Are you safe on internet?
Are you following best practices to keep you safe from internet? Let's see!
In today's era, almost everything has been digitized, from sending messages to your loved ones to sending money to others. If you'll look at the bigger picture, you'll find that everything is related to "data", which needs to be protected at any cost. Whether this data is at rest or being transited, it always should be authorized and should reach the person to which it is intended to be sent. The personal information that we are going to talk about in this blog is also a piece of data that needs to be protected. The personal information of an individual is termed PII (Personal Identifiable Information).
With the widespread use of the internet, social media, and e-commerce, our data is constantly at risk of being exposed or exploited by hackers. This rise of technology also unveiled the rise of hackers that wants your data badly. It's yours as well as the organization's (to whom you are sharing your data) responsibility to protect it at any cost. As an individual here are some tips for securing your data from unauthorized access:
Use strong and unique passwords: You should create strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts is essential to protect your personal information. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, as this can make it easier for cyber-criminals to access your information. Always use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to create strong passwords that are hard to guess. Having a password with a name of your own could also lead to security breaches, so it's always recommended to not have passwords with your name in them, instead try having complex ones.
Use a password manager: Previously I explained how you can secure your online accounts, but remembering all the unique passwords can be hectic for anybody. So it's always preferable to use a password manager to store your passwords, this will save your unique passwords locally or in the cloud. Some of the password managers are google password manager, bitwarden, 1Password, lastPassword, etc. Using a password adds a security level to all of your passwords, which helps you secure your online accounts. Your online accounts always hold some private information regarding you, which could lead to anyone being a victim of blackmailing or Cyberbullying. Be aware!
Enable two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security to your online accounts. It requires you to provide a second form of identification, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password. This is the best method for securing your accounts since it authenticates users in person with the help of devices that you own. This extra layer of security not only safeguards your online account information but also helps you maintain your privacy against the widespread internet. Certain tools on the internet help you secure your accounts, like Google Authenticator. Many social media accounts now provide two-factor authentication, you just have to enable them. Don't forget to enable them.
Be cautious of fishing scams: Phishing scams are a common form of cybercrime that can cause significant harm to individuals and organizations. Phishing scams typically involve the use of fraudulent emails, text messages, or other communications that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, government agency, or popular website. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from phishing scams is to be cautious of any unsolicited emails or messages that ask for personal info. Another important step is to carefully review the sender's email address or phone number. Phishing scams often use fake or impersonated email addresses or phone numbers that are similar to legitimate ones but contain subtle differences. For example, a scam email may appear to be from "PayPal" but the email address may be "pay-pal.com" instead of "paypal.com".
Keep your software up to date: It is very important to remember that your software, which is installed in your device sometimes becomes a door for hackers to hack your system and steal your data. Software updates often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities and protect against known threats, as well as performance improvements and new features. Outdated software can cause you great damage, since a hacker can inject malware into your outdated software and then can access your whole system. Here are some tips to help you keep your software up to date:
Enable automatic updates
To check for updates regularly
Download software updates from trusted sources only.
Restart your computer after installing updates.
Beware of malwares!
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): VPNs create a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the internet, making it difficult for hackers, advertisers, or other third parties to intercept your data. It also hides your IP address, which is your unique identifier on the internet. By masking your IP address, VPNs help protect your online privacy and prevent advertisers and other third parties from tracking your online activities. Summing up VPN is best way to protect your personal data when you're online. By encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address, VPNs help protect your online privacy and prevent third parties from intercepting or tracking your online activities.
In conclusion, protecting personal information online is a crucial aspect of staying safe in the digital age. As we increasingly rely on technology to manage our lives, it's important to be aware of the risks and take proactive steps to protect ourselves. It's also important to be mindful of the types of information we share online and who we share it with. Whether we're posting on social media, filling out online forms, or making purchases, we should always consider the potential risks and benefits of sharing our personal information.
Overall, protecting personal information online requires a combination of awareness, caution, and proactive steps. By taking these steps, we can help ensure that our personal information remains secure and that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising our privacy or security.