Online Privacy: Best Practices
According to this statistic found on Stastica, about 64% of Americans worry about having their accounts hacked onto. This fear is not unfounded. Another demographic shows us 74% of global data breaches were identity thefts, 13% financial information breaches, and 6% were account hackings. The percentage might seem small, but on a global scale these numbers are huge and must not be ignored.
Online privacy is a step towards protecting one’s self from being victim to such crimes. There are a host of practices through which online privacy can be implemented and one’s confidential data can be kept safe. The best of these practices are:
- Being social media savvy
An article posted on BBC.com, social media is the perfect hunting ground for an assortment of cybercriminals. With over 2.62 billion social media users worldwide as of 2018, it may come as no surprise that cybercrime is so prevalent. It is very easy to lure users with click baits and other too good to be true content.
These reasons should lead one to evaluate the data they are sharing on social media. Personal information and such should be avoided sharing – the ones who matter to you do not need to know the intimate details of your life through social media.
- Do not hand out your social security number
Identity theft is known to constitute for the greatest number of data thefts, as we stated above. Sharing even the last 4 digits is dangerous. After all, guessing three digits is a lot easier than guessing seven digits. Absolutely avoid giving out you ss number unless it is for bank, or some other official entity.
- Strong and unique passwords
Setting up a good password is crucial in ensuring no one can guess the pass code and hack into your accounts. In theory, strong and unique passwords are easy, but during application remembering these can be a tough task. You can use a password manager to aid you.
- Firewalls and antivirus
About 32% of computers globally are affected by some sort of malware. These numbers are convincing enough to lead one to believe a firewall or antivirus is not an option but a necessity. A monthly or yearly subscription is a small price to pay for safety of your data.
Additionally, learn how to properly scan your computer for suspicious content and get rid of it immediately so that your information is never compromised.
- Use your common sense
There are multiple ways through which someone may try to breach your online privacy; it is not possible to cover each and every of these scenarios. Fortunately for us, most of these can be avoided through the use of common sense. For instance, if you see an advertisement claiming “you just won XYZ car, click and enter information to receive prize!” – know that it is a scam. We believe no amount of tips can account for common sense.