Online Safety Tips: How To Keep Your Data Protected

If you’re a frequent internet user, then you need to think about your online security. Unfortunately, despite the internet’s rapid advancement over the last two decades, hacking, fraud, and online scams are still commonplace.

One way that criminal gangs make money online is by stealing people’s data and selling it on the dark web. The data sold there include information like credit card details, passport numbers, and birthdates. The buyers of this data are sophisticated fraud gangs, who take loans out, make fraudulent purchases, and steal their victim’s identity.

This article will tell you how you can keep your data safe and avoid falling victim to online fraudsters:

Using VPNs

VPNs, or virtual private networks, are absolutely essential if you are a regular internet user. They are downloadable applications that when activated, mask your location, identity, and personal information. VPNs aren’t universal, however. Some work better in specific locations than others do. If you’re wondering what VPN can you use in New York, then NordVPN is generally considered the best option. In Los Angeles however, Surfshark is considered superior. Do your research according to your location so that you can find the best VPN for you.

Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi networks must be avoided if you’re concerned about your privacy. If you are going to use a free Wi-Fi network, then it’s crucial that you activate your VPN beforehand. People regularly have their personal information stolen when using free Wi-Fi networks, because hackers hijack them. In addition to personal information theft, free Wi-Fi networks are used to perform cyber attacks on businesses. They are also used for packet sniffing, malware distribution, and man-in-the-middle attacks. As long as you use a VPN while you’re using a free Wi-Fi network, however, you will be okay.

Social Media

If you don’t want your personal information to fall into the hands of hackers, then limit the amount that you post about yourself on social media. There’s a lot of information that hackers can take from a person’s social media account, including their birthday, full name, address, and phone number. With this information, a skilled hacker can either steal one’s identity or take out credit cards in one’s name. For this reason, use social media cautiously. Register a fake birthdate and when it is your birthdate, wait several days before you post pictures. Keep other personal information off of social media and try to use a pseudonym for your account’s name.

Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are a cornerstone of internet security. If you don’t make sure that your passwords are strong, hackers will be able to breach your accounts. Avoid making your password your name, your birth date, or your pet’s name. Anybody who knows you or follows you on social media [provided that you aren’t careful about what you post] may be able to guess your password and breach your accounts. In addition, avoid inputting your password on free Wi-Fi networks, in case somebody is watching you.

Downloadable Attachments

If you receive emails with downloadable attachments from people you aren’t familiar with, do not download them. These attachments could contain malware or trojan horses. Make sure that you have a robust anti-virus software system downloaded on your computer so that you can scan email attachments before you download them. You should also scan attachments sent from people that you know, just in case. If your friends don’t take care online, they could have unwittingly downloaded a virus and started spreading it. You should also avoid clicking suspicious links that are sent to you, even from friends and family.

SSL Certificate

If you are buying products from a website or registering an account, check if the website has an SSL certificate first. If the website doesn’t have one then you need to shop elsewhere. A website without an SSL certificate simply cannot be trusted, under any circumstances. These websites are incredibly easy to hack – and often are hacked for this reason. Any information that you input could easily be stolen. In addition, it says a lot about the website’s owner that they don’t have an SSL certificate. It shows that they are careless with their web user’s information.

Safe Browsing

Even with the world’s most robust anti-virus software system and VPN, you can still get hacked if you’re reckless. For this reason, practice safe browsing. Avoid visiting suspicious websites, clicking links, and generally behaving in a way that’s reckless online. If you practice safe browsing and introduce protective measures, you will be untouchable.

If you use the internet a lot, then you need to be careful. If you’re careless, you could find yourself on a hacker’s list of targets. This guide’s suggestions, when implemented, will ensure that hackers can’t get anywhere near you, so give each one some thought.