September 14, 2020, Posted By John M

Seven Simple Steps to Online Privacy In 2020

man looking for seven simple steps to online privacy

Your online identity is incredibly valuable and having it stolen can leave you exposed to many threats. So if you care about your privacy and are looking for how to protect your identity online while surfing the Web, here are seven simple steps to online privacy you can follow.

Wondering why you should care about internet privacy?

Because in the current Internet era, whatever we do on our computer or mobile phone is under constant surveillance. Some of you might be aware of this and accept it as a modern life fact, while others might still be in a state of oblivion.

For those of you unaware of how privacy invasion works, do you know what you’re willingly exposing yourself to every time you step in the online world?

The fact of the matter is, if you use the Internet, no matter if it’s for operating your business, socializing on Facebook, downloading new apps or shopping online, you are constantly exposed to a certain level of risk. And while many of us give up privacy for convenience, not so many are also aware about the level of danger hackers and cyberattacks pose. 

Hoping that our post will raise some awareness on the importance of adopting healthy online habits, let’s have a look now at our recommended seven simple steps to online privacy.

Keep Your Privacy Settings Updated

Unfortunately, we live in an increasingly connected world where most of our data is captured digitally, and out of our control. It can be either in the cloud, stored by companies that may not have our best interests at heart, or collected by the government. 

And although most of the technical strategies people can employ to protect their privacy, are around the edges, by keeping your privacy settings updated you can have a little more control over how your personal information is handled online.

Use a VPN

Definitely not a silver bullet for privacy protection, VPNs can still help secure your data by encrypting your computer’s traffic and routing the encrypted traffic through anonymous routers. And thus, hiding your identity.

Whenever you are using wireless connections, especially public access points, we recommend using a VPN. Virtual private networks can go a long way to make sure that what you do or search online, stays private.

Block Ads and Delete Cookies

Sick of being bombarded by ads? Make sure to configure your browser to delete cookies and block ads. 

Still not sure why we recommend this?

If you ever received a targeted ad you must have wondered how the online knows so well what you are interested in. Well, it’s simple. Most sites use cookies to develop profiles about people visiting their page and to create a more tailored session for them. And although the majority of us are automatically accepting cookies just to be able to visit websites, targeted advertising cookies can pose huge security risks. 

By enabling cookies you also enable hackers to easily access your personal information and steal everything they need to commit identity fraud.

Don’t Overshare On Social Media

Although on the fourth place on our list of seven simple steps to online privacy, social media exposure is actually one of the major risks to our privacy and security.

With many people living a double life on social media, oversharing is often considered a normal thing. In the end everyone is doing it, right?

Yes, and that’s the problem. Have you seen the documentary “The Social Dilemma” On Netflix? If you haven’t, you should.

Today many people use Facebook or Instagram not only to keep in touch with family or friends, but also for social comparison. We want everyone to see that we have the most money, the most beautiful family or the most extravagant holidays. But the way people like to compete against each other by using pictures and lots of personal info enables jealousy, depression, violation of privacy or even cybercrime. 

If social media security risks are not enough to keep you away from social media platforms, at least don’t pose identifying details like photos or your home address. And most importantly, don’t share your location. Ideally you should turn the location off on both your phone and your computer whenever you are not using them.

Mind Your Online Purchases

Online shopping is tempting for most of us. And why wouldn’t be. It’s easy, convenient and offers you access to endless options. With just a simple Google search, we can access stores from all over the world, while sitting in the comfort of your home.

But wherever there’s money found, hackers are present too. When shopping online make sure you buy from real online addresses and only use secure payment gateways.

Keep Your Financial Information And Medical Records Safe

Next in line in our seven simple steps toward online privacy, it’s the leaking of sensitive data like financial reports, medical records or classified information. Now, there are many reasons malicious hackers could want your private information for. It could be extortion, stealing your money, or even cyberbullying. 

But information leaks aren’t always our fault. Many times companies that store our data, like banks or doctors get hacked, and their information falls into the hands of cybercriminals. For this reason, you should periodically review all your accounts to make sure there is no suspicious activity going on.

Use Antivirus Protection 

Antivirus software can protect you from many cyber threats so make sure you are always using the latest and most performant one you can afford. From phishing and spam attacks, to viruses and spyware, antivirus programs can help keep all of them at bay, while making sure your devices are safe.

Wrapping Up

There are no limits or boundaries to how the Internet can improve how we live, work, and manage our businesses. And while we owe most of the free opportunities we get to experience today to the growth of technology, we should also be wise in how we take advantage of what it provides us with.

Hoping that our seven simple steps to online privacy guide offered you a quick and useful insight into how we can keep safe when surfing online, we would be more than happy to offer you more support and assistance in case you need it. 

For the ultimate privacy protection online, contact us today by phone or by completing our online form.

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