In an age where technology is constantly evolving, and personal data can be easily accessed, it’s more important to be aware of how to protect your digital privacy. Here are some tips on how to use the tools available to you to keep your data safe:
What is Digital Privacy?
Digital privacy, or data privacy, is the practice of keeping your personal information private and secure. This can include anything from your email address to your location history. When you share personal data with a company or website, you are trusting them to keep that information confidential.
These days, almost everything can be accessed online. Your credit card number, your social security number, even your weight, and height! With all of these things factored in, it’s essential to be aware of protecting your digital privacy.
Why Is It Important?
When it comes to digital privacy, there are two main concerns: identity theft and surveillance.
Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your personal information and uses it to commit online fraud. This can include opening bank accounts in your name, taking out loans, or even buying property.
Surveillance is the act of monitoring a person or group of people. This can be done by the government, corporations, or other individuals. Surveillance can be used for many purposes, such as tracking criminals or terrorist activity, or monitoring employees. While this may be helpful in some cases, the situation itself might seem invasive.
This is something that many people are aware of and concerned about. In a survey done by the Pew Research Centre, 70% of Americans mentioned that they feel that their data is less secure than it used to be.
Smart Use of Tools to Protect Your Digital Privacy
We all know that the world of technology is advancing at an alarming rate. With each new advance, we are left with a new set of concerns about our privacy and security. But along with these advancements come the tools that can also be utilised to protect our data.
Below are some tips on how to use the tools that are available to you to protect your digital privacy:
Use a Password Manager
A password manager is a program or service that helps you create and manage strong passwords. This is important because the more complex your passwords are, the harder they are to crack. A password manager will also help you remember all of your passwords, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them.
Strong passwords are proven to be more effective at combating hackers than weak passwords. A strong password is one that is long, has a variety of characters, and isn’t something that someone could easily guess.
These passwords are stored and are encrypted. What does this mean for you? It means that even if someone gains access to your password manager, they will not be able to see your passwords – not even the software developer.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that allows you to connect to the internet through a private network. This is beneficial because it encrypts all of your traffic and keeps your data safe from hackers and surveillance.
When you use a VPN, your traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. This means that your data is protected from prying eyes and cannot be read by anyone else.
VPNs are also great for bypassing censorship and accessing blocked websites. It is also recommended that you use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi networks. As much as possible, we suggest that you stray away from public networks, but if necessary, make sure that you are using a VPN.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, is a process that requires more than just your username and password to log in. In addition to your login information, you will also need to provide a separate piece of information, such as a code that is sent to your phone or email address.
This process adds an extra layer of security and makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your account. This means that even if they do manage to have access to your username and password, it’ll be difficult for them to bypass the two-factor authentication unless they have access to your mobile phone – which is unlikely.
Use Antivirus Software
An antivirus program helps protect your computer from malware and viruses. These programs are vital because they help keep your computer safe and secure.
Malicious software, or malware, can infect your computer and steal your data. Antivirus software helps to prevent this from happening by scanning your computer for any signs of infection. If an infection is found, the software will remove it and protect your computer from further harm.
Never browse the internet without an antivirus program installed. It is also a good idea to keep your antivirus software up-to-date to protect you from the latest threats.
Enable Encryption on Your Devices
Encryption is a process that scrambles your data so that it cannot be read by anyone who doesn’t have the encryption key. This includes hackers, the government, and even the software developer.
Encryption is available on many devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. By enabling encryption on your devices, you can help protect your data from being accessed by unauthorised individuals.
Additional Ways to Secure Your Digital Privacy
Aside from utilising tools, here are some additional ways to protect your online privacy:
Be Careful What You Share Online
Sharing things online has been made easier, thanks to social media. While it has bridged the communication gap between people, it has also made it easier for others to gather information about you. Be very careful about the things that you share online, as they can be used against you.
Never reveal your whereabouts, or any other personal information such as your birthday, SSN, or home address.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi Networks
As mentioned earlier, public Wi-Fi networks are not as secure as you might think and can easily be accessed by hackers. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks whenever possible, and if you have to use them, make sure that you don’t do any sensitive transactions (e.g., online banking, shopping, etc.).
Use a Strong Password
A strong password is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. It should be something that is difficult for others to guess, and should not be something that you use for other accounts.
Change your passwords regularly, and never use the same password for more than one account.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are emails or websites that attempt to steal your personal information. They are designed to look like they are from a legitimate source, such as your bank or email provider.
Be very careful about the emails that you open and the websites that you visit, and never provide any personal information unless you are sure that the source is legitimate.
Protecting your digital privacy can be a challenge, but using the tools and tips provided in this article, you can help keep your data safe and secure. While it can be tempting to share everything online, be mindful of the risks involved and take steps to protect yourself. Remember not to click suspicious links, use strong passwords, and be wary of phishing scams. Stay safe and stay secure!