Data breaches, online tracking, and other cybersecurity threats pose a danger to Internet users. If you want to remain anonymous online and feel confident about your privacy, do not expect to get that without putting in the effort.
Figuring out how to protect your privacy online is not that difficult. And once you have the basics down and set up your strategy, you should be good to go.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective means to fortify privacy on the Internet.
Use Reliable Antivirus Tool
Start with antivirus software. Treat it as the most important security layer that prevents cybersecurity threats from infecting your device and gaining access to your data.
Malware, trojans, ransomware, phishing, and other threats are easier to prevent when you have an antivirus tool backing you up. As a rule of thumb, antivirus software should be running in the background even if your computer is idle. Also, do not forget to regularly run custom disk scans to double-check whether the system is free of corrupted data.
Stop Sharing so Much Online
You are not doing yourself any favors by oversharing personal things on the Internet. Social media is arguably the best example of an online platform that tricks people into making mistakes and sharing personal details.
Photos you upload online can be seen by others, so be careful about what you share publicly.
Creating accounts online can also be considered a form of sharing. Websites that get your details, such as your email address, might use the information for personal gain. Creating throwaway email addresses for certain sites is the right approach.
Finally, if you ever need to fill out forms online, it would probably be for the best to use fake credentials. Not to mention that you should skip optional information to give fewer details about yourself.
Be Smart About Passwords
Password usage is another step that you need to be careful about. Do not fall for the habit of using the same simple password for every online account. If your credentials get leaked, the odds of encountering identity theft and other similar issues rise by a lot.
You want to create complicated passwords for different accounts. In case it is hard to memorize the combinations, use a password manager tool to store your credentials.
While on the topic of passwords, it is also worth noting that some hackers have tools smart enough to overcome even more complicated password combinations. As such, it is worthwhile to also enable two-factor authentication.
In addition to a password, you can add a second step, such as an email or a text message, to confirm the legitness if one wishes to log in.
Prevent Search Engines Tracking You
You might read about Google and other popular search engines and how they have these policies not to collect user data. Do not trust the words of big corporations, even if they have user-friendly policies written down.
If you are on Google, delete information in the My Activity dashboard. For Yahoo, there is the search history management section, which is similar to one’s browsing history.
In case you want to make things easier for yourself, you can always switch to a different search engine that actually cares about user privacy. Right now, DuckDuckGo is the top pick for that.
Try Virtual Private Networks
Your activities online become much harder to track when you are using a virtual private network. An extra security layer in the form of a VPN is an excellent option. Encrypting your data and creating a wall for hackers to overcome is usually enough to stop them from attempting to attack you.
As far as your home network goes, it should have the necessary security protocols in place, so using a VPN might not feel that necessary. Nevertheless, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Now, when it comes to public Wi-Fi, virtual private networks are pretty much a necessity. The Internet provided by libraries, hotels, bars, and other public establishments lacks security protocols. Joining an unprotected network puts you at risk. Be sure to enable a VPN first, so you have the privacy and protection tool in place.
All in all, there are multiple ways to ensure your privacy and security online. Note that the more of the methods mentioned in this article you incorporate, the better off you will be. Lastly, keep an eye on the latest trends in cybersecurity. New means of security and privacy appear now and then. If you notice something worthwhile, you may want to begin using that as well.