After writing about many different privacy-oriented topics, we have decided to create one comprehensive guide for all those looking to protect their online privacy. The importance of the internet in our lives is growing with every passing day, so staying safe is imperative.
Unfortunately, there are many dangers online — from fraudsters to hackers, the majority of these malicious actors use our data to achieve their goals. These attacks can have serious consequences for all of us — from losing money to affecting our credit ratings, there is a wide range of potential outcomes.
By following these tips we hope you will be able to stay safe and protect yourself from malicious actors found online.
Rule number 1 — Use Antivirus
Using antivirus is an essential security necessity for any computer or smartphone — regardless of whether it is connected to the internet or not. They are a way to help prevent online fraud or damage to your device.
Antivirus software essentially helps prevent damage from viruses or intrusions into a computer by unwanted parties i.e. hackers. It does so by identifying a computer’s weak spots and strengthening those access points.
Also, it is vital to keep it up-to-date in order to keep the data stored on a computer, or a device remains safe and unreadable to anyone other than for who it was intended.
Rule number 2 — Make Your Passwords Strong
When we all first started using the internet and computers, the majority of us were guilty of using the same password across different accounts.
The majority used the same few letters for logging into the desktop at work and at home, on all the online accounts.
Unfortunately, this is a sure way to have the accounts hacked. Hackers only need to spy you logging into one application one time, and they can access any accounts you have online.
The best way to avoid this is to use different strong passwords for everything. The passwords need to be strong — so use uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and interpunction marks to make your passwords hard to guess. Also, avoid using birthdays, family or pet names and other things that are easy to guess.
Also, you don’t have to remember all the passwords. Use password managers to secure them and use when needed. Password managers encrypt all passwords you store in them and help you keep them safe.
Rule number 3 — Limit The Information About You
Identity theft is one of the most common ways online fraudsters make use of all the information gathered on a person. They use this information to pose as someone so that they can get material gain.
In the worst cases, identity theft can allow a hacker to access a person’s bank account and steal the money before anyone realizes it’s late.
By limiting the information about you found online you are reducing the chances of identity theft.
Key data such as zip codes, an address, mothers’ maiden names or bank account details should remain hidden from the public. And this is just a few pieces of data that we all happily give away online when making purchases or otherwise.
Rule number 4 — Solely Use HTTPS Links
HTTPS is a secure protocol which can be seen in front of the website’s name. For example:
There is actually not much needed to know in technicals when it comes to HTTPS. Simply, HTTP or any other derivation can be used by the malicious actors to install malware. This means they can access the communication between the user and the website. Hackers then can get sensitive data about users.
HTTPS is there to ensures that nobody tampers between a website and its users.
Rule number 5 — Beware of Spam Emails
Spam emails are often used for various types of scams. By deleting them immediately the moment they get into your inbox, you are protecting your privacy.
Users who open suspicious emails often fall victim to online scams.
The problem is, fraudulent and spam emails are becoming harder and harder to spot. Mainly, when opening an email, we should be very cautious of clicking any links that are contained within them. It is by clicking those links that we open ourselves up to a malware attack on your device. This malware can then access your private information.
Hope you liked this post. In the next part, we will go through several other techniques, more privacy-focused, as this first part was aimed more on security in general. Till next time — have a great day!