Technology has changed the way that we live our lives. It has also made our lives more convenient. We can shop online, order food, bank, and even be treated by a doctor online. If you want to reach out to an old friend from high school, you can easily find on social media and send them a message. While digital technology has made life much more convenient, it has also opened us up to many new threats that we didn’t have to worry about before the digital age began. There are hackers and scam artists all over the world just waiting to gain access to your bank accounts and other personal information. This is why it is so important that you know how to protect your digital life. Also, using the services of companies like Surfshark will ensure that you are always protected while doing things online. Here are 10 ways that you can protect yourself and your identity.
1. Always Use a VPN
Everything that you do online can be seen by your internet service provider (ISP) because you have an IP address. The best way to protect your privacy while working online is to use a virtual private network (VPN). It basically acts like armor between the device that you are using and the internet. The VPN will route your activity through your own private server, which is not accessible to anyone else.
Years ago, VPN services were available to only those in the commercial sector. Now that digital security threats have increased for the average person, VPN services are available to everyone.
2. Email Encryption
Email encryption has been used by businesses who send and receive sensitive information for quite some time; however, it is now an essential way for everyone to protect their digital lives. An encrypted email will appear scrambled to everyone but the sender and receiver. This is important if you are sending emails that contain personal information or sensitive information like credit card numbers or social security numbers. It can easily be integrated into your existing email address, and the companies that offer encryption make the service affordable.
3. Be Wary of Phishing
Phishing is one of the most common ways that scam artists try to get a hold of your personal information. They often send emails that appear to be from reputable companies, or even from people that you know. They will attach a link or an attachment to the email that contains malware or other viruses. When you click on the link, they can gain access to your personal information. If you get an email, beware of the attachments and the links, even if you think that you know who the email is from.
4. Check For Websites With Privacy Indicators
When you are online, you need to make sure that the site that you are using is secure. If it isn’t, there is a good chance that there is a hacker on the other end just waiting to get their hands on your personal information.
When you are online, there will be a small padlock in front of the website that you are using. If the padlock is closed, it means that the site is secure. If you want to double-check, simply click on the padlock, and the name of the company will come up. It will also let you know if the site is secure.
5. Virus Protection and Anti-Malware
Many hackers use malware to get their hands on your personal information. This software allows them to delete and steal information from your computer. You should never use a computer that does not have anti-virus protection. Most services are affordable, and they are well worth it in the long run. You should also understand that your phone and tablet aren’t safe either. Hackers can easily get into these devices as well; therefore, you should be sure to download an app that offers the same kind of protection.
6. Use Strong Passwords
The password that you use is essential in keeping your identity and privacy safe. Just because a password is easy to remember; it doesn’t mean that it is safe. Simple passwords like abc123 or 12345 are examples of horrible passwords. A strong password contains numbers and a capital letter. This will add an extra layer of security to your online accounts. If you add a special character such as #$%, it will add even more protection.
Also, it is a good idea to change your passwords often. Many websites require you to do so, but if one doesn’t, you should change it on your own. This may sound like obvious information; however, according to Avast Press, 83 percent of Americans are still using weak passwords today.
7. Automate Your Software Updates
When software developers often launch a product before it is perfect. They get as close to perfect as possible for release, and then they fix the glitches later. When issues are resolved, they are fixed through updates. If there are privacy issues or glitches, you need to know when the problems have been solved so you can protect yourself. The best way to be sure that you are getting all the updates is to use the automatic update setting. This is the best way to be sure that you are always protected.
8. Limit the Number Of People Who Have Access To Your Accounts
If you have too many administrators on your device, it increases the chances of human error, making your device more vulnerable. Also, when using a computer, don’t log in as the administrator. This leaves your computer vulnerable. Only log on as the administrator when you absolutely have to.
9. Beware of Public WiFi
Most people find public WiFi to be incredibly convenient. According to One World Identity, 81 percent of Americans use public WiFi either occasionally or on a regular basis. If you are using a computer, you can use the public service. Many people use public WiFi when using their phones to prevent using up their data. Public WiFi may be convenient, but it is very easy for a person to hack into. There are even videos online that teach you to hack into a public WiFi server. If you are going to use public WiFi, don’t do so without a VPN. This will protect you from amateur hackers looking to steal your personal information.
10. Turn Off Your Location
It is a good idea to turn off your location when using your digital device. Also, if you are on a website and a box pops up after if you want to share your location, you should always click, “no.” If your location is on or shared, just about anyone can find you, including hackers.
As digital technology evolves, so does a hacker’s ability. If you are going to keep your private information private, you should follow the tips listed above. The last thing you want is for a hacker to steal your social security number or gain access to your accounts.