Top 10 Secure Tips to Protect Your Digital Privacy Online
People used to claim they had nothing to hide when surveillance programs were implemented with cameras and border checks but now that’s no longer true. In the past few years’ rules have been modified in many countries such as American law enforcement agencies being granted access via cell phone carriers’ metadata without a warrant for example or Russia increasing its control over internet activity since 2012 by requiring citizens register their social media accounts using their legal names so these are not anonymous anymore making it harder for users who want online anonymity from Russian authorities because of political opposition etc.
By making a few simple changes to your devices and accounts, you can maintain security against outside parties’ unwanted attempts to access your data as well as protect your privacy from those you don’t consent to sharing your information with. Getting started is easy. Here’s a guide to the few simple changes you can make to protect yourself and your information online.
Our top ten (10) secure tips to protect your digital privacy online
- Update your software and devices
- Keep your apps up to date
- Make sure lost or stolen devices can be tracked, locked or wiped
- Avoid Phishing scams – beware of suspicious emails and phone calls
- Don’t connect to unknown Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Practice good password management
- Use mobile devices safely
- Install antivirus/anti-malware protection
- Be careful what you download and click
- Safeguard Protected Data and Back up your data
Don’t ever say, “It won’t happen to me.” Cybersecurity is not just something for the techies. It’s a responsibility of everyone using the internet or having an online presence – and it matters as much to your personal well-being, financial status, or reputation online.
By following these tips below and remaining vigilant about our cybersecurity habits online, we all do our part in protecting ourselves from being hacked as well as compromising our security online.
1. Update your software and devices
Critical security updates are released regularly to keep devices protected, and it only takes a few clicks for the update process. All manufacturers (for example Windows, Android) release regular updates that contain these critical security patches; updating your device is quick and easy! Devices should be set up so they automatically download any available software updates whenever possible.
- Turn on Automatic Updates for your operating system.
- Use web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox that receive frequent, automatic security updates.
- Make sure to keep browser plug-ins (Flash, Java, etc.) up-to-date.
Make sure your staff know how important these updates are, and explain how to do it, if necessary. At some point, these updates will no longer be available (as the device reaches the end of its supported life), at which point you should consider replacing it with a modern alternative.
2. Keep your apps up to date
Software updates are just as important for your organization’s devices, and the applications you have installed on them. These will not only add new features but they’ll also patch any security holes that may exist in the application to keep it secure from outside threats. Make sure you are aware when updates are available, how to install them, and this should be done straight away
3. Make sure lost or stolen devices can be tracked, locked or wiped
Personal or company devices are more likely to be stolen (or lost) when away from the office or home. Fortunately, many of these tools can be accessed for free on a web browser if you lose your device. You can use them to:
- track the location of a device
- remotely lock access to the device (to prevent anyone else using it)
- remotely erase the data stored on the device
- retrieve a backup of data stored on the device
With a mobile device management (MDM) you can set up your devices to a standard configuration in just one click! Setting up these tools on all your organization’s devices may seem daunting at first. However, by using mobile device management (MDM) software – you can set up the whole system within minutes.
4. Avoid Phishing scams – beware of suspicious emails and phone calls
Cyber-criminals use social engineering ploys to trick you into divulging personal information like your login ID and password. They might pretend they work for a legitimate company or send out emails that appear to be from friends, family members, etc., asking for help with something urgent such as an unpaid bill. We advise to be very vigilant, so you don’t fall prey.
- Phishing scams can be carried out by phone, text, or through social networking sites – but most commonly by email.
- Be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone call that asks for personal or financial information.
5. Don’t connect to unknown Wi-Fi Hotspots
When you use public Wi-Fi hotspots (for example in hotels, shopping malls or coffee shops), there is no way to easily find out who controls the hotspot or to prove that it belongs to who you think it does. If you connect to these hotspots, somebody else could access:
- what you’re working on whilst connected
- your private login details that many apps and web services maintain whilst you’re logged on
The simplest precaution is not to connect to the Internet using unknown hotspots, and instead use your mobile 3G/4G or 5G mobile network, which will have built-in security. This means you can also use ‘tethering’ (where your other devices such as laptops share your 3G/4G or 5G connection), or a wireless ‘dongle’ provided by your mobile network. You can also use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), a technique that encrypts your data before it is sent across the Internet. If you’re using third party VPNs, you’ll need the technical ability to configure it yourself, and should only use VPNs provided by reputable service providers only.
6. Practice good password management
Your laptops, computers, tablets and smartphones will contain a lot of your own business-critical data as well as the personal information of customers or sometimes family data. This is essential for you to access but unauthorised users need not have this information available. Good password management – when implemented correctly – are a free, easy and effective way to prevent unauthorised users accessing your devices.
Make sure you switch on password protection. Set a screen lock password, PIN, or other authentication method (such as fingerprint or face unlock) on your devices. If you’re mostly using fingerprint or face unlock, you’ll be entering a password less often, so consider setting up a long password that’s difficult to guess.
Password protection is not just for smartphones and tablets. Make sure that your office equipment (so laptops and PCs) all use an encryption product using a Trusted Platform Module with a PIN, or File Vault to start up in order to keep them secure from breaches. Most modern devices have encryption built in, but encryption may still need to be turned on and configured, so check you have set it up.
7. Use mobile devices safely and securely
Considering how much we rely on our mobile devices and how vulnerable they are to attack, you’ll want to make sure you are protected. To ensure your mobile devices are protected, be sure to read the following tips:
- Lock your device with a personal identification number (PIN) or password – and never leave it unprotected in public.
- Only install apps from trusted sources (Apple AppStore, Google Play).
- Keep the device’s operating system up-to-date.
- Don’t click on links or attachments from unsolicited emails or texts.
- Avoid transmitting or storing personal information on the device.
- Most handheld devices are capable of employing data encryption – consult your device’s documentation for available options.
- Use Apple’s Find my iPhone or the Android Device Manager tools to help prevent loss or theft.
8. Install Antivirus/Anti-Malware Protection
Malicious software can be both viruses and any other form of harmful content that targets your company. The most popular type is known as a virus, which are self-copying programs that infect legitimate apps or websites. Malware has become increasingly common in recent years with the release of WannaCry ransomware; this particular attack targeted computers worldwide by encrypting data before demanding ransom payments to unlock files from compromised devices. This new phenomenon is dangerous because it does not discriminate towards location where anyone who accesses an infected file will experience negative consequences such as loss of information etc.
Using antivirus software is extremely important for all computers and laptops. When it comes to office equipment, you can just click “enable”, which instantly makes your system safer. Only install these programs from a known and trusted source. Also ensure browsers and search engines software’s are up-to-date.
9. Be careful what you download and click
Avoid browsing or surfing unknown websites or downloading software from untrusted sources online. These websites often host malware that will automatically install (often silently) and compromise your computer. If attachments or links in the email are unexpected or suspicious for any reason, please don’t click on such links.
10. Safeguard Protected Data and Back up your data
Be aware of Protected Data that you come into contact with and its associated restrictions. In general data protection has been a very hot topical over the years due to hacking and data breaches affecting some big brands around the whole. It good practise to:
- Always use encryption when storing or transmitting sensitive data.
- Securely remove sensitive data files from your system when they are no longer needed.
- Keep high-level Protected Data (e.g. credit card information, student records, health information, social security numbers, customer emails and addresses) off your workstation, laptop, or mobile devices.
Back up your data regularly – if you are a victim of a security incident, the only guaranteed way to repair your computer is to erase and re-install the system.
Why do you need an Antivirus Solution?
Antivirus programs help protect your operating system against online cybersecurity threats. They use definitions and sophisticated behavior-recognition algorithms to identify, quarantine, and safely remove any virus or malware on your computer.
Today’s viruses come in many different forms: malware, spyware, adware and rootkits are just some of the programs that promise to make users lives miserable. Running a reliable antivirus software is the only way users can be sure they won’t fall victim to costly cyber-attacks or suffer potentially identify theft.
Antivirus solutions are important to prevent people from getting viruses on their computers or devices. Without an antivirus solution, there is a chance of contracting malware that could lead to the loss of files and data saved in your machine. Some potential consequences include compromised security features like passwords stolen by hackers as well as financial information being leaked which can have ramifications for both personal finances and identity theft protection measures you may be taking through credit monitoring services among other things.
Why You Should Trust Citsys Limited?
It’s important to know who you can trust when choosing which antivirus program to install. The problem is that there are so many antivirus review sites online – and most of them run by shady marketers trying to earn quick money – recommending products with the best affiliate programs. And as you can imagine, these products often aren’t the best ones for users either!
We have years of experience in testing and reviewing security software, and our mission is to collaborate with the worlds most trusted technology brands to provide customers with high quality software products and solutions to secure, support and grow their business. We genuinely help our readers find the right antivirus for their needs and budget. We would never endorse a bad product, and you can rest assured that we only recommend antiviruses that we are perfectly happy with using ourselves.