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Online Privacy Tips: How To Protect Your Personal Information

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We are living in an age where refrigerators can send you reminders that your food is going bad. Others will even produce a list of the groceries you’re running low on. An age where you can control your home lighting, tv, bathroom water temperatures with simple voice commands. Tech is all around us, and it has made our life better in many ways. 

But, for all its benefits, technology has also introduced new challenges that pose serious risks to our privacy and security. The websites, apps, and devices you use can collect your information and keep track of you without your knowledge. Many governments are currently playing catchup, trying to set up and implement data protection laws. While these regulations are essential, most of the responsibility still lies with internet users.

Below are a few tips on how you can protect your information and privacy online. These techniques will save you from hackers and shield you from websites that collect user’s data for marketing purposes.

1.Install An Antivirus Software

Spyware, malware, and other internet viruses are not as common as they used to be. Or rather, they are not as effective as before. That’s mainly because many operating systems come with effective antivirus software to protect your gadgets.

That being said, you still need to ensure that your software is always running correctly. Go through the settings of your PC and make sure the windows defender is active and up to date. Do the same thing to laptops, macs, and even smartphones.

In addition to the free inbuilt antivirus, you can also install third-party software like Kaspersky and Bitdefender. This software provides more capabilities to bolster your online security.

2.Use Secure Passwords

Gone are the days when birthdays were good enough to make passwords. In the modern world, where social media platforms announce your birthday to all your followers, using these dates as a password is a terrible idea. Go for something more discrete. 

Create a strong password using numbers, special letters, and upper and lower cases. If you are having a hard time keeping track of your passwords, consider password management software. 

Samsung, Apple, and other manufacturers provide free password management applications that can suggest and save strong passwords for the different apps and websites you are using. Some antivirus software also offers these options.

3.Activate 2 Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication or (2FA) increases the security of your accounts significantly.

You should activate 2FA in all your accounts and especially the delicate ones like your mobile banking apps. Social media platforms like Twitter also provide the option. 

With the system enabled, you’ll receive a message or email whenever someone gets your password and tries to log into your accounts.

4.Audit Your Phone Settings

Geo trackers are very common in smartphones. Apps like Uber, Netflix, google maps, and game applications track your whereabouts even when it is totally unnecessary.  Go to your phone settings today and deactivate these location trackers. It only takes a few clicks, so you shouldn’t have a problem turning it back on when it’s required. 

5.Update Your Software

Internet viruses change all the time introducing new threats. Software updates are usually developed to combat these issues. They provide a new and stronger layer of protection to keep your gadget safe from newer threats. Therefore, do not ignore security patches.

Update your gadgets as frequently as possible. You could also activate automatic updates if you don’t want the hassle of having to initiate the downloads yourself every time.

6.Audit Your Social Media Pages

Facebook and other social media platforms have been in the spotlight for collecting user’s data and using it for marketing. 

It’s imperative to limit the amount of personal information uploaded on these platforms as much as possible. Go through all your social media pages and see the kind of data shared on your profile. Get rid of all the unnecessary information.

You must also minimize the amount of data shared by different websites online. This is particularly important for critical information like your phone number and home address. If you read here, you’ll see that there are several effective ways of protecting your home address. The techniques will hide your address, protecting you and your family from internet strangers.

7.Consider A VPN

Virtual private networks hide all your online activities. It prevents your internet provider and other phishing websites and apps from knowing what you are doing online. 

VPN is especially crucial when you are using public Wi-Fi.

Online privacy should always be a top priority lest you end up being victim to ransomware and other viruses. It’s even more critical if you have a family with curious kids who can’t seem to put their tablets down.

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