By making a few simple changes to your devices and accounts, you can maintain security against outside parties’ unwanted attempts to access your data as well as protect your privacy from those you don’t consent to sharing your information with. Getting started is easy.
Tips to improve your Internet privacy:
• 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.
• 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.
• Use strong and different passwords
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.
• 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.
• Deactivate the auto fill option
Autofill works by recognizing familiar words and numbers when you complete forms online. Have you ever noticed how when you type in your home’s number, that an autofill option comes up with your street name too? This is dangerous for several reasons, but particularly because this information to enable autofill to work has to be stored somewhere online.
• Using private browsing modes
In answer to the increased need for online security and staying anonymous online, some browsers have a private browsing feature. These features help users protect themselves when using the internet.
• Only use HTTPS links
The link in the address bar of your browser starts with either “http” or “https”. The first one means that the connection between you and the website is open, i.e. anyone who taps into your internet connection can see everything you’re writing or looking at. This is bad.
• Make sure all your social media accounts are private
This is fundamental to limiting the amount of sensitive data that is available about you that is online. Securing your social media accounts is essential as these days most are public by default.
• Remember to log out
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.
• 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.
• 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.
Privacy is a human right, and our online privacy should be taken seriously. Don’t neglect to take the necessary steps to protect yours.