The year 2021 is a year of big changes. As the world was taken over by the pandemic, the use of the web for almost everything from investments to banking to shopping and streaming, saw an almost threefold increase. The internet landscape came to the rescue of mankind and saw massive usage globally, however the fact that it is not entirely a safe space, too, was highlighted during this time.
Cybercrime cases are more common now than ever and a number of security breaches and frauds are on the rise. This puts individuals and businesses, big and small, at risk of massive data losses, breaches, and cybersecurity threats. According to many experts, the situation is grave and calls for an urgent need to adapt to safer online surfing. So, where do you begin? What are the basics of internet security? What exactly does online privacy entail? And how do we go about it?
Well, if you are a beginner in terms of online privacy, this is just the right place for you. Here’s a beginner’s guide to online privacy that will get you started on the right foot.
1. Personal data is precious
While all websites, apps, and forms require you to share personal data and information, it is essential to refrain from oversharing. Most cybersecurity experts advise that it is absolutely not recommended to share personal information like date of birth, address, location, and unique identification numbers online. It is best to minimize the use of personal information on social media and other platforms as well.
2. Use two-factor authentication and complex passwords
The importance of 2FA (two-factor authentication) or multiple-factor authentication cannot be emphasized enough when discussing cybersecurity. Apart from that, choosing unique and complex passwords is another critical step in maintaining online privacy. More often than not, people end up using their own names as passwords which can compromise their account easily. Moreover, reusing the same passwords for different accounts and apps is another unsafe habit you should get rid of.
3. Use of VPN is critical
The proper use of a virtual private network (VPN) while surfing or accessing the internet has been quite undermined. Many cybersecurity experts are of the opinion that usage of a fast VPN can dramatically increase online security for individuals. Furthermore, a trusted VPN service, coupled with the right usage of VPN can truly safeguard users’ data and information. What is more, is that a fast VPN can essentially keep your online identity and surfing activities safe from unwanted elements, ISPs and snoops, thus securing and elevating your web experience.
4. Use Robust online security services
Markets are filled with different kinds of antivirus protections and online protection services that offer countless solutions. But it is imperative to narrow down on that one online privacy service that aligns with all your needs and provides 360-degree protection from all kinds of online threats. It is crucial to have a robust and up-to-date security service up and running on all your systems. Ideally, one should go for a holistic protection system, that keeps track of your digital footprint, protects your identity and private information and alerts you of all kinds of breaches.
5. Handle financial info with care
Your financial information like credit and debit card numbers, financial access keys, and bank information are the most favoured targets by hackers. Nowadays, online shopping and e-retail require giving out a lot of financial details on the internet, and while this cannot be avoided altogether, it is critical to safely provide the information. Keeping in mind that once the information is out in the wrong hands it can be manipulated, one needs to be extremely careful while doing online transactions. It is advisable to never save important financial details on websites and applications.
6. Learn cybersecurity habits
There are certain rules of thumb of cybersecurity that come highly recommended yet are casually brushed off by many. Basic cybersecurity habits like carefully managing cookies, not connecting to public WiFis, and using a fast VPN can save you from a lot of trouble. Always keep your system, browser and security services up to date. Make sure you know how to read the signs that tell you if your system is hacked or information has been compromised.
If one makes good cybersecurity practice a habit and not a laborious process, then half the battle against nasty cyber criminals is won. As the web landscape expands, so does the reach of these unwanted hackers who are waiting to prey on your data and information. Thus, it becomes imperative to follow a regime that secures you from such cybersecurity threats.