Online security breaches have become extremely common. The web is filled with people with fraudulent intent who steal users’ data and use them for their profit. For instance, they hack into computers and use bank details and credit card info of the actual users to get hold of big funds. Cybercriminals also steal the personal information of people and trade in those facts and figures for cash.
Additionally, there are identity thieves, organized crime rings, and spammers who don’t miss even the slightest chance of accessing your private information and using it for their benefit. The only way to prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorized access to your confidential information is by maintaining proper online hygiene. Read through the section below to find out how you can protect your privacy while browsing online.
Encrypt Your Network
If you use an unencrypted connection, hackers and other malicious entities will face little difficulty to view all your online activities. They will know your location, your buying habits, the number of times you are visiting a particular website or logging into your personal accounts, and more. They may also gain access to private information like your social security number, credit card details, contact info, etc.
To be more precise, having an unencrypted connection means loss of privacy and sensitive data. This, in turn, will make you highly susceptible to identity theft, fraudulent transactions, etc.
The simplest solution to the above problems would be a VPN download from a reliable provider. The VPN will redirect all the traffic into an encrypted tunnel and stop cybercriminals from tracking your online activities.
Keep Software Suites Up to Date
Almost every software you have on your device must bother you by reminding you about the latest updates. If you have the habit of ignoring those alerts, it’s time to change your habit.
Keeping software suites up to date helps in several ways. Each day sees millions of fresh malware appear on the web. The only way to prevent them from damaging your system is by updating everything on the device including the operating system.
If you make this a habit, it will not only take care of your online privacy but will also enhance the user experience offered by the device and improve its overall functionality.
Don’t Log into Your Confidential Accounts When Using a Public Device or Network
People tend to get allured by the free Wi-Fi network available in coffee shops, malls, libraries, and airports and spend hours browsing the web. Ideally, you should use such public networks only to watch movies or surf the web for information. It would not be wise if you log into your email account or social media account while using a public network.
Such networks typically gather users’ data and send them to third parties, an action that will leave you at risk of losing privacy and even identity. Those networks may also insert malware into your device and steal your passwords.
If possible, avoid using public networks or devices altogether. If that’s not possible, try to not use them for checking your bank details or making a financial transaction online. Also, don’t type in your passwords to gain access to personal accounts.
Don’t Fall Prey to Online Surveys or Contests That Promise to Give You Massive Rewards
You will often receive emails from unknown senders requesting you to share your personal details and bank account info. Those emails typically state that you have won a huge sum in a lottery and thus need to send some personal data to get the winning amount in your account. The only thing you should do after receiving such emails is deleting it as quickly as possible.
If you commit the mistake of sharing your private data with the owner of that email id, you may become a victim of various cybercrimes.
Some companies keep contacting their potential customers asking for their email address and other personal info. They claim that the data will allow them to unlock some interesting content or enable the user to participate in a survey or contest.
Indeed, no one will be able to harm you just by getting your contact information. However, the data can surely be used to make life more troublesome for you. You will start receiving calls from service providers and brands requesting you to purchase their offerings. Your inbox will get flooded with emails from companies you were never interested in.
So, whenever you share your email or phone number online with a company or individual, you must ensure that you know the purpose for which they are asking for your contact info.
Turn Your GPS off and Avoid Sharing Your Location Online
If you want your friends on social media to see pictures clicked during your vacation or at a family dinner, make sure you post them a few days after the actual event takes place. That’s because it’s never a good idea to let the world know about your present location. If you do so, third parties with malicious intent may track you and harm you physically.
To keep yourself even more protected, we would advise you to keep the GPS on your phone turned off unless it’s absolutely necessary. Doing so will help you to reduce your digital footprint to a great extent.
Choose Strong Passwords for All Your Accounts
The cybercriminals of the present generation are extremely intelligent and well-equipped. They are instrumental in identifying passwords that are common or simple. For example, you cannot expect to enjoy even minimum online privacy if you choose one of the three most common passwords i.e. 111111, password, and QWERTY.
Also, avoid choosing your name, your parents’ or spouse’s name, a phone number, a house number, etc. as your password. If you are interested in protecting your accounts’ privacy, choose strong passwords that contain alphabets (both upper and lower case), symbols, and numbers.
The number of cybercriminals and the ammunitions they have with them is increasing with every passing day. So, if you want to browse the internet securely, you will have to walk the extra mile to keep your personal info and other sensitive private data protected.