A regular brushing up of your digital privacy and security is like maintaining a machine. Just as a machine needs frequent maintenance checks, you’ll also need to look at your digital identity. That said, it’s a daunting task to fix every privacy and security challenge simultaneously. There are, however, a few simple tricks you can pull off in a couple of minutes that boost your privacy online.
You are giving out personal details even while doing something innocuous, like sharing your photos online with your friends or using a weather forecasting app on your mobile. Companies use these to create your profile for targeted marketing.
Now that we have made you aware of the need to protect your online privacy, here are some tips on how you do so. Most of them are very simple, but can make a huge difference to your browsing.
Go For Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is only a simple step you need to go through before you log in to your account. It’s a very simple process you need to carry out once in a while or when you have got yourself a new device. The most common form of two-factor authentication involves receiving a 6-digit code by SMS after you have entered your password. However, authentication via SMS is not a reliable practice. One threat is the SIM swap, meaning that someone could transfer your phone number to a new device.
Two-factor authentication via apps is an effective added layer of protection that significantly enhances your privacy and security even if your password was stolen. The person who has stolen it would still need your assistance when attempting to log into your accounts. Many popular services like Gmail, Outlook, Twitter, and Facebook come with two-factor authentication.
Restrict GPS Tracking
When you don’t need to look for a popular restaurant or check the traffic congestion in your city, you don’t need to have your smartphone apps know your location. Limiting access to your phone’s GPS data is easy, and we’ll tell you how you should go about it.
Do bear in mind that the apps may still gauge your location through the Wi-Fi signals but with only limited accuracy.
On iPhones: You’ll simply have to opt for ‘off’ to prevent the transmission of your GPS data by going to Settings, then Privacy, and finally Location Services. You may allow each of the apps to access your data “always,” “never,” or only “while using” them by changing the settings on them separately.
On Android phones: On Android phones, you have the option to choose when apps can access your location by selecting “App access to location,” or you may also deny them access altogether by going to Settings->Google->Location. While the steps are by and large similar, they may differ depending on the kind of Android device you are using.
Don’t Delay Updating Your Apps, Computer, And Phones
You do receive notifications to update your device’s software at times, don’t you? The next time you receive one, you would do wisely not to ignore it and make the update right away.
All these updates come with security patches intended to plug the security loopholes in the software that hackers can exploit to gain access to all you have on your phone or computer. As software is very complex, and software vulnerabilities tend to pop up frequently. Hence, we urge you not to ignore those update notifications.
The best way to ensure that all software is updated regularly is to opt for automatic updating of the apps and the operating system in your device. The settings of your app store, computer, and phone have the option to allow you to do it.
Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A very effective way to boost your online privacy is to download a VPN. A Virtual Private Network hides your IP address by routing your connection through a proxy server. Masking your IP address is the best way to boost your privacy online as it gives you more anonymity.
Not only this, but a VPN also encrypts the connection between the device you use and the internet. VPNs, therefore, help you cover your tracks online, giving you more privacy and security.
The rising incidents of cybercrime and data breaches tell us that we live in an unsafe environment. Protecting your online privacy, therefore, assumes greater significance. It’s time that you pulled up your socks and ensured your online privacy the attention it needs. Following the tips we have suggested sure will help. All of them are simple to implement yet very effective. Stay cautious and stay safe.