With the increased digitization of modern society, privacy is a growing concern. Because every small thing is connected to a large network, maintaining privacy has become a harder task than ever before. In the struggle of maintaining the security and privacy of online individuals, experts and engineers are making progress, yet they still can’t ensure total privacy.
In order to keep yourself protected on a network of billions, you need to take a few precautionary measures. It is not true that only complicated and lengthy lines of code with complex concepts can secure you from malicious attacks. It only takes a few, very simple steps to protect your privacy online.
Internet service providers receive plenty of questions related to privacy and are trying to help individuals in this regard. Comcast, for example, wants to keep all of its customers secure from malicious attacks and hackers. As such, Comcast deals subscribers can stay connected to the internet, all the while maintaining privacy.
For everyone else, here are a few basic steps that could help you protect your security online
You may have been applying these tips already, but it doesn’t hurt to issue reminders, because they are actually really important.
Basic Steps to Protect your Privacy
Don’t open a link if you don’t know the source
Scams, viruses, and malware have become extremely sophisticated. The best practice is not to open suspicious links, emails, and ads that could take you to a third party website. Don’t click on any link unless you’re absolutely sure about it.
Think before you click
Don’t open just any link that comes your way. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Beware of links that ask for your personal information. Don’t provide sensitive information like your date of birth or credit card number without being sure. And even if you have to provide such information, do a quick search to inspect the site’s legitimacy. Don’t just trust the ads you see.
Keep your OS updated
Keeping your OS updated can save you from a lot of trouble. As every new version get rid of the loopholes present in previous versions. Keep your OS updated along the web browser etc. turn on automatic updates.
Privacy settings are actually there for a purpose, so keep them updated. Social media privacy settings are a good start. A famous saying in the tech world goes, “If you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product.” As many sites make your basic information public, making the right use of privacy settings can make your information visible to fewer people.
Block third-party cookies on your browser right away. It is another effective way to maintain anonymity while you’re online. Blocking cookies will make it hard for websites to track your last visit and username. Blocking cookies can be a little inconvenient sometimes, but no less inconvenient than identity theft.
Many websites can register you through Facebook or Google. Some people also like to link different Gmail accounts in a browser. While this interlinking may provide convenience, it also makes you more prone to attack. Consider it like a chain reaction: if your one account gets compromised, all other accounts attached to it can easily be accessed.
Secure Your Connection
Securing your internet connection is the most basic step, but it is also the most important. Most of us still use the default password that our ISP provided us. But did you know that those passwords are public knowledge? Change the username and password of your devices. Create difficult ones so that no one can even know the model of your connected device. Making your device name public is a big mistake, as it will be vulnerable to hacking. Hackers are always ready to probe the loopholes available to penetrate into a network.
Keep Your Firewalls Active
Firewalls provide an extra layer of protection to your computer and filter through the viruses and scams. You can double the protection with an antivirus package so that if any virus gets through the firewall, you’ll get an alert instantly.
Make You’re Browsing Secure
Interaction with the internet is done through web browsers. As such, it is recommended to delete cookies regularly and to always log out of the accounts you are using. The better step towards secure browsing is using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN acts like a bridge between you and the internet world. It will route all your data through a proxy server in order to keep your IP address hidden.