When it comes to security, never compromise. You are being watched.
This is one of the main reasons why you should always be cautious in providing your personal details online. Do not disclose your information, especially those private ones, that may lead to identity theft. Scary but true!
Your browser knows about your location, the computer you’re using, your web browser name and version, your IP address, and even your social media account status! That always explains why you always get targeted on ads.
Don’t believe me? Visit the browsers below and give it a try:
And now that you are aware of this (maybe you’re already aware but didn’t bother), gain the knowledge of maximizing your personal safety, know the security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general. Most social networking and chat sites have a page about safety. Take time to read and understand them.
We’ve listed below 9 ways to protect your online data and privacy.
#1 Keep your computer/devices updated
Operating systems frequently releases updates on their software and informs you when they are available. You can also setup your computer, tablet, or smartphone to automatically do this for you.
#2 Install Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware software on your devices for added security
Install Anti-Virus Software like Avast Internet Security, Sophos, or Malwarebytes for an added layer of security. It’s like a jewelry store. You need to put a security guard to protect your precious stones.
#3 Do not use outdated web browsers
Just like your computer’s operating system, always keep your favourite web browsers up-to-date. Ensure to setup your browser to turn off website tracking (although most browsers turn this on by default). This ensures that you are not being targeted by ads. Or your browsing behaviour monitored.
#4 Block pop-ups
Configure your browser to always block pop-ups. And, don’t get fooled on those annoying pop-ups. Some websites, specially those unsecure ones, sometimes have these annoying pop-ups telling you that your computer is slow, or needs protection, or offers get-quick-rich schemes. One word – IGNORE!
#5 Do NOT disclose sensitive information!
Be wary when posting stuff online specially in social media. Do not post a photo of your credit card or a photo of your flight’s boarding pass! People nowadays are just too lax with their social media accounts and simply post these stuff in their timelines without thinking the repercussions.
Watch the short video below and you will understand why:
#6 Avoid using Pirated Software
We all do this at some point. But please, support the software makers by buying legitimate subscriptions or licenses. Who knows, hackers may have discreetly attached a malware on the pirated software you’re using.
#7 Use password manager to improve security of your accounts
Use a unique password in each of your online account. This way, if one of them gets compromised, you can still recover and/or protect your other accounts.
Another way is to set email aliases for your accounts. Gmail for example, supports adding email aliases on your email. So, if your main account is [email protected], you can setup an alias like [email protected], [email protected], etc. Make use of this feature.
If you have trouble remembering your passwords, simply use a centralised password management tool like LastPass.
#8 Activate or Enable 2-Factor Authentication on your accounts
Most platform nowadays supports 2-Factor Authentication or 2FA. This will add a layer of security on your account just in case your password gets compromised. You can either use a backup phone or an Authenticator app to do this.
#9 And last but not the least, use a VPN software
Avoid prying eyes. Prevent your ISP from snooping or spying on you. Anonymise your IP address. And well, unblock censorship! We’ve talked about this over and over. So consider using VPN to ensure your privacy. Read some of our articles about VPN:
- Protecting your online privacy
- Understanding VPN
- Choosing the right VPN
- Why you need to avoid Free VPNs
Don’t pay a high price by exposing yourself online to identity thieves.