With the web becoming an inseparable part of life, the way people buy, sell, transact or even socialize has changed a lot in the recent years. However, it would not be practical to overlook the online privacy issues. With the hackers and malicious groups lurking in the dark alleys of the web, you need to adopt stringent safety measures to ensure your vital data remains safe. This has become even more imperative as people are using numerous devices to access and use the web and utilize online services. Regardless of your web and online service usage and type of device chosen, it is necessary to protect personal information online. Almost every single device and service online track you in one way or another.
Best ways to keep your information secure
There are several measures you can adopt for protecting personal information online. These include both online and offline safety measures.
Offline data security measures
Just like online data, you need to be careful with printed/offline information.
- Make a habit of keeping all your financial documents and cards in a safe place.
- Try not to carry a lot of documents pertaining to your identity and debit and credit cards unless it is necessary to do so.
- It would be good if you use a shredding device to shred the documents like receipts, checks, bank statements when they are not needed anymore.
Online data security measures
To protect identity online and safeguard your data, you can adopt several steps:
- Be careful when you share any personal information online. Whether it is an online food delivery service or a cab aggregator- share only mandatory data. You may keep the optional information to yourself.
- It is necessary that you keep the device or computer you use protected so that your information cannot be stolen and misused. Use suitable antivirus software for computer protection and if possible, use virtual keyboards for making online transactions. Some antivirus software offers this and some banking service providers also offer the same solution for their users.
- While using various online services, use strong passwords that can be quite tough to crack for others. Using a combination of upper and lower case and digits will help you come up with a more secure password. It would be even better if you use online services that have provision for two-step authentications for logging in. Gmail has this option and you can find some others too. This makes it even more difficult for hackers to get access to your web profiles. It would also be a good practice to keep altering your passwords from time to time.
- Before you dispose of any storage device or mobile device, ensure all stored information is erased. You may use third-party data erasing apps for this.
- To ensure all your online activities are hidden, you can use a specialized software as well. Using a VPN service would be prudent for this. Whether you use a mobile VPN app or a desktop VPN service, it encrypts all information between your PC and web server and masks your real IP address too. This can be great for staying anonymous when you are online. However, to obtain better results, use a VPN service that has no data logging in place. You can also use free proxy servers available online but there is a factor in using them which we won’t recommend to you. It is better to buy a paid VPN proxy server instead of a free one.
- It is quite common to find people from different demographics and age groups to have a presence in social media platforms. While social networking sites let you find compatible friends and more sitting at home, there are flipsides of these sites you need to be aware of. It would be good if you do not share too much personal details on these sites. The malicious lot and hackers are active under fake profiles on these sites, masquerading as friends.
- It is prudent that you use your web access devices, especially tablets and Smartphones with the safety on the mind. Without VPNs, do not log into public wifi networks to protect your privacy online. Do not keep wifi and Bluetooth activated unless it is necessary. If necessary, you can disable location tracking in these devices.
No matter what device you use, it is important to follow the above tips in order to keep your data and information secure and to protect your account from getting hacked!