If you are active on the internet and the social media, you know that complete privacy of your personal information is almost impossible. Web browsing habits, communicational patterns, and even intimate preferences are used by search engines to create your virtual profile. This profile is then used to determine your next purchase, your next download, and even the first news that you see online. It is hard to be completely safe on the internet. However, there are a few tips that can increase your security to a higher level, if they are used on a regular basis.
Give less personal info
Now and then we download a new app or try out a new service. Almost all of them come with a complex form that asks us to provide some personal info. We are so used to this process that we blindly fill in the spaces without considering the consequences. The sad truth is that the personal data that we give is sold and re-sold to various companies that subsequently use it for commercial purposes.
To go around this issue, use a secondary email address to fill in unnecessary forms. This address needs to be different from the one you usually use for bank transactions, work collaborations or even personal contacts. This way, you avoid being the victim of constant spam from third-party companies.
Log in and log out
Most web browsers allow us to save passwords for the wide range of services we use online. It is very convenient not to have to type in the access info every time you log in to your email or your social media account. It saves time and the effort to remember that data. However, this practice leaves you very vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Stored log-in information can easily be decrypted and used by skilled hackers. More than that, if you always use the same email and password for various accounts, you might lose access to your email, your bank account and your Facebook profile in a matter of seconds.
The solution to this problem is obvious: never tick the “Remember me” feature when you log on to any service. Take the time and effort to remember your information and use different passwords for different websites. Also, make sure always to exit an account through the “Log out” option.
Keep an eye out for online scams
The Nigerian prince that promised you a fortune in exchange of your personal bank details was a big online scam in the 1990s. It was the dawning age of internet and many people fell for it and lost all their money in the process. Surprisingly, there are still some who are tricked into this type of extortion even today. The hackers are getting more and more creative and can now empty your savings account through a simple click bait link.
To make sure that your computer is safe against malware and cyber-attacks, be very vigilant when surfing the web. Avoid accessing links sent by friends or companies that lack accuracy. Some warning signs could be a misspelling, an incomplete encryption or a typo. An email from Paipal, Gogle or Facebok asking for your personal data is an obvious scam, but one that still fools many users.