Like everyone else, you add to the data stockpile every time you use the Internet to search for answers. But how much? Well, there’s no definitive answer. Not even Google can keep count, even if it wanted to. In all likelihood, you don’t give it too much thought, but your data can end up in unexpected places. It’s used for targeted ads, scientific research, and planning burglaries. As you can imagine, your online data isn’t safe. Chances are that your digital life will outlive you. Since your information is already out there, you should be more careful.
Since so much of your daily life revolves around the Internet, protect yourself from threats that might harm your data and devices. Privacy-relevant incidents are becoming more common, and your sensitive information can be exposed online. The Internet is by far the most popular source of information, but it’s not hack-proof. Cyberattacks are so severe that governments and law enforcement officers are looking into becoming more skilled in catching malicious actors.
The good news is that you don’t have to turn your Internet off, but be mindful. Follow these rules and you’ll be fine.
When You Go Online, Use A Virtual Private Network
Prying eyes abound on the Internet. A virtual private network (VPN) conceals your IP address rather than sending your Internet connection to a hosted service. Encryption makes the data unreadable, so you can keep your privacy intact. It can be helpful for travelling, gaming, and streaming. Your Internet Service Provider can’t decrypt your communication because it’s not technically feasible. Each connection between a computer (or phone) and a server receives a unique encryption key.
If you live in a smart home, look for a VPN that enables split-tunnelling. It’s a feature that divides your Internet traffic and sends some of it through an encrypted VPN tunnel. You get to decide what apps, URLs, etc., must use the VPN connection. Every person will have different needs, so figure out if the VPN features meet your needs. If your needs are more serious than watching Netflix, you may need the Tor browser. Not only can you remain anonymous, but also you’re protected against being tracked by threat actors.
Shy Away from Weak Passwords
You can save all your logins in browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. The next time you try to log into your account, the browser will automatically fill in the details. With extra convenience comes uncertainty and vulnerability. If you fall prey to a cyberattack, your passwords will be lost. You should better save passwords in a password manager or write them down. Don’t allow your browser to save your login information.
If you have your mind set on storing your passwords in your browser, at least use Firefox and enable the Master Password feature. Firefox will ask for your Master Password before any credentials can be used for websites and services. Set a password that only you know. If you want to change your Master Password, there is nothing simpler. Enter the current password to confirm account ownership and enter the new password twice. Suppose you forgot your Master Password; reach out to the support team. This will delete all the certificates installed on the browser.
Explore The Security Tools You Install
Safety is a primary concern these days, and many apps strive to enhance it. To get maximum protection from these tools, get a good understanding of their features and settings. For instance, you can install an antivirus. It detects, quarantines and/or deletes malicious code to prevent damage to your device. Check online reviews if you’re not keen on putting your antivirus to the test. Others have done the hard work for you. If you do quick online research, you’ll get lots of information about the product you’re considering.
Attention must be paid to the fact that not all antivirus tools have PUA detection. PUA is an acronym and stands for Potentially Unwanted Applications. These apps can run processes in the background, slowing down your device or displaying countless ads.
Understand Privacy Policies
Hackers want to know everything about you. After a history sniffing attack, the cybercriminal will carry out a phishing attack. The more they find out about the potential victim, the more likely it is for the scam to succeed. With so much data used for marketing and advertising purposes, carefully review the privacy policies of websites and apps you use to understand how your data is collected and used. According to the experts at How-To-Sue.co.uk, the EU’s GDPR requires online platforms to have a separate page for their privacy policies, which is easily accessible.
If You’re Shopping Online, Watch Out for Duplicate Sites
Unlike physical stores, online shops have a vast selection and variety of products. Plus, you can take advantage of exclusive coupons and deals. If you do your shopping online, be on the lookout for duplicate sites. Some faux e-stores mimic trusted retailers, so they can easily be mistaken for the real thing. Threat actors intercept your communications and steal your financial data. That’s what it’s all about. Financial fraud is on the rise, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Double-check the domain name if you don’t want to lose your money to con artists. Be wary of anything that ends in .org or .net. Also, never ever transfer money from your bank account. There’s very little you can do to get your cash back. If it’s a genuine company, they’ll have instructions on how to return faulty items. The website will have clear terms and conditions.