Online privacy is a broad term that refers to a variety of factors, and technologies used to protect sensitive and private data, while you are online. It is also something that people are becoming concerned with. The use of websites, apps, and social media are growing, and so is the risk of online privacy violations.
Do you know how well your online privacy is protected? You may think that the personal information you have online is safe, but you would be surprised by the amount of information people can access about you on the Internet. There are companies hired to watch the websites people visit, and then send the information to advertisers. People can share personal information on social media, and send bank and credit card information to numerous websites. How do you make sure you are browsing safely online? An online privacy guide is a good tool to aid you in making sure you’re well protected when you’re browsing. Here are four easy steps to start protecting yourself online:
- Password Protection
It is important to password protect all digital devices. A device not protected by a password could one day become lost or stolen, which could lead to identity theft.
When setting up passwords for online accounts don`t use the same password for more than one site. If you have an account hacked, it could mean a hacker can access more of your accounts with the same password online.
Change passwords to anything connected to your home network. Your home router is the most important device to secure. An unsecured router could give a potential hacker open access to your home network.
Remembering all your passwords can be a headache, you can use password managers to secure your passwords for you.
- Use Up-to-Date Anti-Virus Software
If your computer becomes infected by a virus, a hacker can dig through your data, lock you out of your files, or steal your identity. Running an antivirus program helps to ensure your software is up to date and prevents unwanted meddling on your computer.
Antivirus software is essential on your computers, but it also equally as important for your mobile devices. Online browsing and social media can all be done from a mobile device, it’s important to keep this device and information protected.
The data stored on your computer or mobile devices should remain safe and unreadable to anyone who isn`t you.
- Secure Your Browser
The Internet browser is how you interact with the digital world. It`s easy to leave digital footprints behind while you browse. You might notice that you do a search on your browser, and then you find ads tailored to that search. This is advertisers following your search history through cookies.
To keep advertisers out of your search history, turn off third-party cookies in your browser settings. Cookies are how advertisers can gain information on your browsing history, and what products you’ve been searching for.
Not all cookies are bad, but it`s important to be pro-active and pay attention to your settings. Deleting browsing history and cookies every week helps in eliminating the tracking of your browsing history. Some browsers have a private browse feature that helps with protecting your online history.
- Be Careful What You Share on Social Media
It seems these days that everyone is using social media and sometimes we do not think about how much we actually share on social media. The best way to protect ourselves on social media is to change the setting of your accounts to private. Having private accounts allows only those you’ve added as friends to see your posts.
If you have no interest in making your social media private, be selective about what you are posting online. Remember to always be conscientious of the information you are sharing on your social media accounts. Unintentionally you could be giving marketing companies or criminals access to information, such as your phone number or e-mail address.
Take care when posting the location of where you are on social media. You do not want to make yourself, or your routine easily trackable to people. Also, posting vacation photos while you are away on vacation can be a risk, it reveals that your home is empty.
Embracing new habits while online is important to ensuring that your privacy online is being met.
Considering that it is now a digital world, keeping your information safe and maintaining privacy on the Internet is very necessary. The risks are high to be robbed online if you are not protecting your online privacy.
Do an assessment of your online use and habits. This assessment allows you to see the bigger picture of your risk for a potential breach of privacy. Utilizing these 4 steps above and an online privacy guide are the very important steps in getting yourself protected online.