5 Simple Tips for Protecting Your Privacy Online
Online privacy is an increasing concern for many internet users. Stories of cybercrime have always been around, but now they’re also being added to by worries about the way ‘big data’ companies track people across the web, and the sometimes creepy ways they use the information they collect. What can you do to help keep your privacy intact?
1) Update Your Software
Whether you’re using apps on a smartphone or traditional software on a laptop, it pays to keep them up to date. Security holes are discovered in software packages all the time, but updating will apply security patches to keep your data as safe as possible.
2) Use Strong Passwords
The average person has many online accounts covering all aspects of their lives, from email to social media to banking. It’s extremely important to choose strong passwords that aren’t easily guessed, but also different passwords for each account. If you use the same password repeatedly, and a hacker guesses it or a company’s database is compromised, losing the privacy on one account can quickly spread across your entire online life.
This can make keeping track of passwords difficult, but there are apps and software packages available for every major platform to help you securely store your passwords and access them as needed.
1Password is a fantastic app to keep a log of all your passwords and log in credentials. The only password you need to remember is the one password to access the vault, it really is as simple as that!
3) Use Two-Factor Authentication
Most services now allow you to set up two-factor authentication. This is the slightly complicated way of describing a simple security measure that’s very effective. Instead of relying on a simple username and password combination to secure your account, you also supply a second (or third) security detail such as a mobile number. This extra piece of information is needed before you or a hacker can make any major changes to your account, helping you to stay in control.
4) Use HTTPS
If a website asks you for any sensitive information, make sure it’s using a secured, encrypted connection when the data is transmitted. You can recognise this by the website address starting with https://, or by a padlock symbol in your browser. There’s no excuse nowadays for a website not to use this technology, so be very suspicious of any site that doesn’t.
5) Be Wary of Public WiFi
Lastly, be very careful about using private accounts over public WiFi systems, even if they seem to be encrypted. When you do this you’re putting your trust in the network owner that their security is up to scratch, and that no suspicious people are listening in.
Security is a major concern for today’s online societies, but even these few simple changes can make a huge difference to the privacy of your data. Hackers and cyber criminals will always go after the easiest targets, so make sure you’re not one of them.