If you believe that your personal information is private, so learning just how much of it ends up online would come as a shock to you. You might find many personal details, such as your parents’ name, family names, social media profile, and telephone number, by simply searching your name on Google. This data has been gathered from various websites through social networks and databases, and this form of data accumulation is completely legitimate.
Advertisers and marketers are interested in having access to such data to target their audiences. Still, there is also a drawback to that since too much of your data is available, you would automatically become vulnerable to ID theft, phishing, and other Internet scams that have become quite common. Does this mean that you cannot surf the internet safely? No, of course not. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your online privacy and device security in 2021.
Best Practices to Protect Your Online Privacy in 2021
With these easy steps, you can ensure complete protection of your online data not only from bad guys, but from your ISP and online advertisers as well.
Tip # 1: Do not Access Personal or Financial Data Through Public Wi-Fi
It might be enticing to browse your credit card portal or online bank account when you are using the WiFi in a coffee shop or hotel lobby. But be careful – the public Wi-Fi is known for being poor in security. Hackers and other attackers could intercept your online activity easily.
And if, while on public Wi-Fi, you access your account or pay via credit card or transfer money between checking and savings account? These cyber snoops could nab the credentials of your log-in, allowing them access to your most sensitive financial records. This may encourage attackers to make payments on your credit card or to empty your bank account.
Only use public Wi-Fi to work without personal details, for example reading news articles, searching restaurants in the near vicinity, or browsing movie ratings. And if you want to protect your privacy over public Wi-Fi, log into your VPN provider before accessing the web.
Tip # 2: Use a VPN for Complete Anonymity
One of the most important approaches to enhance your online privacy could be a virtual private network or VPN. It’s a way to browse the internet while avoiding the prying eyes of businesses, governments, and hackers from tracking your online footprints.
A VPN builds an encrypted tunnel between you and an external server operated by your VPN provider. This traffic will be transmitted through the tunnel to hide your actions from others as you access websites, download files, send emails, and access your bank account and credit card details.
When you connect to the network via a VPN, your IP address appears to be the same as your VPN provider’s server. It also keeps your identity and location private.
Therefore, it is evident that a VPN is valuable if you want to protect your details.
Tip # 3: Protect Social Media Privacy
Social media has been built to get you closer to your friends and family, but the concern is that what you share with them can often be shared by the entire world. It will potentially be used to monitor you and take advantage of it in some manner if you share enough data on social media. It is also necessary for you to lock down your accounts, which means updating your privacy settings. Be sure your information is only visible to those you trust, and you should be careful with what you post.
Tip # 4: Use Two-Factor Authentication
When you activate two-factor authentication on any platform or online account, you need not only enter your username and password, but you will get a new code on either your phone number or email ID. Once you have the code, you enter it to complete the log-in process.
This might sound like a hassle, and it can be inconvenient to submit a code to sign into often visited websites. But this additional log-in step reduces the risk of a hacker breaking into the password-protected websites you are visiting.
Authentication with a two-factor feature is particularly smart for major financial sites such as your online bank account, healthcare account, and portals to mortgages or credit cards.
Tip # 5: Protect Your Computer From Viruses
Digital security is closely linked with digital privacy. Hackers would be able to hack and steal your personal information if your device is compromised with malware or virus. Currently, they may even lock any of the files and may need compensation to unlock them. Installing antivirus apps on personal devices and keeping applications updated is the safest way to prevent those cases. You can enable the automated upgrade feature, which protects your computer and other devices from viruses and malware.
Having a trusted Anti-virus is also very importation. Anti-virus will protect your device from such threats and intimate you every time any unauthorized request has been sent to your device.
Tip # 6: Use A Private Browser
Tip # 7: Be Wary of Scams
You should always watch out for emails, phone calls, and websites that try to get you to give out your personal information. You have to be cautious because scammers have become very competent at mimicking legitimate companies. To get you to share, they also present you with dire consequences of not sharing the details. These techniques shouldn’t fool you and don’t give away any personal details online, such as your bank account information or social security number.
Protecting your online privacy is very difficult in today’s digital world. But, if you keep a habit of using these tips on daily basis, you can keep yourself safe from any big loss inters of financial or reputational.