Companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, and others can create revenue in a variety of ways. The principal means through which they make money is through advertising. Among these many advertising companies, there are also several malicious groups and organizations. Every time you turn on the web, you leave traces in the form of digital footprints. These traces contain all your sensitive information such as addresses, payment details, and passwords. As a result, it leads to data breaches and loss of personal data.
To prevent such instances it is essential to maintain secure online hygiene. It could involve practices such as encrypted connections and proper, strong passwords. A well-maintained and conscious online usage could lead to sound cyber hygiene.
Discussed below are key practices that could help protect your private data online.
1. Encrypt your Network connections
When you connect your system or device to an unencrypted network, you risk all your sensitive data to exposure and theft by malicious groups and cyberpunks. They also gain access to your online patterns and activity. This data breach may include theft of your passwords, bank details, and credentials of social media accounts. Further, such data thefts are also used for cyberattacks on much higher-order organizations.
It is done by stealing data from their employees’ systems. However, these data breaches can be avoided by the use of a proper tool. A VPN keeps your data safe from online threats by encrypting your data from prying eyes. It does so by providing an alternate encrypted path for your data to transmit.
2. Browse in Private mode
A browser stores your private information in from of cookies and history. If these cookies fall into wrong hands, they could reveal a great deal of vital personal data. It may be your payment details, address, or contact numbers. To avoid this, browsing the web through private mode is the preferred alternative.
In Chrome, this feature is given as Incognito Mode. Almost all web browsers provide the option. The privacy key in Firefox web browser is known as Private Browsing, while in Internet Explorer, it is known as InPrivate Browsing. By enabling these modes, your data and browsing history stays private. Apart from your ISP, no other malicious groups or cyberpunks can observe your online activity by this option.
3. Use Strong Passwords
In this era of technology, it has become easier for cyberpunks to breach through systems with the available tools. It has led to data losses and misuse in the form of identity theft, monetary losses, and much more. A weak system is often characterized by a weak password that could be easily guessed or hacked through. There are several ways to avoid this.
To begin with, always ensure your device is locked with a strong password. Your social platform accounts and other accounts must be securely bound with a strong passcode. This passcode may provide an additional layer of security. Further, the use of a password manager application could help this purpose. It could help you keep a record of your password and also suggest strong passwords.
4. Beware of Phishing practices – Smishing
Technology has enabled malicious organizations to use a number of techniques to lure and breach through your device systems. One such practice is Smishing. Smishing is a sub-type of phishing, where malicious groups send SMS or text messages posing as a reputable organization. These messages are used to deceive you into giving them personal information.
In today’s era, smishing has become a menace. If you receive any calls asking for bank details or one-time passwords (OTPs), do not share them. The information is used to get access to your accounts. The practice could also involve unknown links hidden in emails or advertisements. If you receive such links on your phone, avoid clicking them unless you are aware of who sent them.
5. Avoid Physical Security risks
Your device may always be under threat if not taken care of who uses it. Direct physical access is a known and reported way to several data breaches. If your computers, hard drives fall in the wrong hands, the opportunity could be used to inject malware, steal data or corrupt your system.
To avoid this, you may use encrypted hard drives, USBs, and other storage devices. Further, some other tips to safeguard your devices against physical risks are discussed ahead. Never scribble your passwords on a post or a pad of paper. Never leave your phone or computer unsecured or weak in security. Always use a strong password to secure it. If you lose your device, make sure you have sufficient backup and remote wipe services activated.
There are a variety of signs to know if your account has been hacked. The practices such as VPN browsing, 2FA, password security keep your data from being compromised. By knowing the warning signs of a potential data breach, you could ensure better safety. Further, sound online hygiene also develops good practices for monitoring your personal data security. Following these practices could help avoid and safeguard against cyber assaults or breaches before they become disastrous.