Technology has changed the world in so many ways. With the advent of the Internet, there are more ways of communication, access to unlimited information is at our fingertips and what not. Our life has become a lot easier than what it was a few decades ago.
But nothing is perfect. And with so many advantages this World Wide Web has made our life, less private and more prone to losses.
This needs us to be extra careful with security while socializing or working on the internet. You may believe the internet is secure and your personal information is protected, but this is not the case.
There are many reasons for you to take care of your privacy. The internet is as insecure as it is convenient.
Government surveillance has become a regular thing and is now carried on a broader level. You may have deleted messages from your side but they may still be somewhere in the enormous data-houses. Someone with the required credentials is free to access them.
A secured network is essential to protect your privacy, to protect you from scams, and from spyware attacks. These can damage a lot more than you can imagine. You think you have nothing to hide and your data is safe.
Well, you would be disappointed to know that nothing is safe if your device is online. Browser cookies store private information and can tell a lot more than you think. The developers design them for personalizing your website experience and quick access.
For this purpose, they need to save your log-in information, preferences and also card credentials, at times.
Here we provide some tips to strengthen your security online. The world is changing with each passing moment and these tips may not be foolproof.
But something is better than nothing and you have to take as many safety measures as possible.
1. Strong passwords
Passwords are the first step to your privacy. Do not consider these stars useless. Choose a separate, long and strong password for every account to strengthen your defense. A mix-and-match of alphabets and numbers along with symbols is recommended.
2. 2-factor authentication
After you have set strong passwords for the accounts, enable and use 2-factor authentication wherever available. 2-factor authentication (or 2FA) verifies your identity with a reliable source such as your phone number. If enabled, the website would send you an SMS whenever you log in. You will have to enter the code received in the SMS to proceed further. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft – all have it. Without the 2FA, anyone can log into your accounts if they got the password.
3. VPN connection
It doesn’t matter if you are an important person or not, the traffic data is always on the radar. Use a VPN connection to encrypt your communication. A VPN creates a connection between a secure server and your computer and tunnels your traffic through it. They hide the real IP address and you are anonymous. All the data passing through the network is encrypted and secured by the server. Make sure to use one while you are using public or unknown networks.
4. Antivirus software
After you have taken care of your accounts and the network, next thing is to secure your device. It’s not possible to keep track of what the evil minds are planning but use antivirus software to keep the device safe from present threats. Companies have specialized programs to handle different types of viruses and they update their programs every other day or week. Enable automatic updates and keep your copy updated.
5. Up-to-date programs
Not only the antivirus software, other software companies have their own safety measures. Those disabled automatic updates of the Operating System contain many security patches. Let in those changes and keep software up to date. These patches are there to address latest security vulnerabilities. Apart from security, they also provide improvements for smooth running. Also, keep your browsers, email apps and the others you use, updated; and troubles at the bay.
6. Password Manager
If you can remember every password, they are not strong enough. Without unique passwords, the chances of theft are much higher. Use a password manager which not only remembers all your passwords but also generates strong and unique alphanumeric strings. You can store these across devices and also browser, secured with a single “strong” master password. They can fill them in password fields when you want to log in.
8. Keep secrets
Keep your personal information personal and stop sharing them online. You may be tempted to share each step of your life but it is better not to. In the process, you may leak data meant only for trusted users. The scammers are always in search of potential targets and you need to be alert. Keep a check on the privacy settings of your social networks.
9. Regular backups
Backups on a regular basis are a must. Scheduled backups can save you from the unexpected. Keep the backups safe and make sure you can retrieve them in case you ever lose your device. Backup regularly and also secure your device to prevent data theft
10. Watch your children
Children have always been soft targets. The Internet is a very interesting tool when it comes to gathering knowledge but can be misleading at times. Your kids may reveal information they shouldn’t or may visit potentially harmful websites. So, you need to always monitor your children when online. The easiest way is to check the browsing history. All browsers keep this record of the sites visited.