Online security is a huge issue in today’s world. More business is being conducted online than ever before, especially over the course of the past year. This makes you the perfect target for hackers and other shady individuals who would exploit online weaknesses.
Every bit of information about you (school, work, personal life) is at risk if you don’t take proper precautions. Fortunately, there are basic steps that you can take to help protect your privacy online. Even those who are not tech-adept can enact some simple strategies to use the internet more securely.
- Prevent Viruses and Malware
When it comes to ensuring your personal security online, your first priority should be preventing virus and malware attacks on your device, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Viruses and malware can cause a lot of damage to your privacy and data by mining information from your device, slowing it down, corrupting files, and more.
The best way to prevent these common online threats is by installing antivirus and antimalware software on your computer. But sometimes, even that’s not enough to prevent malware attacks. In such situations, you need to get in touch with professionals who can remove spyware.
- Keep Your Software Updated
Online security of your computer or phone’s software and third-party apps is largely dependent on updates developed and disseminated by the manufacturer. The most important of these are operating system updates that ensure your device’s active protection by fixing vulnerabilities and outdated commands.
This also applies to any antimalware and antivirus software installed on your computer since they require updates to protect your computer from online security threats properly.
- Be Responsible With Your Passwords
Passwords are a vital encryption method that ensures your devices and files are only accessible by you. However, most people make the mistake of setting predictable passwords, setting the same password for multiple devices and accounts, or being too lax about keeping it a personal secret. All of these habits are very likely to put your personal security online under threat.
To avoid making these mistakes, develop responsible password habits to ensure maximum secrecy. Some of these habits or measures include never using the same password twice, using a combination of characters (upper and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters) when creating a password, and using false answers to security questions that only you will remember. You can also try using a password manager.
- Set Social Media to Private
Social media is so deeply ingrained in people’s lives that they often overlook how much personal information they have in the open on platforms. Stalkers, hackers, and other shady individuals can get personal information about you such as your address, appearance, school, and place of work from your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
The best way to keep your information secret is to not have a social media account. If that’s not a compromise you’re willing to make, however, set the profile visibility of your social media accounts to private. That way, the only ones who can see your information are friends and family.
- Get a VPN
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be a great way to bolster your personal security. A VPN creates a temporary IP address for you that protects your location and device information by making it appear as though your computer is located far away from your true location. VPNs are especially useful if you’re sending or receiving confidential and sensitive data or want to prevent big tech from acquiring your personal information. You can also use them to access online content not available in your country.
There are a lot of dependable brands in the market offering VPN services at different price points. You should look into all of them before making your final decision. Different service providers have different server capabilities, with the higher-priced ones usually being faster. Speed is an essential factor to consider since your browsing speed takes a hit when a VPN software is active.
- Always Opt-In
Another good way to ensure personal security online is to use websites that provide options to use passwords and two-factor authentication. While a hacker might be able to guess your password, bypassing a two-factor authentication is still very difficult for them since the process involves reconfirmation via email. Always opt for more security options.
Ensure Your Personal Safety
With different social media platforms and websites getting increasingly toxic and dangerous by the day, it’s time you start paying attention to your personal security online. Doing so will ensure you stay protected from dangers such as stalking and doxxing. Your personal safety is the most important reason you need to increase your personal security online.