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How to Improve Your Online Privacy and Security in 8 Easy Steps

June 25, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Sandra Sullivan, Independent Technology Author

cloud security 300x170 How to Improve Your Online Privacy and Security in 8 Easy StepsWith recent news about both Facebook and Google keeping an eye on our personal info, online privacy and security are more important than ever. If some of us continue to take them lightly, we will end up losing them to hackers. We must make sure to protect every bit of crucial data we store on our computers, tablets, and smartphones. Absolute privacy when using the Internet is a myth. Someone somewhere is always spying on our online activities. Don’t go thinking that you have nothing to hide, as most people do. Every bit of personal info, no matter how unimportant you might think it is, can be used against you.

Governments, advertisers, and so on can’t wait for you to fire up Opera, Firefox, or any other browser you use, and use it to buy something online or read your emails. Surveillance is growing stronger and hackers are becoming more and more creative each day. We have to take better care of our online security and privacy so that nothing bad affects our lives to the point of no return. We want to show you how that can be avoided with these 8 easy steps.

1. Use Internet security software

Many of the security solutions you read about are very efficient when it comes to keeping a device safe from different malware. What they aren’t very good at is offering strong protection against threats targeted by hackers. This is why you need to consider Internet security software. These products feature complete protection against phishing, spyware, spam, and other dangers. There are so many great Internet security software options on the market. Granted, they cost a lot more than your average antivirus, but the difference they make for your device’s safety is huge.

2. Two-factor authentication

With 2FA, short for two-factor authentication, you can make your accounts two times safer. Which means that cyber criminals won’t be able to find sensitive data that easily. For the 2FA to work as it should, you will need to keep not only your PC close by, but your phone as well. That’s because you will be asked to provide two forms of credentials before you can access your personal accounts. One of them is your password, the other a code you will receive by phone. If a hacker gets to break your password, they will not crack your account.

3. Keep Windows and your browsers up to date

We know software update alerts are frustrating. If you choose to ignore them instead of allowing your OS to receive those updates, your computer won’t be safe. Make sure you let your device install them, because they come with necessary security patches.

If your favorite browser just informed you that it has a new version, click on it, and wait until the installation is done. In case you want to feel even more safe, you can always go private. This means that the details of your browsing session won’t be stored.

4. Create strong passwords

Avoid using passwords that contain your name, birth date, or your pet’s name. Make them as complicated as possible using symbols, letters, and numbers. Using the same password for every single one of your online accounts is a really bad idea. If you can’t remember your passwords, we suggest getting a password manager. It’s free and the best way to generate secure and strong passwords for the sites you log into daily.

5. Be careful with public Wi-Fi

While Wi-Fi hotspots are very convenient, they can also make it easy for hackers to steal personal info. The reason for this is poor protection. Anyone can have access to sensitive data once someone else is online at the same time as them. Your credit card details, passwords, and whatnot are some of the main targets of dangerous people. Which brings us to the next tip.

6. Use a VPN

Whenever you’re in a café or a restaurant and you turn the public Wi-Fi on, use a Virtual Private Network. It encrypts online traffic, so that cyber criminals can’t see any of your sensitive data and steal it. Not even Internet Service Providers can spy on your online activities. If you want to start using a Virtual Private Network ASAP, you can find some great ones online.

7. Use a secure website

Noticed how sites nowadays have HTTPS in front of their addresses? The old HTTP prefix used by websites was deemed unsafe because it didn’t have a strong layer of safe sockets. With the arrival of the HTTPS, visitors’ data is encrypted, especially when it comes to financial operations. Make sure you only surf those websites that feature this new prefix. Never forget to log out every time you’re done with online transactions.

8. Don’t post too many personal things

The temptation to write about weddings, the birth of a baby, trips to exotic places and so on is always big with many of us. Don’t give in to it every minute of every day. Try to keep it in the family or among friends you trust. Posting too much personal stuff on social media platforms will only make it easier for cyber criminals to bring havoc.



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