When you use the Internet, you develop both good and bad habits that affect your privacy and online safety. For example, using your Facebook profile to register other online accounts is a bad habit. In contrast, regularly reviewing your Facebook account’s privacy settings and enabling features like two-factor authentication is a good habit.
Good habits protect your online privacy and strengthen your security, while bad habits put you at risk. Learn to control and change your online behavior by adding a few helpful practices to your online activity.
How to improve privacy and security online
Whether it’s the annoying ads from your search terms that accompany you everywhere, or the spam in your inbox that makes you wonder about your online privacy, it’s never too late to change something. Here are some tips to help you become a better internet user and protect your online privacy.
Stick to safe browsers
First of all, check if you are using a safe and reliable browser. Safe browsers help prevent online threats. They stop cookies that collect data such as the websites you visit or your logins and passwords. Safe browsers also protect your identity and do not share your IP address, location, or other data, unlike their competitors.
Some of the safest browsers include Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, Brave and Tor, with Tor being the most powerful option for anyone concerned about their online anonymity.
However, even using Safe Browser does not guarantee your online safety. You can add another layer of protection by using one of the browser security tools to help protect your online privacy.
Only visit secure HTTPS sites
HTTPS, or Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is an encrypted version of the standard HTTP protocol that any web address begins with. HTTPS encrypts your data as it travels between the browser and the server. If the website supports the use of HTTPS, it is automatically enabled. You can tell if HTTPS is supported by looking at the padlock in the address bar.
Make sure you only visit websites that support HTTPS to protect you from hacker attacks and prevent your data being intercepted or tampered with.
Use a VPN when browsing
Using your browser’s private browsing mode is definitely a step in the right direction for improving your privacy and online safety. This means that your browsing history will not be logged and all cookies created during your browsing session will be deleted. At the same time, this is not the most effective way to block third-party monitoring. Your ISP will still be able to track your Internet activity.
The best solution here is to use a VPN as a browser extension or independent application on your computer. Using a VPN will keep your connection secure and your data encrypted. Your ISP will only see that you are using a private connection when browsing.
Secure your accounts with a password manager
Do you remember all your login and password information that you use on the Internet? If so, then this is probably a sign that you need to strengthen your passwords. For maximum security, your login information should follow these guidelines:
- Use a mixture of upper and lower case characters, numbers, and symbols in your passwords.
- Make sure your password is long enough – use 12+ characters.
- Never reuse the same password.
- Use different passwords for each account.
If you follow these guidelines, it will be difficult to keep track of all your login details and passwords for different accounts. A password manager can help with this. With a password manager, you only need to remember one username and password for the main account. The program will take care of the rest by creating unique and unique passwords for all your accounts.
Update your software regularly
In addition to giving you access to larger and better features and usability, software and system updates also contain bug fixes and security fixes. One of the ways that hackers, malware and viruses use to intercept your personal information is by using outdated software.
Regularly updating your computer’s software can save you many problems by fixing the vulnerabilities in your system. For best results, set up automatic software updates and make sure all your applications are working as expected.
Enable two-factor authentication for online accounts
Two-Factor Authentication or Two-Step Verification is an extra layer of security for your online accounts that you can use on top of your login information to protect yourself from hacking. It is a code that you receive on your phone, which must be entered on the website after entering your password to verify that you are the account owner.
You can get the code via text message on your phone, or use an authentication app like Google Authenticator to get it. It may not be the most convenient security measure, but it will certainly keep your accounts safe.
Check the privacy settings for your social networks
All popular social networks like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter have privacy settings that are updated regularly. It is good practice to check them for updates from time to time.
Take a moment to review the privacy settings section of each social network you use and make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of your personal information that is transmitted to the network and visible to other users.
Protect your privacy on the Internet with security precautions
It is better to prevent something than deal with the consequences later. Don’t wait for one of your accounts to be hacked or hacked. Instead, protect your PC by taking these simple, preventative security measures.
Are you concerned about your online privacy and security? What steps are you taking to protect yourself online? Share your safety tips with us in the comments section below.