Recently there have been security and privacy breaches in giant tech companies. Unfortunately, the breaches affected not only the companies but also their users as well. Besides breaches, most of the time we aid cybercriminals in getting our personal information effortlessly. We are giving it to them freely, in other terms, we can say we are breaching our security and privacy.
There are a lot of things that your personal data can achieve when in wrong hands. For instance, it can aid in identity theft, doxing, and even used by unethical companies to push ads to you. Cybercriminals might even use the little available information about you to propagate complex attacks.
In a nutshell, internet security and privacy risks affect everyone, and it’s our responsibility to ensure we are safe. At a personal level, here is how you can ensure your internet privacy and security is not breached;
Use strong passwords
Passwords are like keys, and we use them when logging in to our systems, social media accounts and everything that we aim to protect. The problem is that most individuals don’t know what passwords are secure and they end up using weaker passwords. Weaker passwords are like vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited. Setting strong passwords is an easy task, there are even password generators to help you with that. But if you want to make your own, ensure its at least 8-12 characters long, and it should include; alphanumeric, special symbols, some letters may be in CAPS to not make it predictable. It’s also wise not to use the same password for your other different accounts.
Your device’s operating system, security software and the browsers should be kept up to date. This is because there are new vulnerabilities and bugs which are discovered every day. These vulnerabilities can be costly if they are not patched as soon as possible. As long as you have internet, you should always enable the auto-update feature. By doing these, you won’t have to worry about using the obsolete software.
Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi Hotspots
Connecting to unsecured public WIFI hotspots is just like inviting thugs into your house. Cybercriminals can use various techniques to steal your data and breach your privacy while you are using unsecured WIFI. Conventional methods include spoofing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and eavesdropping.
A VPN (virtual private network) is like a swiss army knife when you want to protect your internet security and privacy. Through encryptions, a VPN ensures your internet traffic is secure from prying eyes. A VPN also assigns you a virtual IP address, and this ensures your privacy remains intact when surfing the internet.
Never open unfamiliar emails and links
Unfamiliar emails regularly tend to be spam which can be used to propagate phishing attacks. These attacks can then be used to steal your information or even other people’s info. Spam emails also come with malicious attachments or links which either you are directed to click or download. Never do that.
Avoid oversharing on social media sites
Posting too much information on social media accounts is a risk to your internet security and privacy. This information can be compiled by interested parties and then be used to blackmail or dox you. Always limit sharing the following information; your full names, addresses, account numbers, phone numbers or even Social Security number on social media or sites that are publicly accessible.
Internet privacy and security are very crucial in ensuring your internet safety. You should always take precautions to ensure that your data does not get into wrong hands.