Data exposures. Data leaks. Phishing. Data compromise. Ransomware attacks. If you’re doing anything at all online, the likelihood that someone is out to compromise your data in some way is pretty high. In 2020, over 155 million people were affected by data breaches or privacy issues throughout the year. And it’s only getting worse. To combat this looming threat, some security precautions and procedures are necessary. Here are five ways to enhance your privacy and protect your security/data while you’re online.
When it comes to computer security, a firewall is absolutely necessary. Just like having home insurance or a first aid kit on hand, a firewall offers passive protection for your online browsing. The firewall scans incoming traffic on your network for malicious vectors or code. If the firewall determines a piece of data represents a security risk, it will prevent it from entering your network. They use protective filters to stop attackers from exploiting back doors, using macros on your applications, denial of service attacks, and stopping other potentially malicious code from entering your system. Unfortunately, firewalls are not a one-size-fits-all solution and can benefit from additional help when it comes to their security systems. However, they’re a great baseline for staying secure.
Encryption is an often overlooked security method that can be beneficial for both personal and business aids. At its core, encryption just means converting data into code to prevent unauthorized access. Encrypting data in transit is crucial for protecting it. As it travels across the internet, data can be exposed to various attack vectors. If your computer has malware on it, that data can easily be compromised. That’s why encryption is so essential. Using https protocol instead of the HTTP protocol means the secure connection is encrypted. You can also encrypt files through various software means and buy using secure services such as a VPN. When you’re figuring out how you’re going to encrypt things, look for the quality of the encryption algorithm in your software and make sure you have a decryption key readily available. Otherwise, you’re not going to be able to access your files. Seek out a secure sharing solution that offers comprehensive protection as part of a suite or on its own.
Malware and viruses are pesky bits of malicious code that can self replicate on your system. Once there, they can read all sorts of havoc. If your computer is slow, sluggish, randomly crashing, or making various changes to your browser but then the odds are you have a virus. An antivirus program can help you keep viruses away, so long as you keep your virus definitions updated and run regular scans. An antivirus program also helps to speed up your computer and protect your family online. It can keep an eye out for possible phishing attempts, dangerous websites, reinforcing your privacy, and even stop ads from bogging down your system. Integrating antivirus with a firewall can ensure better protection and bolster your cybersecurity across your network and devices.
Ask Companies Not To Share Data
Although it seems like it may be an insignificant request, companies like to collect data on users when they set up accounts. Users can opt-out, but there’s still a baseline level of data that might be transmitted to product improvement departments. It may seem like an obvious choice, but many of us forget to click the little box that asks the website not to share our data with anybody. But there’s a way to ask various companies not to share your data at all. Consider Amazon. Amazon collects significant amounts of data from its users. Purchasing habits, conversations with Alexa, browsing history, and more can all be part of the data collected and stored by amazon.com. Consider asking them not to store and share that data. Sometimes, you can find ways to access the data they’re storing. Either way, simply clicking the button that says “do not share my data” is a good first step to retaining privacy online.
A virtual private network, or a VPN, is a popular and useful way to stay safe online. In a VPN, you can browse and use the internet while remaining anonymous. The VPN also encrypts your data as you’re working online, securely creating a much more private environment. If you have to get on to public wi-fi, a powerful pro VPN provides a massive security boost. With the services of a VPN, you can remain hidden from trackers, ads, your ISP, and even access region-locked content. Whether you’re working, researching, or just having some fun, a VPN can be a great addition to your setup. Fewer web threats and an open system mean that you can browse without worrying about all the bloated ads and other nonsense permeating the modern internet.