Hello MI Fans..
Greetings from CHAT Team.! Do you take your online privacy seriously?
Most people don't. They have an ideal scenario of just how private their online activities should be, but they rarely do anything to actually achieve it.
The problem is that bad actors know and rely on this fact, and that's why there's been a steady rise in identity theft cases from 2013 to 2019. The victims of these cases often suffer a loss of reputation or financial woes.
If you take your online privacy seriously, follow this 10-step guide to protect it.
1. Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is essential for any computer or phone – regardless of whether it is connected to the internet or not. They are an excellent way to help prevent against online fraud or damage on your device.
Antivirus software essentially helps prevent against intrusion into a computer by an unwanted party. It does so by identifying a computer’s weak spots and adding strength to those access points.
It’s important to use so that data stored on a computer or a device remains safe and unreadable to anyone other than for who it was intended.
2. Protect Against Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the ways that online fraudsters make use of all the information gathered on a person. They use this information to pose as someone so that they can make use of all manner of elements from that person’s life.
In the worst cases, identity theft can allow a hacker to access a person’s bank accounts and steal money straight out of the account without the person or bank realizing before it is too late.
Protecting against identity theft is a way of stopping this from ever happening. To do so, people should be wary of the information that they give out about themselves.
Key data is information such as zip codes, first line of their address, mothers’ maiden names or bank account details. And this is just a few pieces of data that we all happily give away online when making purchases or otherwise.
3. Optimize your Passwords
When we all first started using the internet and computers, the majority of us were guilty of using the same password across the board.
We used the same few letters for logging into our desktop at work and at home as well as all the online accounts we had.
Unfortunately, this is a sure fire way to have your accounts hacked and allow yourself to fall victim to online fraud. Hackers only need to spy you logging into one application one time, and they are able to access any accounts you have online.
The best way around this is to use different passwords for everything. Those passwords also need to be optimized so that they are impossible to guess. Stay clear of using birthdays, relative names, pet names and other easy to guess combinations.
Remembering them all does sound like a headache, but there are ways around this other than storing them on your computer, which in itself is unsafe.
You can use password managers which will secure hundreds of unique passwords for you. A password manager can also generate random and secure passwords when needed. We highly recommend Dashlane as a password manager.
4. Use 2-Step or 2-Factor Authentication
Instead of simply logging in with a password, 2-step authentication links your accounts to another device – usually your phone – so when you attempt to log in, a text is sent with an additional security code. This way, if someone tries to hack into your account without your phone, they’re locked out. Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and many others offer this option.
5. Update your Cookies
Cookies are how websites gather and store information about your browsing history. It means that websites are able to use that data to analyze your behavior online so they can better market products and services at you.
However, it also means that these websites can sell that analysis to a third party so that they also have the information on you. Given that we put so much of ourselves online these days, it’s good to try to keep some sort of handle on where data about us gets to.
While not all cookies are bad, it pays to slightly tweak your settings so that if a cookie is installed on your computer or device automatically, you are at least alerted. It’s a good way to know exactly who is reading your online activity.
6. Turn off Your GPS
Turning your GPS off on your phone in its settings application is key to maintaining your privacy while online. By turning it off, it means that all your applications (of which there will be many) will not be able to read where you are. Some of these applications, especially if they are social media apps, will post this location online.
The reason that this is bad for your privacy is that it advertises when you are not home. This is a safety risk for so many reasons. Plus, it’s not always the nicest feeling to know that you can be tracked and traced wherever you go.
Turning off your GPS is an easy way to stop geotagging and any danger of revealing your location.
7. Only Use HTTPS Links
HTTPS is a form of tech jargon that very few people actually know the true meaning behind. There is actually very little need to know the technicalities behind it in any detail, other than you should always ensure that a website uses this as part of its address. If it simply says HTTP or any other derivation, it is not safe to use.
The reason that it is not safe is that a website that is not HTTPS can have malware installed on it by a cyber criminal or fraudster. This means that they can gain access to the communications between the user and the website. Hackers can then obtain sensitive data on website users.
HTTPS ensures that users cannot do this by preventing intruders tampering between a website and its users.
8. Remember to Log Out
It sounds so obvious, but so many of us simply don’t log out of our accounts when we sign in online. This means that our accounts stay open and running in the background. It opens us up to a security breach.
This is because those accounts or websites you are logged into can then read everything else you are up to online.
Importantly, closing the window of the account that you have logged into is not enough. A social media giant like the aforementioned Facebook can read everything you are up to, even if you have shut the application or window you were accessing Facebook through.
Facebook then stores what you have got up to online which then becomes a precious commodity to third parties, Facebook itself, and online hackers. You have no control of what happens to that precious commodity either.
To stay untrackable, simply log out each and every time you access an online account. Again, it may take a few moments to do so, but the time you have spent may save you a great deal of pain further down the line.
9. Beware of Spam Emails
Spam emails are an easy way to avoid being hacked online. By deleting them immediately the moment they get into our inboxes, we are protecting our internet privacy no end.
Online users who open suspicious emails are ones that often fall victim to online fraud.
The problem is, fraudulent and spam emails are becoming harder and harder to spot. Essentially, when opening any 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.
10. Use Public Wifi and Hotspots With Caution
Public wifi seems like a good way to save our data allowance with our internet provider when out and about. But accessing the internet through a hotspot or public wifi on our handheld devices makes us extremely susceptible to online attack. This is particularly true if we use that public wifi to log on to any online accounts – social media or otherwise.
Public wifi has no means of encryption so that anyone who is using the same wifi as you, can read whatever data you are transmitting. This therefore means that accessing any financial data, bank accounts or financial applications is a total no no. It can be so tempting, but it is just not worth it due to the danger of exposing passwords and sensitive data to prying eyes.
However, if you need to use a public wifi to access your bank or any other extremely sensitive data, ensure you are using a VPN at the same time. A reputable VPN will make that public wifi a secure network for you so that your data is encrypted. As ever, we recommend using ExpressVPN above all other VPN providers.
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Thanks to Admin @mnnahid for his continuous inspiration and supervision.
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