How to Protect Your Privacy Online and Keep Your Information Secure
We have compiled a list of what you can do to protect your privacy and keep your online accounts secure. You have to remember that the single point of failure is yourself, so if you do not actively engage in securing your privacy and your online data, you might already be heavily exposed.
There has been a big shift in how people are targeted online. It is no longer your devices that are the weakest link for protecting your privacy, but all the online accounts that you are using like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, Outlook, and so forth. You have to focus on all these different aspects of your digital life when protecting yourself from prying eyes or sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals.
It is hard to keep up with the most relevant technical information; we have ensured that this article is as easy to understand as possible.
Is antivirus still a thing?
Yes and no. If you mainly download apps and software from, e.g., App Store (Macbook / iOS) and from Microsoft Store, you don’t necessarily need any antivirus. There are two things you should be aware of:
- Always update your operating system once a new update has been released by Apple, Microsoft, or Google (Android).
- Keep track of all the applications you have installed on your own devices, and remove unfamiliar or rarely used apps.
If you are actively following the two pieces of advice above, you should be more worried about theft of your physical devices than ransomware, viruses, and malware.
However, if you are a person that mistakenly clicks on fake links from spam email or download apps and software from little-known entities, then you should definitely install antiviruses on your devices. We have partnered up with Bitdefender, which is our preferred antivirus software.
How to protect your physical devices
Always enforce strong passwords on your physical devices and biometrics for any device supporting that. Enable location tracking to ensure that you can find your devices thru iCloud (Apple), Microsoft Account, or Google / Android. If someone steals your device, it can be tracked, and you can remove all data on it.
Ensure that you are using automatic backups of your phone and computer if needed when connected to WiFi.
Never leave your computer, phone, or tabled unattended without enabling password or biometric protection.
How to protect your online accounts
As more services require you to have an online account, more of your life is connected and accessible from the cloud. That’s why it is super important to protect and secure your online accounts like your bank accounts, mobile carrier portals, social media accounts, and so forth.
How to protect your private information online
Lastly, you should go through your privacy settings on all the online accounts that have sensitive information about you like:
- Your connections
- Your birthdate
- Your email or phone number
- Your images
- Your videos
- Your updates/stories
Any information about you that can be used to socially engineer you or your friends must be hidden from the public.
How to protect yourself using public WiFi networks or Hotspots
If you are traveling and use public WiFi or hotspots to connect to the internet, you have to use a VPN for all your connected devices. If you don’t, you might end up being hacked or spied on by opportunistic or targeted cybercriminals. We recommend purchasing a VPN from NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or PureVPN to use for public networks.
Disclosure: We have partnered with NordVPN to provide premium VPN for our clients.
If you are only using your phone or computer from well-known WiFis with strong password protection, you don’t need a VPN. Unless you want to be completely anonymous when browsing or using different applications.
How to protect yourself when browsing websites
If you want to protect your devices and yourself from being tracked, you should consider using the browser Brave or Tor. Brave is a faster browser than Tor with some built-in functions from Tor when in incognito mode, but Tor is a much safer browser that routes your traffic through two additional devices and encrypts your information. Both browsers can block scripts, cookie tracking, and ads.
For maximum protection when browsing, use Tor or the Onion browser on an iPhone, and ensure you have a VPN enabled as well. That gives you complete control and privacy when browsing; however, it will decrease your browsing speed.
Get help to protect your privacy and online information
If you want help and guidance on protecting your privacy and your online accounts, order your personal security audit today, including one year of our Digital Protection Plan. We will help you configure your devices, online accounts, and privacy settings for maximum protection for your specific need. If you are not happy with our services, we offer a guaranteed refund. Click here to learn more.
Featured image by Marko Aliaksandr from Shutterstock.com