We indulge in various online activities like browsing, shopping, working, listening to music, or watching videos. However, our privacy is constantly being threatened online. We often hear and read about significant data breaches where consumers’ personal data were compromised. Consumers or internet users often unknowingly trade off privacy for ease, which can have far-reaching consequences, including huge financial losses.
Making a few changes in how we browse the internet or share our data over the internet can protect our privacy online. Here’s a list of 10 ways for consumers to protect their privacy:
Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
You need to save your online accounts from unauthorized access. Thus, use a strong password combination and two-factor authentication to protect your online assets whenever possible. It adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.
Strong passwords must always combine alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Do not store your passwords on devices accessed by others, and in case you find it difficult to remember passwords, use a password manager. On the other hand, two-factor authentication ensures that you verify access from at least two devices to log in to your online accounts.
Keep software up to date
Updating software that we use regularly is crucial. Software updates often include security patches, which prevent malware attacks. Hackers won’t be able to get backdoor entry to your devices if all the apps and software are updated. However, you should also update programs that you even forget about. That also includes programs that might have come pre-installed into your device.
Be wary of phishing scams
Phishing scams use fake emails or websites to steal personal information. Always verify the sender before clicking on links or entering personal information. Also, recognize that highly alarming or joyous messages are often the hook scammers use to trick users.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you often use public Wi-Fi, your device is highly susceptible to hacking attempts. Hackers and scammers are scouring the public Wi-Fi network to prey on unsuspecting users. So, it is essential to get a VPN for Windows to protect your online activity from being seen by others.
It offers web traffic encryption wherein no data, even if hacked, can be deciphered. VPNs also enable you to surf the internet anonymously, protecting against unnecessary surveillance. Also, while a VPN for your computer is essential, remember to install it on smartphones.
Adjust privacy settings on social media accounts
Limit the amount of personal information visible to the public, and be careful about who you accept as friends. Social media is filled with hackers and scammers, so you must be extremely careful about sharing your personal information.
Do not share sensitive information while chatting, and be wary of anyone offering attractive offers in exchange for your email id or phone number. Adjust privacy settings on your social media accounts to suit your privacy level.
Use privacy-focused browsers
Several browsers like Tor, Brave, or Firefox prioritize privacy and have features built in to protect your data. Thus, there are fewer data breach risks when using these browsers, preventing unnecessary data tracking.
Be cautious about sharing personal information
When it comes to sharing personal information online, we behave in a very ignorant manner. We never realize that we’re trading off personal data like phone numbers or email ids for discounts or other too-good-to-believe offers. Be mindful of what information you provide to websites, apps, and other online services.
Read privacy policies before using apps or websites
Privacy policies are meant for users like you and me, and the website or app owner declares how they intend to handle user data there. We must always read the entire content carefully and understand what data is being collected and how it will be used.
Use anti-virus software
This will help protect your device from malicious software that can steal your personal information. Anti-Virus software acts as a shield against all types of viruses and malware. You will never have to worry about losing sensitive data because of a malware attack if you use anti-virus software.
Last but not least, you must stay informed about the latest privacy threats and learn how to protect yourself. You must keep up with the technological changes around you and equip yourself with the newest privacy protection tools and strategies
In conclusion, the internet has revolutionized the way we live, work, and communicate, but it has also created new privacy risks. Following the above tips, consumers can protect themselves and their personal information online.
By choosing a reputed VPN service, you must also ensure that all communication between your device and the server is encrypted. Choose a VPN service that comes loaded with all the latest security features. It is essential to be proactive and take control of your online privacy, as it is one of the most important aspects of our digital lives.