Protecting Your Privacy Online
We live in a digital era where most of our interactions and business transactions are done online. Furthermore, whether you sign up or log in on social media accounts, websites, or other platforms, you might provide your personal data and information. For this reason, it’s easy for you to get vulnerable to online crooks, such as online hackers and spies. When they obtain your financial data, they can use it for monetary transactions, personal information for identity theft, and other fraudulent activities. This is why it’s vital to protect your online privacy at all times.
In this article, we will share five key steps on how to protect your privacy from online crooks:
1. Turn off your Touch ID and use a passcode instead
While your Touch ID or fingerprint sensor secures your data, federal agents can actually force you to unlock your phone using your fingerprint. This is possible primarily because it’s not considered a violation of the Fifth Amendment. In such cases, use a passcode on your mobile phone to keep your data secured. You might already be using a six-digit passcode; just be sure it is unique, and that you don’t share it with anyone.
2. Update your digital device regularly
It’s important to keep your device always up to date. As no software is perfect, your device can become vulnerable to online attacks. Be sure to get rid of preinstalled apps or “bloatware” on your device, including web plugins, such as Adobe’s Flash, Oracle’s Java, and Apple’s QuickTime, among others. Ultimately, updating your device and the apps installed can significantly reduce the risks of online attacks because it is fitted with the latest security measures.
3. Be highly critical of installing apps
Keep in mind that you should always be highly critical when it comes to installing apps on your device. This is because most apps ask your permission to access your phone’s personal data and contact information as well as phone features such as photos and cameras. Pay particular attention to apps installed for free, as there might be a catch. If you aren’t comfortable giving access or providing data and information, then be sure not to risk it at all.
4. Encrypt your computer
As far as your computer is concerned, you should think about encrypting your device. Doing this is much easier when using Windows or Mac products that will give your device the utmost protection of your data and information. Just be sure not to upload your encryption keys to the cloud, or Microsoft or Apple might utilize them.
5. Reduce your online footprint
Did you know that many data brokers crawl the Internet to obtain and post personal information online? Websites MyLife, Whitepages, and Spokeo make millions by selling access to this information. Try to Google your name along with your city to see these data broker sites on the top of the search results. When you see your name, find ways to reduce your online footprint. Rest assured that there are online services that can help remove your data and information.
Online security is a top priority for most online users. To protect your privacy, turn off your Touch ID and use a passcode instead, update your digital device regularly, be highly critical of installing apps, encrypt your computer, and reduce your online footprint. All these can help protect your personal data and information and foster full online privacy and security!
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