Published on October 22nd, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan0
Time-Tested Ways to Protect Your Identity Online
These days, people tend to spend countless hours on the internet. Naturally, going online has become a new norm in life. Since both individual and commercial internet users must interact with the online world constantly, protecting your identity online has never been more important.
No matter what website you’re into or what social media platform you prefer, every action you take online leaves some kind of digital footprint. On the other hand, top websites and social networks all require some sort of personal information to grant you access.
The more you disclose about yourself, the more you become vulnerable to a wide range of cyber-attacks. With that in mind, let’s see how to protect your identity online and ensure maximum safety with each new browsing session.
Pay attention to suspicious emails
If you receive emails from strangers and addresses you don’t know; you should treat them with utmost caution. The majority of malware infections start through unchecked emails with attachment download links. For instance, Statista reported that 54% of ransomware infections in 2020 happened due to phishing/spam.
In some cases, such downloads can infect your device with malware without you even doing anything. If you see a suspicious mail coming from an unknown address claiming to be a system update or something else, double-check it before you open it.
Keep your devices updated
Many internet users fail to set their devices, web browsers, and security software to update automatically. However, since that exposes you to many risks, you should turn on automatic updates immediately.
These updates are often critical to patching gaps in your security systems, and each update may bring crucial fixes for any potential holes in your personal security.
Increase the strength of your passwords
One of the most common mistakes that many people make is using weak passwords or the same password for all their online accounts. It’s one of the easiest ways for hackers to steal your identity and personal information.
To prevent identity theft, use strong passwords. There are top password management tools for handling all your passwords online.
Enable two-factor authentication
Each time you log in using your username and password, two-factor authentication will require you to verify your identity to ensure that someone else isn’t using your personal information without authorization.
This verification can be done by entering a unique code sent by email or text message, or it can be a security question. Whenever this option is available, you should use it.
Take extra precaution when using public Wi-Fi
When it comes to using public Wi-Fi, it’s best that you avoid using it at all times. Accessing an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection exposes your device to many risks and makes you vulnerable to hacking attacks.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, try not to disclose any private information that could compromise your identity, like your financial information, email, password, PIN code, Social Security number, and so on.
We recommend that you always connect to a VPN app to secure your internet connection on the go. Top providers provide excellent services for increasing your privacy and anonymity online and encrypting your entire traffic. Thus, you can safely connect to any network, be it public or private. Additionally, a VPN minimizes digital tracking by encrypting your internet traffic. Finally, since it conceals your IP address, it will also stop IP-based tracking.
Make sure you have backups of your data
If your system becomes affected by ransomware or malware, you’ll have little to no chance of retrieving your data. Therefore, it would be wise to backup all your data to ensure that a potential data breach won’t be much more than a bit of inconvenience.
Even if you become a victim of ransomware and the hackers demand ransom to give back your data, you won’t have to worry as you’ll have your data backed up.
In the age of social media platforms, people tend to share too much personal information online without thinking about the consequences. Well, that’s exactly what cybercriminals are waiting for.
A skilled hacker can use almost any piece of information you share online for some devious purpose – anything from identity theft to malware attacks. It would be best to avoid sharing identifying details, like your financial information, address, email, phone number, full name, and credit card numbers. It is not only hackers that you need to worry about.
Stalkers or burglars can also benefit from oversharing online. For instance, you post an exciting post on Facebook, boasting about your upcoming trip. Thieves can see such claims and decide whether your house is going to be left unattended.
Thus, compromising your privacy online can also lead to severe consequences in the physical world.
Don’t use social media accounts to sign in
Facebook already knows a lot about you. The chances are that social media platforms know you better than your friends. When you consider signing up for a new service, you might frequently see options for linking existing accounts.
For instance, forums might offer options to sign up via Facebook. Of course, this suggestion makes the registration seamless and takes very little time. However, you lose control of personal data when a specific service you register for access certain information on your social profile.
Of course, many privacy and security concerns surround social media log in, and you should always think twice before doing so.
All these things may seem a bit overwhelming but trust us when we say that your efforts will be more than worth it. While the internet is one of the best things that could ever happen to the world, it isn’t without its shortcomings. Luckily, it isn’t hard to develop a safety routine to ensure that your personal details remain private. Of course, there is no foolproof strategy out there. Even experts in cybersecurity can accidentally compromise their activities.
All it takes is a bit of vigilance and a few of the reliable online security tactics we’ve outlined above to overcome most modern cybersecurity challenges. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll stay safe while browsing your favorite websites and surfing the web. Of course, vigilance is an important attribute that should accompany all of the mentioned strategies!
Cover Image by Freepix