How to Protect Your Online Privacy

How to Protect Your Online Privacy

An average adult spends about 6 hours a day with digital media. The majority of that time is spent online. While the new age of being connected has been around for a while, people still don’t understand how important it is to protect their online privacy.

Meanwhile, criminals are coming up with more and more ways to acquire personal information and use it to achieve their goals. Becoming smart about your personal data is the key to staying alive and well in the cyber community.

Tech experts warn that protecting your information when online is the same as hiding your wallet when walking down the street. The consequences of carelessness are the same in both cases.

How do you protect your online privacy? Let’s check out a few simple steps.

1. Use Password Protection

All digital devices you use must be protected by a password. Some people opt out of protecting their home computers or smartphones because it seems inconvenient. However, without a password, a lost or stolen device is an excellent source of information, which can lead to unfortunate consequences, such as identity theft.

All online accounts must be protected by a password as well. Since you probably can’t set one up without a password anyway, you need to come up with a strong one. Numerous social media accounts are being hacked on a regular basis because people still haven’t learned how to make strong passwords and keep coming up with such straightforward combinations as their birthdates.

Consider using a two-step authentication whenever possible. This way your information can be protected even if your password is hacked. When you set up security questions, make sure they are tough. Because anyone can learn your mother’s maiden name, right?

2. Keep Your Browser Secure

You use your browser to walk around the digital world. If you don’t keep it secure, you may be leaving footprints everywhere you go thus giving online criminals too much information about yourself. By the way, marketers can be just as annoying as hackers so keeping your data away from them pays off as well.

If you want to keep the advertisers out of your browser, turn off third-party cookies. Advertisers use them to track you and create ads to target your needs as they see them. Block cookies and get rid of the problem. You may also want to turn off JavaScript, which helps advertisers and hackers get to your information.

If you want a quick way to keep your browser secure, you can use a private browsing mode, which deletes your browsing history and cookies after you close the window.

3. Be Careful About Sharing Data On Social Media

People rush to share their everyday life on social media. What they don’t realize is that they are giving access to their information to complete strangers. When you make posts on social media, you are allowing people to track you and to find out what you are doing and when.

The first step to security is to keep all your social media accounts locked. Browse the list of your contacts, who can see your information. Do you really know and trust them all?

In case you don’t want to lock your account, be very careful about the information you share. Tracking your location could help thieves understand that you are away from home. Access to your profile where all the information is readily available can lead to an identity theft.

The key to protecting your online privacy is sharing as little information as possible.  

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