According to experts, “personal data is the fuel of the 21st century”. That is to say, personal data that we give away to platforms and social networks on the internet is extremely valuable for companies. They know our most sensitive details and sell this information to third parties.
From our names and surnames to preferences and consumption data or even bank passwords – all this data is collected by sites and stored on their servers. Although there are no official figures on the exact value of data on the internet, some research is already approaching high numbers of what user details could be worth on the black market.
So today, we bring you some useful tips to protect your privacy online.
Security Measures To Safeguard Our Privacy On The Internet
1. Cryptographic Programs:
Use encryption programs to encrypt the most sensitive information. One of the most used is PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a system that allows encrypting personal or financial data, as well as facilitating the authentication of documents thanks to digital signatures.
Find out about the new cookie regulations. The law requires websites to ask for consent to install them on your devices. If the user allows cookies, their activity will be monitored.
Have the operating system updated, both on computers and mobile devices. The latest versions are more secure because they are the ones with fixed vulnerabilities (bugs) that could allow hackers to infiltrate devices through malware (malicious programs, such as Trojans).
Every device with internet access, including mobile phones, must have up-to-date antivirus. Most devices have one as standard, which is automatically updated. If not, you should buy it or install a free one, such as AVG which is pretty good and complete.
If you use an always-on internet connection, such as Wi-Fi, make sure you have an up-to-date firewall installed to prevent intrusions on your devices. These systems notify the user when they detect a dubious or unauthorized connection, allowing them to eliminate it to prevent the malicious program from being remotely activated on our device.
The browser must also be up to date. Additionally, there are add-ons that allow safer browsing: Firefox has extensions (add-ons) that allow the reliability of the page to be verified and prevent it from executing codes without the user’s consent. With other browsers, such as Google Chrome, you can browse in incognito mode, which allows you to view sensitive pages without your browsing history being recorded.
Take care of the security of your wi-fi network. The most common security protocol is WEP, but it is not the most reliable one. It can be cracked relatively easily thanks to the information available on the internet.
There are more secure alternatives like WPA and WPA-PSK. A basic recommendation is to change the default password of the router. To do so, you must enter the IP address that comes by default in the router in the browser and change the configuration. It is also convenient to hide the name of our wi-fi network, disabling the tab that allows us to show the identifier (SSID).
8. DO NOT Click On Any Suspicious Links:
It is recommended by cybersecurity experts – to NOT click on any suspicious links sent from an unknown person via email, SMS, WhatsApp, or on any online sites/apps. It is better to check the sender’s identity on Nuwber. That way, you’ll avoid scammers and cyber criminals trying to infect your device or steal your data through phishing.
Apps that work with geolocation on can be treacherous. It is recommended to deactivate this feature when we take photos or access social networks through the smartphone. It can reveal where we are at the moment or even if we are doing inappropriate activities during business hours.
Parents with younger children, in addition to educating their kids on Internet management, have the option of installing parental control software. There are many options available on the market these days, and you can choose which features are important for you.
11. Protect Your Data With A Password:
It is the first basic rule of data protection and online security: protect your data with a strong password. To do this, it is recommended that you have different characters, numbers, and upper and lower case letters and that passwords are not repeated on different accounts. In addition, experts recommend not using the names of loved ones or dates of birth as it is very easy for hackers to guess.
12. Make A Backup:
This is another tip that experts offer when it comes to protecting our data online. Although in this case, it is rather aimed at not losing your files in the event of being a victim of theft or a cyber crime. Thus, if you make a backup of the content on the computer, you will have a duplicate copy of everything and the loss will be less damaging.
13. Use An External Hard Drive:
Another option to secure personal data is to get an external hard drive that provides an extra level of security. Especially, if it’s protected with software that only allows the user to access their data with a strong password or a special key.
What Should We Do If We Have Suffered A Data Breach?
Apart from changing affected passwords and activating multi-factor verification, if a data breach has caused us any economic damage (let’s imagine that our credit card number has been exposed and unauthorized expenses have occurred) or our privacy has been violated, we can claim some kind of compensation or indemnity from the company that has suffered the security breach.
In addition, in those cases in which the company has not duly reported the security breach and the consequent data leak, we can also report it to the cyber crime team or proper authorities, so that an investigation of what happened is opened and appropriate sanctions are imposed.
All in all, data leakage can happen to anyone. The big internet has been affected by it, but also small communities or websites can be involved in such misfortunes. So, keep these tips in mind and your privacy online will remain intact.