Digital Hygiene: How to Protect Yourself Online

The advances in mobile satellite internet have opened a world of great opportunities. Because of technology, people can accomplish many tasks every day. As long as you have a stable Internet connection, you can work from the comfort of your home and avoid the hassle of commuting to the workplace.

However, technology can adversely affect online users’ safety. Political rivals and Internet trolls can spy on your online realm and hack your private data. Your enemies can do strategies such as fake friending to intrude on your online accounts, mobile storage, or dropbox folder. They carry out their digital revenge and do widespread shaming by posting your racy photos, sensitive videos, and private messages. Cyber-criminals can also peak on your financial transactions and access confidential information such as your banking logins, Social Security number, e-mail passwords, and health insurance identification. Here’s how you can upgrade your online security:

  1. Clean up your Google account settings

You might be surprised that Google knows and keeps an extensive set of data. This includes your personal information, the places you go, search logs, purchases you make, browsing habits, and much more. Google will store this information for ad targeting unless you do something to stop it. You might want to navigate your privacy settings, opt-out of personalized ads, turn off web and app activity, and delete stored voice commands. Using incognito mode on Google chrome would also help, especially if you are using a public computer because it disables your browsing history. While it might not be possible to opt-out of everything, tweaking Google’s data-tracking options can limit the intrusion.

  1. Give tough answers to security questions

Most security questions are dangerously guessable because they are intended to trigger your memory. Questions like your favorite place for vacation, first school, or the street you grew up in are proven to be inadequate contingency mechanism for passwords. Someone close to you might know the answers, or your web and social media activities might reveal these answers. If you can’t change the security questions, it will be best to provide unique answers. Change your mother’s maiden name or pet’s name to a made-up codeword that is exceptionally challenging to guess.

  1. Activate two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication provides a second security layer to reconfirm your identity. This extra layer could be a fingerprint, an ever-changing six-digit security code, a handwriting or retina scan, or a key fob. Two-factor authentication can not stop cybercriminals from trying to breach your accounts, but an additional layer of protection will reduce their chances to succeed.

  1. Don’t fall victim to phishing attacks

Phishing scams are one of today’s most common security challenges. Attackers use varied phishing techniques to request or obtain sensitive information from their victims. They embed links and put attachments in e-mails that will redirect you to a fake site and deceive you into inputting your login credentials. To protect yourself against phishing, you have to read emails carefully, check links before you click, and never download attachments from unfamiliar email addresses.

You can’t defend every file that you put in your digital portfolio, but by following these pointers, you can minimize the threats of online attacks. Remember that once your sensitive photo or confidential information is out there, there is nothing you can do. Change your digital practices now so that you can make yourself a tougher target of persistent attackers.



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