Over the years, the Internet has become an essential resource for most people. Users rely on the Internet to send and receive messages, post or share photos and videos, shop for clothes, stream their favorite shows, search for information, and a whole lot more.
Free public WiFi connections nowadays even make it more convenient for you to connect to the Internet even when away from home.
Sadly, a lot of users today are too casual and careless with how they manage crucial and personal information and activities online. In turn, this can leave many people vulnerable to cybercriminals invading one’s privacy and stealing data.
Visiting a website alone enables you to leave digital footprints, whether you like it or not. And these can be tracked and traced back to your IP address, revealing your identity to online predators. Having all these personal information fall into the wrong hands could lead to pressing situations and inconveniences; hence, the need to safeguard all your information.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s the ultimate guide to protecting your data on the Internet:
Create And Use Strong Passwords
Passwords are your first line of defense against online predators trying to access your account and steal information. Some important things to keep in mind are:
- Never use passwords that can be easily guessed by anyone
- Don’t use one password for all of your accounts
- Never give out crucial information to anyone, especially your passwords
- Avoid using your name or other personal information that people can easily see in passwords
To increase privacy and security, use long passwords that have letters, numbers, and special characters.
Use A VPN
Virtual private networks or VPNs are popular and effective tools that offer privacy protection. VPNs usually move your network connection to a different location that makes it difficult for websites or hackers to identify who you really are or where your IP address is coming from. As a result, you get Private Internet Access (PIA) and zero worries of exposing your personal data. You can try searching for a VPN download that leads you to hundreds and thousands of VPN services. However, make sure you only download trusted ones.
Think Before You Click
Don’t just click on random links, email attachments, and popups. These might contain viruses or malicious content, trying to phish for your personal information. If you notice unusual emails that contain such, better to click away and delete them. Or you could also forward matters like this to IT professionals, especially if you experience receiving emails like this at work.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Enabling a two-factor authentication only means you need another factor or way aside from your password to be able to log in to your account. This usually comes in codes sent either to an alternative email address or via SMS. This second layer of protection prevents hackers from completely getting into your system, protecting your account and information in case your passwords get compromised.
Encrypt Your Data
Encryption is essential, especially if you want to keep your personal data safe on the Internet. This process works by scrambling or concealing anything you send over the network you are in. In turn, it prevents anyone who may be monitoring your online activity from viewing the information you input on all websites you visit.
Regularly Clear All Your Cookies
Avoid Public WiFi
Public Internet connections bring great convenience, especially when you’re away from home, and you either want or need to have online access. However, it can also be a threat to your privacy. Online predators could be anywhere near you, snooping and sniffing the things you do online, having access to your accounts. Aside from that, you will most likely be prone to malware distribution, since your Internet connection is public and unprotected, exposing you to greater danger.
Backup Your Data
One of the most basic yet often overlooked ways to keep your data from the hands of a predator is backing up your data. By doing this, you are creating a duplicate copy of your data. In the event of a stolen device or compromised account or network, you don’t have to worry because you’re not losing anything at all. The longer you think of storing your data, the more money you lose—so backup your data now before it’s too late.
Your privacy and security are in your hands. Don’t let the opportunity of protecting your data slip away. Implement preventive measures now while you still can, and prepare for any possible attacks. That way, you get to bounce back immediately, with minimal to no casualties.
Darrent is a digital marketer, tech enthusiast & blogger.