You can protect your online privacy by being aware of and cleaning your digital footprint; using strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts; not oversharing on social media; reading privacy policies carefully and more.
Continue reading to learn more about online privacy and the steps you can take to protect yours.
What is Online Privacy?
Online privacy refers to the level of privacy you have while connected to the internet and includes the amount of protection your personal data has while you’re online. Any time you go online, whether it’s to search for something or post on social media, your data is always being collected. While this is legal for companies to do, you have the right to limit the amount of information about yourself that you wish to share.
Along with collection of your personal data, online privacy also refers to the amount of information there is about you online. This includes the amount of information you share about yourself on social media platforms and the trails of the digital footprint that you’ve left behind.
The Importance of Protecting Your Online Privacy
It’s important to protect your online privacy because if you don’t, anyone could access your Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and use it to steal your identity, dox you or use a social engineering tactic to get you to fall for a phishing scam. It’s also important that you have control over your own personal data and who has access to it.
Tips to Protect Your Privacy Online
Here are a few tips to protect your online privacy.
Regularly update your devices’ software
Cybercriminals look for vulnerabilities to exploit before software vendors can fix bugs and patch security flaws through software updates. Updating your software on a regular basis and as soon as the latest version is released ensures that security patches are updated before cybercriminals can successfully target you and infect your devices with malware.
Use strong and unique passwords for all your accounts
Passwords are your first line of defense when protecting your online privacy. When you reuse the same password, or variations of the same password, you make yourself vulnerable to cyber attacks. If one of these accounts were to become compromised, it places all other accounts that use the same password at risk of becoming compromised.
Having strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts makes it much harder for a cybercriminal to breach them. The best way to create strong passwords is by using a random password generator instead of creating them on your own.
Your digital footprint is the existence of your information on the internet and is a result of your online activity. To see your digital footprint, start by googling your name and see what you can find about yourself.
To reduce your digital footprint, delete or deactivate any unused accounts. If you find that there are websites that show your previous or current home addresses or other sensitive information, there are steps you can take to get the site to remove them. For most of these sites, they’ll have a FAQ page where you can find out how to request the removal of your information.
Review privacy policies carefully
These policies can be updated at any time, so it is recommended that you review them at least once a year to ensure you agree with how they collect and use your data.
Opt out of app tracking
When downloading new apps, we often don’t pay attention to the amount of data our apps can gather about us. When app tracking is on, our apps are allowed to monitor our activity across other apps and websites. If you want to take control of your online privacy, being aware of which apps can track your activity is vital.
For Apple users, this has become much easier to control with the new iOS 14.5 feature, which allows you to opt out of app tracking as soon as your app is downloaded. As for other devices, this is a setting you’ll have to manually look for and opt out of for each app.
Oversharing on social media can be disruptive to your online privacy and jeopardize your security. Social engineering attacks are a main concern if you tend to overshare on social media. A social engineering attack is when a cybercriminal uses manipulative tactics in order to gain personal information about you. Social media is an easy way for cybercriminals to find intimate details about your personal life to create personalized phishing emails in an attempt to get you to click on their phony links or download a malicious attachment. We recommend keeping it simple – the less you share, the better.
Use a password manager
Password managers are tools that give you the ability to store, protect, share and manage passwords for applications and online services. Password managers like Keeper are built with zero-trust and zero-knowledge security to ensure that the user’s data is always protected and only accessible to them.
Be cautious when clicking on links
Clicking random links or visiting unknown websites on your computer, phone or even smart TV can expose you to malware designed to gather sensitive data such as your credentials. Before clicking on any link, be sure to hover your mouse over the link to see if the link matches the URL it says it is. You can also use a link checker to check if the link is safe.
Install antivirus and anti-malware software
The main role of antivirus software is to defend against already-known viruses and malware that your device might encounter while you’re browsing the internet. This is why it’s also important to have anti-malware installed alongside it since this software is better at detecting and removing newer malware threats.
One malware that these types of software can protect you against are keyloggers, which can get installed through infected emails and log your keystrokes to figure out your login credentials and other sensitive information. Malware and viruses are a threat to your online privacy – making it vital to have the right tools to protect against them.
Protect Your Online Privacy With Keeper
Protecting your online privacy is critical to keeping your information private and secure. With Keeper, you can audit your current passwords and easily generate new, strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and store them in an encrypted password vault so no one but you has access to them.
Start your free trial of Keeper today and start keeping your private information private.