How to Protect Your Privacy Online

How to Protect Your Privacy Online

By Sowmya G

Published on 12th June 2019

We live in a world today where everyone is highly tech-savvy and basically live on our smartphones and laptops. Our world revolves around the internet and we often fail to see how much of the data we share is actually kept private and how much is available on the internet publicly making it vulnerable to theft and misuse.

With various search engines available, which also tracks user behavior online, your data is not really safe. It is fair to say that advertisers, service providers, etc. are very interested in tracking all our activities online for their own benefit.

It is high time we start taking online privacy seriously and follow certain steps to make our private data private again. So how do we do that? Here are a few steps you can follow down this road.

Strengthen Your Login Details

Login details aren’t something most of us take seriously. Our username and passwords are mostly just a combination of our names and date of birth. But is that the safest combination?

One should be creative while creating their username and especially passwords. It should be a combination of capital alphabets, small alphabets, and numbers arranged in such a way that it is hard to guess for others.

There are several apps and services available for making a strong password in case you can’t think of one. It is also advised to never use the same login details for multiple accounts as you will just be making the hacker's job easier.

Two Factor Authentification

If you choose a strong password or use an application to make one is still your choice. But what you should never neglect is the 2FA (2-factor authentication). 2FA is the extra layer of password protection that comes in handy in case someone learns it.

You may have already seen how it works when you try opening your account from a different device. This service requires you to provide a code sent to your phone to access your account when opening it from an unknown device. Failing to provide this code locks you out from the account, preventing others from getting access to your account.

Be Choosy While Sharing Your Details

Be extra careful while sharing your social security number or identity card details to anyone. Even the last 4 digits should not be shared with anyone unless it is your bank or for purposes related to your organization for a background check or so.

Hackers can track you down just by knowing the last few digits of your security number and identity theft can occur. It is better to not share such personal details in all websites, especially not the ones that aren’t secure and can’t be trusted.

Think Again About Your Need For Smart Devices

Does your laptop need to be connected to your mobile, which is connected to your TV and WiFi, which is used by the security camera and all the other devices available at home? Having a smart home may be great but this ubiquitous connectivity has its own consequences that one should be aware of.

We are turning into a sensor society. All smart devices we own have some kind of sensors within them that can detect as well as record its surroundings. These sensors, of course, can be misused by some to monitor and track us if we aren’t careful. And since we link everything to these devices today, the odds of your privacy being at risk is high.

Try Changing Your Social Media Privacy Settings

This is something that everyone knows of, one needs to look at the privacy settings of social media before using them. But some of us stung by the social bee just don’t seem to care for it. In the fuss to get more likes and comments, we are risking our own privacy.

Advertisers, marketing agencies and many out there want your valuable information. May it be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other website, there are privacy settings to limit the views of your posts and keep your account private.   

Switch To Private Mode

We are all aware there exists a private mode but don’t really bother to use it that often. If you want your computer to not save your browser history. Temporary files and cookies you should consider surfing in the incognito mode ( as it is called in Chrome).

Many companies out there want to know what you are searching for, what products you like, who you are friends with on social media and a lot more. These companies plan to target you with advertisements related to all your browsing activities.

Beware of scams

Many messages or e-mails you receive may be of scammers. They may be trying to steal your identity or get money out of you. Check twice before replying or trusting unknown e-mails, no matter how tempting it may seem.

These were some of the many ways to protect your privacy. The Internet has indeed become a dark place. It is upon you to protect your privacy online. Hope these guidelines help you stay safe.

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Sowmya G

Sowmya is a technical content writer for Cookie Law Info. She writes mostly about online privacy and privacy laws. When she's not writing, she likes to sing and read books.