It is no longer possible to access the internet anonymously. Each time a user enters a site or performs a connected activity, information such as location, personal data, habits, places frequented, and credit card data may become available. In many cases, users are unaware of this and cannot avoid it. Here are 5 tips to protect your privacy online:
Use End-to-end Encrypted Messaging Applications
Most current messaging applications use encryption, but in many cases, they call it encryption in-transit – messages are decrypted when they arrive at the provider and stored on their servers. What happens if someone hacks these servers? Don’t risk it – choose end-to-end encryption – this way, not even your service provider can read your conversations.
Use an end-to-end encryption messaging application – WhatsApp, for example. Note that by default Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Google Allo do not use end-to-end encryption. To enable it, manually start a secret conversation.
Maintain Privacy on Wifi Networks
Open WiFi networks usually do not encrypt traffic, and that means anyone on the same network can try to snoop on you. Avoid transmitting any sensitive information – logins, passwords, credit card data, etc. – over a public network, and use a VPN to encrypt your data and protect it from prying eyes.
- Avoid using public WiFi networks if possible
- If you need to connect to a public hotspot, use a VPN.
Use Incognito Mode/Private Mode
Ecommerce sites use your data to adapt their advertisements to your preferences. They track your online activities to get more follow-up (of course, all these processes are automatic). But if you don’t want to share your data with these organizations, you can use Incognito Mode. This mode prevents the traceability of your online activities by advertisers, social networks and web analytics programs. Incognito browsing really guarantees that your data will not leave your PC without authorization.
Install an Antivirus
Threats are everywhere on the internet, there is no denying it. However, having a good antivirus can protect you a lot, it is also essential that it is up to date to protect you from new malicious files that are released every day on the large network. If your computer is infected with a virus, you may lose files and perhaps have to format your computer. The ideal is to keep the antivirus enabled so that the execution of malicious programs is blocked. A large proportion of viruses are obtained from the internet, so it is important that they are up to date.
Use reliable, respected, and effective antivirus software from reputable, well-known companies that offer proven services.
Always Lock Your PC or Phones with Password or Biometric
Our computers and phones store a lot of data that we would rather keep private, so protect them with passwords. They need not be complicated or unique, nor should they be easy to the point that anyone can find out. On mobile devices, go a little further: six-digit PINs or real passwords instead of four-digit combinations or screen lock patterns. For devices that support biometric authentication – be it fingerprint reading or face recognition – this is usually sufficient, but keep in mind that these technologies have limitations. Use passwords or biometric authentication to lock your phones, tablets and computers.
Protecting yourself on the Internet can be laborious, but this extra care is important to avoid or minimize the threats. Most scams on the internet can be avoided if you are aware and apply the 5 tips mentioned above in your day to day activities.