Whether you use the internet to stream movies, participate on social platforms, or work from home, online privacy should be important to you.Over the past few years,data security violations and breacheshave become a daily occurrence. Scammers are always looking for user information, including social security numbers, credit cards, banking details, and any other information they can use against you.
If you feel vulnerable and worried about your online privacy and data security, here are some best tools and tips you can use to keep yourself protected. These tools or tips will help to protect you from online threats and keeps you safe and secure while surfing the internet.
- Install security software
- Get a VPN
- Enhance your social media privacy
- Secure your business and home network
- Cover your computer camera
- Use strong passwords and a password manager
- Consider using 2-factor authentication
- Allow software and OS updates when prompted
- Only use HTTPS websites
- Be cautious when installing software and clicking on download links
- Always follow the correct procedure when switching off your computer
1. Install security software
Install the most reliable security software to protect your devices. This software catches and blocks malware before it can cause harm to your device. After installing security software, allow it to install updates automatically. These updates fix bugs in the software and contain codes to fight the latest malware.
2. Get a VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is an important security tool for anyone who uses the internet. If you do not know what VPNs are, they are security tools that create an encrypted tunnel for your online traffic. Data to and from your computer passes through this tunnel. The encryption makes your traffic invisible to hackers.
With a VPN, you can visit sites, send emails, download files, transact from your bank and use your credit card to pay for goods and services online, even on a public network. A VPN also enables you to visit geo-restricted sites by masking your IP and routing your traffic to a server in a country that can access the site.
Related Article: Best Free VPN Extensions For Google Chrome Browser
3. Enhance your social media privacy
Sites such as Amazon and Cambridge Analytica collaborate with social media platforms where they pay for user data. If you are on multiple social media sites, you are a likely target for marketing campaigns if your user data is public.
Configure your social media privacy by changing the amount of information on your profile and who can access this data. These changes can be made from the privacy settings on any social media platform.
4. Secure your business and home network
Always secure your wireless network at home or work. Use a strong password to ensure unauthorized users cannot access the network. It is also possible to configure your router to protect the SSID or network name, making it hard to find your connection.
5. Cover your computer camera
If you have a tablet, PC, or smartphone, you should consider investing in camera covers. Hackers infringe on user privacy by hacking into cameras to record the user and use this data for blackmail or any other malicious ways.
If you cannot afford a cover, you can find ways to cover your camera using color tabs or paper at home.
6. Use strong passwords and a password manager
Having a strong password for all your accounts is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your data. The best password should include special characters, numbers, and letters in upper and lower cases. It is highly advisable not to use one password for multiple accounts.
The greatest problem people face when it comes to online accounts is remembering all the passwords. While it is convenient, it is advisable not to save your passwords on your browser. This is why password managing applications and extensions are essential.
A password manager ensures all your passwords are available in a secure place whenever you need to login into any of your accounts. With a password manager, you can confidently use different passwords for different accounts without memorizing them.
7. Consider using 2-factor authentication
2FA or two-factor authentication is an additional layer of security for logins. It incorporates the use of numbers sent to your phone or email whenever you want to login into an account requiring 2FA. It can also include a pattern, fingerprint, or a security token requirement for logins.
You can download the 2FA app from the play store or Apple store to get a new random number to authenticate a login request every time you want to access different accounts.
8. Allow software and OS updates when prompted
Every so often, software and operating system developers release a new update for their programs that contain bug fixes and updated security protocols to counter any cybersecurity threats against the programs.
Whenever an application or operating system prompt requires you to install the latest update, always allow installation to take place immediately. Updating your device apps and software programs is a continuous process. Therefore, you should consider changing the settings to allow automatic updates. This way, you are sure never to miss an update.
9. Only use HTTPS websites
Whenever you are browsing the internet, always check to ensure that the site’s address begins with HTTPS. This is especially important when you want to enter financial or personal details on a site. HTTPS links are an indication that the connection between your device and the website is encrypted, thus impossible to compromise.
Whenever you connect to an HTTPS website, your data is automatically encrypted with a digital certificate that protects it from snooping third parties. On top of the HTTPS tag, some websites also use a padlock before the URL address to show that the site is encrypted.
10. Be cautious when installing software and clicking on download links
Ensure you practice safe downloading whenever you need to install new programs or applications on your devices. Before downloading anything, thoroughly examine the software publisher to confirm that it is from a trusted source.
Also, only download when your antivirus is active to ensure it alerts you if the link is suspicious. Ensure your firewall is running too before you start downloading any programs.
11. Always follow the correct procedure when switching off your computer
Whenever you are done using your computer, it is essential to switch it off the right way. If you do not want to switch it off yet, set it to sleep when not in use. This protects it from physical hacking.
If you find that you leave your computer on for days or weeks, it is essential to reboot it every few days. This helps to flush the RAM, improve performance, stop memory leaks, and fix bugs while running other background fixes. Also, it stops any spyware that may have been installing in the background at any given time.
Privacy is a human right, not a privilege, and your privacy online starts with you. Follow the tips above to boost your privacy and protect your data online.