Did you know that prying eyes, hackers, big data companies, etc., can easily get hold of all of your sensitive data when surfing the web? Your sensitive data is all your personal information you keep on your smart device – photos, videos, messages, e-mails, passwords, banking details, browsing history, and even your current location. Having realized that somebody can get access to all of these gave you chills, right? Nobody can blame you – this makes everybody’s skin crawl.
But, do not worry. We are here to tell you that there is a way to protect your sensitive data when surfing the web and that you are the one in control! So, how to do that? Well, keep on reading to find out.
Always Check the Privacy Settings
If you use social media, keep in mind that those accounts and networks contain a lot of personal information about you. Moreover, those accounts and networks are not the only ones being able to see everything about you by default – anybody can! Luckily, that ‘option’ can be easily changed. All you have to do is check your privacy settings often and decide what type of information you want to share with your friends, and what with strangers.
Check your privacy settings on all networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. However, do not forget that even the browser you use has the ability to share everything you do with the rest of the world, and especially with marketing companies. Thus, check that too!
Avoid Using Public Storages For Sensitive Data
Although public storages are more than convenient for use, they are certainly not the best option for your sensitive and personal data. Why? Because anybody, even a little tech-savvy can get access to everything. Thus, never save your passwords and baking details on Google Docs. Or, never save your passport and ID scans on Dropbox.
Do not be fooled by all the space you will save on your smart devices, whether they be your phone or computer, or something third. Everything stored online can be viewed by prying eyes. If you do have to use online storages for business reasons, for example, try to look for some of the best Cloud companies out there – there is a reason why the best and the most trustworthy online storages come with a price tag!
Whenever you visit a website, either to shop, to do some business, or just to flip through randomly, your browser discloses a lot of your sensitive data as well as your browsing history. All of that, in return, is used by marketing companies to profile you and to target you with a bunch of ads. In other words, if you ever searched some product online, and then got a ton of ads offering you the very same product, you have been tracked.
Luckily, there is an easy way to bypass tracking and thus stop sharing your sensitive data. All you have to do is install an app called VPN. A VPN or a virtual private network is an app that completely encrypts all of your online data and then redirects it through servers located in an entirely different location. The result – no tracking!
Stay Away From Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
You do not have to be looking for ways on how to choose the best cyber security degree in order to find out that you should always stay away from public networks. Of course, staying away from public Wi-Fi hotspots is not always possible. We have all been in situations when we are outside and we simply must go online for some reason. And, by doing that, all of our sensitive data is being shared with everybody using the same hotspot. All of your passwords, messages, e-mails, banking details, photos, locations, etc., are made visible and easily accessible.
If you can not stay away from public Wi-Fi hotspots, there is a solution – installing the previously mentioned VPN app on your smart device. Only by doing that you will be able to preserve your anonymity!
Messaging Apps You Use Should Be With End-to-End Encryption
It goes without saying that most modern are using encryption nowadays. However, in most cases, what they are using is the so-called encryption in transit – messages are encrypted and stored on servers. If somebody hacks those servers, he/she can see not only the messages you have sent and received but also all of your sensitive data and private information.
Apps like Facebook Messenger, for example, use encryption in transit. But, apps like WhatsApp, on the other hand, use end-to-end encryption. Thus, if you want to chat in private, better use the latter. If you must use Facebook chat, do not worry, there is a way to stay away from prying eyes there too – just manually start a secret chat.
Antivirus is a Must
It is true that viruses are not as common as they were a decade ago, but that does not mean that they no longer exist. If you enter the wrong site or if you clicked on a perilous link, malicious software can cause all kinds of havoc. It can cause anything from serving you with those annoying pop-ups to completely exposing your sensitive data.
There are many great antivirus software out there, so take advantage of them. You can even find some amazing free antiviruses, but, if you want top-notch security, better opt for a paying version. It can do wonders for protecting both your smart device and all the sensitive data you have stored in it. However, if paying for an antivirus seems harsh, feel free to try out their 30-days free trials. That will help you make the best decision possible when choosing the one that fits your specific needs. You can even try a few of them, and choose the one you like the most in the end. Whatever you choose to do, remember one thing – it is always better to be safe than sorry.
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