In today’s digital age, it’s only proper to keep track of our online identity.
However, the overwhelming news about cybercrimes makes the task hard; you can’t even read a newspaper without headlines about it! It seems that cybercriminals worldwide keep on finding ways to steal data and tamper with our privacy. Thankfully, tools like a proxy servers, VPNs, among others, can help online users and digital businesses put up safeguards.
The rise of internet users being more concerned about their online safety is rising, with 53% more online users concerned about the security of their online data than last year, and this is a number that is rising rapidly. With our professional and personal lives turning digital, learning how to protect yourself on the internet becomes a responsibility. Fortunately, there are solutions and strategies for this problem. It’s easy for you to level up your online privacy and security, and we have listed the best practices below:
Use a Strong Password
Don’t make it easy for hackers to gain access to your accounts! Passwords are your first defense against cybercriminals.
Get creative and use complex passwords combining words, numbers, and special characters. You should also avoid using personal information like your birthdate or anniversary date as your password.
Another tip is to avoid using similar passwords for multiple accounts, as it makes things easier for hackers once they successfully crack one.
Aside from using stronger passwords, utilizing multi-factor authentications is also a must!
These security features make you do additional steps before successfully logging in. It may be in the form of codes, questions, or links you’ll need to input or click before entering the website.
It adds a layer of protection because you’ll be informed whenever someone tries to log in to
your account. Thinks like web hosting or how the website is built should also be a big factor for you in whether you need to get MFA protection in.
Look for Encryption
Encryption protects your data by encoding it only for authorized access. It is an important feature to watch out for, especially in transactions involving finances and other sensitive information.
Two characteristics of an encrypted website are a security lock symbol and the appearance of “HTTPS” from the URL. They indicate that the website is encrypted, meaning nobody else will see your input information as it’s directly sent to the website owner.
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs also encrypt your data and allow you to access unreachable content. It provides you with more privacy and secure connections.
Avoid Phishing Scams
Cybercriminals know all of these strategies, so they are becoming more sneaky. Phishing scams involve hackers, usually playing imposters and composing messages as a family member or a company. Still, they all have the same characteristic: they ask for private information and encourage you to click a link or download a file.
Know how to identify phishing scams, and don’t fall for the tricks.
Do you know that your web browser affects your overall internet security?
Install a browser or a search engine with security features that will let you set criteria for sites you’ll visit. You can also check if it supports private browsing, a feature that minimizes your digital footprint. Other features to consider are blacklisting, filters for third-party tools, and secure plugins.
Install Security Tools
Install security tools like ad-blockers, antivirus, firewalls, and many more. These tools help detect malware and viruses, preventing them from infecting your devices.
Keep You Device Up-to-Date
Your device is the gateway between your offline and online identity. Ensure it gets the latest operating system and software updates to work efficiently.
It’s the same with all the applications installed on your gadgets. Ensure that they are all up-to-date and prevent compromising your data and privacy to hackers.
Be Cautious in Using Public Wi-Fi
One good thing to remember: anything free has more risks than any paid service.
That’s the same principle that works on public Wi-Fi. While being accessible, you should refrain from using it, especially on your financial transactions. Why? Because most public Wi-Fi has very few security measures in place.
If it’s not urgent, going home first and using your private network before accessing your online stuff is recommended.
Minimize Digital Footprint
The online community is full of people posting about their life, which leads to many personal dates left on the internet unprotected.
While posting online is okay, carelessly posting your personal information is not. Avoid posting sensitive information such as your hometown, email address, personal number, and financial details.
One good way to check your digital footprint is to search your name. Whatever comes up is all the data that the public sees about you.
With the internet becoming heavily populated, cybercriminals are also coming in.
Our online presence stems from our real-life selves. Think twice and be responsible for your actions on the Web to prevent unfortunate events.
Remember, while we all have a good chance of being a victim of cyberattacks, it takes good lines of defense to block them.
It is smart to make sure that your digital identity is protected to lessen risks. Put all the mentioned strategies into action and make your online presence secure.