making your personal information secure. Let us take a look at some of these:
1. Stay Private on Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi networks are insecure and do not encrypt traffic. It means that intruders can try to capture sensitive data like credit card data or bank account passwords of the people using the network. You can either use a VPN or choose to stay away from public Wi-Fi.
A VPN will encrypt any data before sending it through a Wi-Fi network. It acts as a layer of security, and intruders will not decrypt or understand the details transmitted through the web.
2. Check Social Privacy Settings
Social media often knows a lot about you. A lot of this information is available to the public by default. Thus, you should check the privacy settings of all your accounts. They give you an option to choose between making your information public, restricted to your friends and family (connections), or nobody but you.
Change them in a way that your information reaches only those people you trust. You can also start by removing any unwanted people from your connection/friends list. Also, limit what you share on your social media account to help intruders steal your identity or access your financial information.
3. Browse in Private Mode
Devices often save your cookies, temporary internet files, browsing history, etc. If you do not want your device to keep them, you can use private mode to surf the internet. Different browsers have their own versions like Chrome has Incognito Mode, and Firefox calls its Private Browsing. When you carry out your browsing activities in this mode, your computer will not be able to trace your history.
You must also know that these modes are not entirely private, and the ISP can still see your activities. Also, the websites that you visit will be able to track you when you use private mode. So, you can say that it has certain benefits that help you maintain your privacy only while you are online.
4. Use Secure Passwords
Intruders can easily crack weak passwords. Therefore, you should always set a long password that is difficult to remember and guess. It must include alphabet, numbers, special characters and should be at least 12 characters long. You should avoid using the same password multiple times.
Many websites also give you an option to set Two Factor Authentication. This feature allows you to link your account to an Email address or a mobile number. You will be able to successfully log in to this account only when you enter the username-password along with the one-time password sent to you over email or text message.
5. Do Not Use Public Storage for Private Information
You should never store your private information on a public storage software like Google Docs and Dropbox unless you keep them in an encrypted archive. Also, avoid saving your passwords, bank account details, or the copy of your passports in such storage. You never know when the data gets leaked.
Also, if, by chance, any intruder gets into one of these accounts successfully, the sensitive data stored by you will give them access to a lot of your information. You will not want that to happen.
6. Be Careful Where You Click
Phishing is one of the most common ways intruders compromise your online privacy. They trick you into entering personal or valuable information by sending fake emails that appear to be from a financial institution, credit card provider, or your bank. The links in these Emails often take you to a web page where you will have to verify your financial information to keep your account from being frozen or closed.
These emails are scams, and when you enter your information, you are basically sending them over to intruders behind this. Also, always double-check the URL before you enter any such information. It should be the perfect match for your institution or bank’s name.