With vast amounts of data, apps, several devices, and the internet, every day we are straying a little further from achieving the recommended level of privacy. This is why there are a lot of privacy breaches and risks now than there was before. One might think the recommended level of privacy is relative according to what you might want to keep private. This is somehow true as different people need different levels of privacy. But think again, even if you have nothing to hide, a privacy breach affects not only you but also other associated entities.
Below are some tips for ultimate privacy.
Ensure your Devices are Secure
On a daily basis, one cannot recall the number of times we use our devices, (i.e., smartphones and computers) to access data and information. These devices have become essential and hence their security matters most. This is because they are the endpoints and in the wrong hands, your privacy will be at risk. Securing your devices can be done in lots of ways, but the most common ones include using passwords, passcodes and recommended biometric authentication. Weak passwords can be crack-able, but biometrics are hard to unless you are forced to unlock your device. To avoid this situation, always use a strong password that is at least 8 to 12 characters long. Also, keep your system, antivirus software and firewall up to date. Ensure the latter is up and running.
Know the kind of Apps you are installing
Apps are handlers of your data and devices can’t function effectively without them. Knowing the apps that you are allowing to handle your data is the first step to curb privacy risks. Some apps may contain malware, or you might download a wrong app that’s masquerading as the right app. This is common in the Android realm. Also, read reviews about a particular app you want to download before doing so.
Another thing that most people forget is App permissions. Literally, at times, we breach our privacy due to not taking a keen consideration when allowing app permissions. For instance, you might download a simple Notes app. during installation, the app will ask you for permission to access the camera, location, contacts, SMS, and calls. If you are privacy sensitive, you will know some of the permissions are not necessary for a notes app. In this case, you should either get the right app or deny the unnecessary permissions.
Ensure you are Browsing Securely
Browsers are like ships when you are surfing the internet. If you are not surfing securely, you may land on malware pages, spoofed sites and other vulnerabilities. To stay secure, always visit sites with the prefix HTTPS at the start of the URL. Also, configure your browser to required privacy settings.
Avoid free public WIFI
Yes, we know free things are exciting especially free Wi-Fi when you are on a limited internet plan. Public WIFI may be secure, but the people who are connected to it do not make it secure. Individuals such as cybercriminals maybe after a lot of things such as usernames, passwords, bank accounts details and even data stored on your machine. Cybercriminals in public WIFI use password sniffing tools, eavesdropping, MITM attacks and other techniques to acquire or even delete the information they want. To be safe, avoid these free WIFI hotspots and if you can’t resist the urge, use the protection mechanism discussed in the next tip.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) ensures you are safe and your privacy is intact while you are surfing the internet. A VPN does this by encrypting your traffic and hence making it safe from prying eyes. It also assigns you a new IP address that makes you anonymous while surfing.