Simple Tips to Safeguard Your Online Privacy

September 28, 2022

With companies constantly tracking online activity and the incessant data breaches by hackers, living a “private” online life is becoming difficult by the day. However, it’s not impossible.

It’s possible to safeguard your online privacy, keep your identity safe and minimise the amount of information that businesses collect about you.

Follow these simple tips to protect your privacy online.

Strive to Share Less Online

The easiest way to protect your information from getting into the wrong hands is to share less of it.

Social media platforms are the number one place where most of us share a lot of information. Be extra careful when sharing pictures of you and your loved ones, geotagged posts and any other details you wouldn’t want strangers to access.

Here are some ways to avoid oversharing online:

  • Share less on forms. If there’s an optional field, skip it, such as your phone number or middle name.
  • Protect your Wi-Fi password. Your broadband router handles a lot of sensitive information including financial data and passwords. An intruder who knows your Wi-Fi password may try to steal your information.
  • Create a disposable email address. Email lists are commonly rented or sold on the Dark Web and may even fall into the hands of scammers and hackers. Having a disposable email for subscriptions is a good idea.

Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

A strong password can keep your personal information safe and secure. Avoid using passwords that are generic and easy to crack including “password”, “12345678”, your birthday, business name, pet names, etc. If you have a hard time remembering so many passwords, use a password manager like LastPass.

Add an additional layer of security by turning on two-factor authentication where you can. It’s an additional layer of security that can protect you even if your password has been compromised.

Switch Your Search Engine

If, like most people, Google is your default search engine, consider switching to anonymous search engines like DuckDuckGo, which prioritise the privacy of users. Anonymous search engines like these do not collect or share your search history or even clicks. These search engines even block ad trackers.

Update Your Software

Most privacy hacks leverage known vulnerabilities that have been fixed. However, if you have not updated to the latest version of the software, you are vulnerable to attacks by hackers and intruders.

According to a study by BitDefender, 64% of hackers targeted vulnerabilities that were at least two years old.

The first step to take is to enable automatic updates to your operating system. Be sure to install reliable antivirus software to protect against spyware and malware.

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