Have you ever heard of the Cambridge Analytica scandal? It was a significant thing in 2018. However, if you somehow managed not to stumble upon the information, here is a long story short. Digital consultants of Cambridge Analytica, a British company, misused the data of millions of Facebook users in favor of Trump’s election for the president.
Mischievous? Smart? Against the law? The scandal was it all. It also made the world realize one crucial thing. Privacy is a precious commodity in the modern world. It did not use to be like that back in the day. Surveillance was a rare thing, and often the ‘I have nothing to hide’ response was enough to prevent it. Nowadays, on the other hand, the personal data is so easy to access, it might be invigilated without your knowledge or permission.
Think of all the social media profiles. A single person has at least a couple of them. All set to ‘public.’ All were revealing your data such as name, preferences, educational background, even the place of your current stay.
Think of all the places with free WIFI access. The cafeterias, the libraries, the restaurants, and museums all have it at the customer’s disposal. There is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that any person that uses a public WIFI with their device is an easy target for a potential hacker, snooper, or intruder.
Taking that into account, it becomes clear that protecting one’s privacy should be of a high priority. Here are five verified ways of how to do it.
Use A VPN.
A virtual private network (VPN) lets you create a safe connection to another network. This means that your smartphone or computer connects to another server somewhere on the internet and allows you to browse the net using this server’s internet connection.
People commonly use VPNs to get access to region-restricted websites like Facebook in China, gain anonymity, and protect yourself from the eyes of online snoopers.
The three most popular VPNs are:
- Strong VPN
However, the best VPN for Mac and the Windows system may vary. Therefore you should read the network’s specifics before you choose the best options.
Do not hesitate to let your imagination run a little wild here. Remember, a secure and reliable password is at least fifteen characters long, including uppercase and lowercase, as well as the numbers. You can add some other characters if you fancy.
Never settle for the auto-generated password. They are hard to remember for you, and not that easy to break for the hacker.
Avoid having the same password to ten different platforms. Should someone hack you in one place, they will probably try the corresponding entry in other sites. You may think that is a lot of effort and combinations to remember, but as the saying goes: better safe than sorry.
Watch Out For The Hidden Messages, Links, And Attachments.
Be it Facebook, Twitter, or mailbox, be cautious if you receive a strange message, especially asking you to click on an unknown link. Under no circumstances should you enter any kind of attachments that do not seem legitimate.
Intruders and hackers can easily send you a virus or other malware through an email. Be especially careful if you see a message in your box that seems to be legit but requires verification of your personal information such as account number, date of birth, a password, and so on. This is one of the methods used by hackers, called phishing. It aims to manipulate a victim to willingly respond to an email and share personal data that could be misused later on.
Hackers often use some features on your phone to get access to your personal information. Consider turning off all the apps and geo-trackers you neither use nor need at the moment.
Moreover, use legitimate sources to download apps on any of your devices. Choose only the applications with a good reputation. Delete old apps you do not want to use anymore, but do not forget to erase all your data before you do so.
Browsing Habits. The cookies.
Cookies are small parts of the text that are downloaded and saved by your browser. The idea behind cookies is to make your internet experience the most personal possible. Cookies, however, can be misused. When taken a step too far, cookies can end up in you being targeted with lingering adverts. Such practices are intrusive. Take the unpleasant consequences into consideration the next time you enter a new website and recklessly allow cookies.
There are numerous ways of protecting yourself from potential online snoopers, hackers, and intruders. The ones mentioned above should be just some examples. There is always so much more you could do. A term going to great lengths does not exist when it comes to protecting your personal information. Sometimes a bit more effort or time spent doing the research is a minor loss compared to the consequences of hacking your data.