Online privacy, also known as digital privacy, refers to the fact how much of your personal information remains private when you’re online. Digital privacy has become a growing worry, with personal information and browsing data at increased risk.
Most of us try our level best to maintain our privacy in the real world, but they forget the virtual world is tracking our private information while searching throughout online information using the internet. The importance of digital privacy becomes more visible when you try to make a mental list of personal information you will share with strangers. Online privacy is paramount because it helps protect the most private information of individuals and businesses.
Online platforms such as Google can record your personal interests and share them with third parties, which can be harmful to your identity. For example, when you search for the best restaurants near me a couple of times, the intent will keep a record of your personal interest and define you as a foodie.
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Tips to Stay More Private Online
- Keep Your Personal Information Private
Limit and double-check the personal information that you share on different social media platforms. Do not reveal your date of birth, bank account details, address, and parents’ names on social media platforms. Otherwise, you will quickly become a target of hackers.
Try to keep the track of people who can access your social media profile. Know and manage your friend list and avoid adding any stranger to your friend list. Look for different privacy settings, such as using two-factor authentication to secure your online presence.
- Browse in Private Mode
Web browsing using private mode does not save your browser history and internet files’ details. It also deletes the cookies and protects your information from being shared with third parties. Private mode is called Incognito Mode in Chrome, while in Firefox and Internet Explorer, it is called Private Browsing and In Private Browsing, respectively. But these modes are also not wholly private because everyone can see your IP address. It means Internet Service Providers (ISP), your employer, and government can easily track your browsing activities.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Virtual Private Network plays the role of a private tunnel between the device and the internet connection. It provides air-tight online privacy by establishing a private network. It secures your network by making it inaccessible to hackers and unauthorized persons. It also hides your confidential information, i.e., your name, date of birth, address, and bank account information.
For example, If you go to a library or any public place and start using the free Wi-Fi service. This might be harmful because you are not familiar with the security of that network. It might be possible that someone else on that network steals your data. But by having a virtual private network, you can enjoy free Wi-Fi without fear of stealing data. VPN also hides your IP address and browsing history, which allows you to enjoy your online presence safely.
- Use Quality Antivirus Software
Install quality antivirus software because if any virus, malware, or spyware attacks your system, antivirus software will detect it and provide protection against it. It also saves you from seeing unwanted ads by blocking their direct access to your network.
Cybercriminals can remotely take over your system, access your personal information, and spread viruses, malware, or spyware in your system. Antivirus software provides protection against these cybercriminals. You just need to scan and update your devices regularly to get rid of malicious codes and malware.
- Beware of Phishing
Phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from an authentic organization. These emails or pop-up messages say that you must verify your personal information by clicking on the provided link; otherwise, your account will be frozen. In this way, phishers play with people and steal their information, so be careful before clicking on any provided link.
Always scan the email that has been sent from any suspicious source before opening it. These emails might be a scam and may contain harmful links which may put your online identity at risk.
- Secure Your Devices
Web surfing is done through laptops, computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other smart devices; that’s why it is essential to secure them. For securing your smart devices, download the latest security updates and upgrade your devices regularly. Use a strong password; avoid using the date of birth, bank account number, city name, or anything that is easy to guess as a password.
Always make sure to keep your devices locked when they are not in use. Keep your device tracker on; it will help in case if your device is stolen. Be careful while downloading apps on your devices because they might contain viruses. Always download apps from a trustworthy and authentic resource.
- Use Unique Passwords
Set up a strong, random and unique password. They must contain a minimum of 8 letters, special characters, and upper and lower case letters. Never share your password with anyone, and use different and strong passwords to access different social media platforms.
- Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication can be a hassle for some of us, but it will help you stay more private online. Two-factor authentication means you need to pass two layers of authentication to access your social media accounts.
If you’re sharing formal information, such as graphical videos and images on your social media accounts, then two-factor authentication is not much necessary. But, if you’re using different social platforms for sharing sensitive information, two-factor authentication is the most crucial thing to consider.
Digital privacy has become drastically significant with the increased cases of cybercrimes and phishing. You can save yourself from being tracked by third parties by making your online presence secure and inaccessible to outsiders. You can use the above-mentioned tips to stay more private online.