Who thinks of 10 years ago andthinks of the 90s? I know I do.
When we used telephones, postal addresses,wrote letters, cameras, cassettes and radios. Today, most of those things havebeen replaced by one device- the mobile phone. Still, our greatest invention isthe internet- a small gadget that connects us globally. Through the internetyou can travel all over the world, stream movies online and communicate withpeople miles away.
Thus, we say we live in the digital era.The internet has its advantagesand disadvantages. One of its worst limitations is protection of privacy. Onceyou upload a photo online, it can be seen and shared by the public. Emailaddresses face the threat of spammers and viruses.
This article will give youtips on how you can protect your privacy online to avoid hacking and onlineharassment. 1. Limit personal informationyou share onlineSocial media tools are greatplatforms to meet new people. However, hackers and cyber criminals can accessyour personal information such as date of birth, email address, phone numbersand credit cards. Such information can be used to steal your identity and insuch instances, remedying the situation can be costly. Remove any sensitive informationadded in any social media site. All sites have Settings Tab that allows you tolimit the amount of personal data you share online. You should not acceptfriend requests from unknown people.
Share discrete information through themessage icon (inbox) and not on walls postings. 2. Install antivirus softwareto protect against malware Most people believe that computerviruses were created to create a market for antiviruses. A virus is a malicious program designed tosteal personal data including your physical location, and to crash your phoneor computer files. You can install antivirus program that can either be free orpaid for version. Some programs are fake so ensure to do research on the bestprograms to use.
I would recommend AVG and Ad-Aware free antivirus.Emails are the easiest ways todownload viruses. Also, they are the most targeted as hackers can pretend to belegitimate businesses. You should not download any attachments unless you haveconfirmed their address from the sender. Be aware of phishing- these are linksthat direct you to new sites where you enter your personal informationincluding bank account details. To be safe, use email services thatare trusted worldwide.
They include Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. They encryptmessages from your inbox and outbox and notify you of spam messages. For socialmedia accounts, create separate email accounts. 3.
Invest in VPN services Employers, internet serviceproviders, the government and advertisers can access your information throughIP address when you are logged on to the internet. This shows that the internetis not safe. You can solve this problem by using virtual private network (VPN).VPN technology has the followingadvantages:· Protects your IP addressfrom online spies.· Encrypts personalinformation that is damaging when wrongfully accessed.· Helps you hide youridentity from the public. · Allows unrestricted towebsites universally. Using VPN service is not enough.
You can hide your identity from companies through browser extensions that arefree to download. Moreover, there are search engines that do not record webbrowsing history. 4. Create strong passwords A password is like an ATM pin thatgives you access to your accounts.
Weak passwords are hacked and used to gainaccess to your accounts. Avoid using personal information such as birthdates,’password’ and phone numbers as your passwords. They are easily guessed byhackers as they hold sentimental value. To create strong passwords, youshould:· Have a long password thatincludes capital letters, small letters, numerals and punctuation marks.· Use a password manager tosecure different passwords for different accounts. · Install a password for yourmobile phone to log you out of any site. · Change your password asoften as you can. Using a strong password, lockmobile devices, computers and laptops in case they are lost or stolen.
Someapps with passwords are installed to lock your devices or erase data torestrict access. Accounts such as Gmail, Facebookand Dropbox now require two-factor authentication to enhance security. Afterkeying in your password, you enter a special code that is sent to your mobilephone via SMS. Gmail requires a code every time before accessing your accountin a new web browser. 5. Delete Apps and trackingcookies Advertisers mine for personalinformation to promote services and promote advertisements on your wall. Theygain your information through Facebook Apps and Tracking Cookies. Delete andblock any apps or unwanted cookies on your web browser to limit the amount ofactivity information stored online.
Most apps are designed toautomatically update over Wi-Fi networks. Some people that it’s intrusive.Updating software adds new features that enhance security. WhatsApp updatedtheir software to enhance end to end encryption. The security measurerestricted access of information to third parties. 6. Purchase from secure onlineshopping stores Online shopping has taken theworld by storm because of convenience, affordability and availability.
Youritem is delivered at your doorstep soon after purchase. Despite theconvenience, many customers still fall prey to scams and online fraud. To havethe best shopping experience, you should:· Research the authenticityof online retail shops. Most online shops have legitimate websites withreviews, physical locations and are very popular. Do not purchase any item froma suspicious website.
· Do not share your socialsecurity number or bank details with anyone. Some hackers request the last 4digits of your credit cards. Then, they use this information to get all theother digits by checking where you applied and the numbers given at yourlocation.
· Pay for your items in cash.Cash payment limits your credit card activity online and reduces chances offraud. Sellers assume that no person will pay for an item that they did notpurchase. · In case you decide to pickup your item, have someone else accompany you. Do not pay for an item withoutinspection and after payment, request for a receipt.