The Internet itself is an awesome tool that can enrich your life, but only if you use it smartly. Every year brings a new cautionary tale of Internet privacy violation and this is why we have compiled these 7 quick tips that will protect your Internet safety and privacy if you stick to them.
- Educate Yourself on Internet Safety and Privacy
Not just yourself. Educate your employees, kids, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, etc on cybersecurity.
Read and learn about recognizing suspicious online activity to be able to avoid it best. This is especially important to teach your children as they can be an easy target for different kinds of online predators.
Also, as an adult, you should know about different Internet security and privacy acts like the COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act), which defines how websites can collect information on children below 13 years of age.
- Don't Let Them Track You
Almost every website you visit will collect data about you, including who you are, where you are located, what device you are using, what you bought, what pages you visited, how long your session lasted, etc.
Websites usually need this data, or "analytics", to better understand their audience and visitors. However, this often goes too far and it's your right to say "I don't want you to collect this data on me."
But what can you do?
The first thing people usually think about is different privacy modes like Google's Incognito or Safari's Private window. But that only means that your information won't be stored on your device. Websites you visit will still see your information and will be able to track you (along with your ISP, government agencies, etc.).
Instead, you need a VPN. A Virtual Private Network is a service that will tunnel your Internet traffic to another server, with a different IP address from yours. What this does is showing websites you visit the VPN's IP and not yours, thus making it harder for them to track you.
- Be Careful What You Share on Social Media
Unfortunately, most people don't even think about the amount of personal information their social accounts reveal about them by default.
Remember that some things are for only certain people's eyes (like your friends) and some are for your eyes only. Don't share any information that can endanger you, your family, or your business in any way.
Change your default social privacy settings.
- Only Give Your Private Email to Select Websites
If you're going around, sharing your private email with everyone you meet on the Internet, be ready for a lot of spam in your inbox.
Yes, you will probably have to share your email if you're buying something in an online store or with certain websites, but that doesn't mean you should share it with every Internet Joe on Facebook.
If you shop online a lot, create a different email account.
- Use Secure Passwords for Your Online Accounts
In 2017, the average email address of a U.S. user was associated with no less than 130 accounts. Unfortunately, many people either use weak passwords, even for sensitive accounts like their email or bank account, or they reuse them.
A password is often your one and only protection from someone abusing that account. It's very easy, even for an email hacker with very little skill, to brute-force common passwords like "12345678", "qwerty" and similar.
Avoid using passwords like these and those that can easily identify you. A strong password should include a combination of small and capitalized letters, numbers and special characters and should be around 8-10 characters long (longer passwords are harder to remember, so there's no point in using them).
Finally, be sure to use a different password for each service. Although you can sign up for many websites using just your Google or Facebook account, OAuth has its disadvantages and relying too much on it may aid phishing by making users careless.
- Learn to Recognize and Avoid Suspicious Email Links and Attachments
Over 300 billion emails are sent per day. An average person sends and receives around 120+ business emails every day.
Any number of those can contain a malicious link or attachment.
Today's online scammers and hackers are extremely skilled at tricking people into revealing personal information, using fake websites and malicious software.
If you want to protect your Internet safety and privacy, be very cognizant of the links you click on or attachments you download. Look carefully before you do that and only do so if you trust the source 100%.
- Tell Others What They Can and What They Can't Post About You Online
Of course, people will post and share things about you just like you will about them. Unfortunately, some people won't consider that what they are sharing may negatively affect you.
Talk to them and let them know that you're not okay with them posting about your private life, company, or where you went on holiday. Make sure they do not share your personal information online.
If a large hotel company like Marriott can be a victim of a data breach or Twitter employees of a spear-phishing attack, so can your online accounts.
These 7 tips we just gave you might not be enough to fully protect you against Internet privacy violations, but they are a good start nevertheless.
To get on an even higher level and protect your Internet privacy rights, start using Liverado's end-to-end encrypted email.
Liverado will protect your privacy with the strongest ECC (curve25519 or better) encryption and enable you to be completely anonymous so no one will be able to track you.
Do you want to be like a ghost and protect your Internet safety and privacy? Sign up for a Liverado account today.