August 19 2022
Five Tips on How to Protect Your Privacy Online
How to protect your privacy online? According to many, the only surefire guarantee is… giving up the Internet entirely. There is some truth in the above – as each online activity leaves “digital footprints” behind. Footprints others can take advantage of. What can be done to realistically ensure your online safety? Read on.
Be careful when using open wireless networks
Free, open Wi-Fi hotspots are a standard across the entire modern world. Remember, though, that free wireless Internet poses quite a risk. Practically everywhere in the world you will come across fraudsters who can trace your activity when you connect to the open network. Under such circumstances, it is really easy to intercept your email or bank account password, by using special software. Thus, it is best not to do certain things, such as money transfers or internal server logins, via open networks.
Manage your passwords wisely
How to protect yourself when you cannot use the secure connection?
- Avoid saving your passwords on your devices – yes, it is convenient but also risky, trust us on that!
- Change your passwords regularly,
- Do not use the same password for many different accounts.
You’d do well to follow the rules above regardless of your opinion about the network you’re using at a given moment. They should become your “online health and safety” cornerstone.
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Do you use free hotspots often? Invest in VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. So far it is the best known method of ensuring your online safety. It consists of changes of IP address, connection encryption and creation of special, virtual “tunnels” through the Internet. Naturally, it comes with its own set of issues: available VPN apps have special data transfer restrictions installed, which means slower transfer, unless you pay for a subscription beforehand. Still, it should be considered money well spent, as VPN is not only your online privacy protection, but also the only way to access content unavailable in your country due to regional blockades. Important note: when choosing a provider check if they guarantee a refund should you unsubscribe (and if so, after what period).
Enable two-stage authorization
Banks, insurance companies, specialist services or even Facebook and Google have already made two stage authorization available to their users. How does it work? Even if someone was able to intercept your password, they would still require a special code automatically sent to your private cell-phone via text. The code needs to be entered manually, so it is not a very convenient solution, however it really provides high levels of security.
Ignore strange links and attachments
If you never got an email from an unknown address that urged you to click a funny link, or download a mysterious attachment… you probably don’t use email at all. What’s more, both the link and the attachment may look legit and trustworthy. Unfortunately, it’s most often an attempt to infect your computer with viruses, and the attachment can be a “trojan horse”, with which someone can hijack your computer. Once that happens you can be in real trouble. You should ignore unknown source links and attachments like a teenager ignores their parents requests to clean their room.
If you found the above advice obvious, we can only congratulate you on your level of awareness, and as a result, safety. Unfortunately, it is hardly common knowledge, so a refresher on the basics may be a god idea. The Internet has given us many opportunities, but it has also decreased our safety and limited our privacy. Luckily, by following a handful of rules and developing healthy habits you can eliminate – or at least diminish – the risk.
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