How to Protect Your Privacy Online

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The modern technological era is full of potential, but with all the exciting possibilities come some potential negatives too. That is, safety and security are always of concern in all aspects of life, and unfortunately, the internet is no different. In fact, in some ways, because of its vast capabilities, there’s even more potential for nefarious activity than ever before. With data breaches, cyber threats and online tracking on the rise, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to protect yourself and your personal information.
However, having said that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s immediate cause for alarm. Rather, it’s all about prevention (rather than cure, hopefully), and making sure that we’re doing everything we possibly can to stay safe. That means protecting ourselves, our interests and our identities and decreasing the chances of danger as much as possible.
However, saying it is one thing, doing it is another.
To help you stay safe and feel comfortable, we’re going to give you a complete guide to protecting your privacy online so that you don’t have to worry about getting into trouble on the internet.
Use Unique, Strong Passwords
The first step to maintaining strong online security is ensuring that you’re using strong, unique passwords for every one of your accounts, whether it’s for your email, online banking or playing at Jumba Bet.
A robust password normally includes a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. The best thing you can do is make it random, so avoid using easily guessable information like your birthday, your name, a common word or the name of someone you love. Unfortunately, these are the first things that hackers will try on a basic level.
Top tip: Use a password manager to help generate and store your complex passwords. That way, you can create really strong passwords that you wouldn’t otherwise have remembered, because all you have to do is remember one master password while the manager handles everything else.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
It may seem like a hassle and a waste of your time, but two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to your accounts that is invaluable. It does this by requesting a second form of verification in addition to your password when you login. This could be a notification from an authentication application, a code sent to your phone or a fingerprint scan.
Top tip: Enable 2FA on all your accounts that offer it as a service – especially banking, email and social media.
Be Careful with Social Media
Social media may seem innocuous, but in reality, they’re a goldmine for personal information. Be mindful of the information you choose to share and adjust your privacy settings to control who can and can’t see your posts and personal information.
Top tip: Regularly review and update your privacy settings on social media platforms. It may seem over the top, but consider limiting the information you share publicly and only accept friend requests from people you know (and we mean really know).
Keep Your Software Updated
A big part of software updates includes security patches that fix vulnerabilities that you may have. So, keeping your operating system, applications and browsers up to date is an essential part of protecting your devices from cyber threats.
Top tip: Enable updates where possible so that you’ll always have the latest security enhancements, and you don’t have to be consciously aware of and worried about it.
Prioritise a Secure Wi-Fi Connection
Public Wi-Fi connections can be convenient but often, they’re not secure, which means that hackers may have the opportunity to intercept your data.
If you are using public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information like logging into banking applications and conducting financial transactions.
Top tip: If you’re going to use public Wi-Fi, connect through a Virtual Private Network (VPN)> A VPN encrypts your internet connection so it’s a lot more secure.
Be Wary of Phishing
Many people think they’ll never fall victim to a fishing scam, but unfortunately, it happens more easily than you think.
But what are phishing scams? Put simply, they’re fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information by disguising themselves as trustworthy entities. They tend to come in the form of websites, messages or emails that look legitimate.
Top tip: Make sure you verify the source before clicking on links or providing any kind of personal information. Look for signs of fishing – things like suspicious email addresses, misspellings and so-called urgent requests for information.
Clear Browsing History and Cookies
Websites store what are called cookies on your device to track your preferences and your online activity. While cookies are designed to enhance your experience, they also collect data about you and, consequently, can be used for nefarious purposes.
Encrypt Your Data
Encryption converts your data into a code that’ll prevent unauthorised access. This is especially important when it comes to sensitive information and communications.
Top tip: Use encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal for private conversations. For emails, consider using ProtonMail, an encryption service.
Limit Application Permissions
When you’re installing apps on your devices, they often request access to various parts of your devices – including things like your camera, contacts, location and more. Be wary of granting these permissions and do so sparingly, only to apps that actually require them.
Top tip: Regularly review the permissions that you’ve granted your apps and don’ be afraid to revoke them if they’re unnecessary or make you uncomfortable.
Use Privacy-Focused Search Engines and Browsers
Some search engines and browsers prioritise user privacy by specifically not tracking your searches and collecting your data. If you use these, you can potentially reduce the amount of information that gets stored about your online activities.
Top tip: Consider using browsers like Brave or Firefox and search engines like DuckDuckGo – they’re designed with privacy in mind.
Parting Words on Protecting Your Privacy Online
Protecting your online privacy isn’t a one-time task but rather an ongoing process. By implementing these basic sips, you can significantly enhance your online security and safeguard your personal information.

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