How much time do you and your family spend on the Internet on a daily basis? If you are like many people out there, then you probably spend several hours a day online in some capacity. It might be when you are at work and doing research or sending emails, when you are playing games, checking out social media, watching movies and television, and more. Even smart televisions where you watch Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video count as being online.
Given the fact that you are spending so much time on the web, you should want to take some time to figure out some good and effective ways that you and protect the online privacy of you and your family. The following are some tips that you can use to help increase your online privacy and safety.
Consider What You Are Putting Out There
One of the first and most important things that you will need to think about when it comes to protecting your online privacy is how much information you are willingly putting out on the web. Take a moment to think about all of the photos that you have on social media, all of your posts, your check-ins to various locations, saved links on your social media pages, and more.
There is a very good chance that you are putting far more information out there than you realize, and it could even be enough information for people to piece together a very good portion of your life.
Always think about the information you are providing whether it is on social media or you are signing up for a service or product. Only provide information when it is going to benefit you substantially and when there are some provisions in place to keep that information safe and secure. Always take the time to consider the risks and the benefits when you are asked to provide any amount of information.
Consider Your Privacy Settings
Most people today are on social media. In fact, many people spend an inordinate amount of time on social media, and they do not always think about checking their privacy settings to make sure they are truly secure. You should take the time to go to all of the social media accounts that you use – currently and in the past – to make sure that you have your settings the way that you want them.
Ideally, they will be set to provide you with the maximum amount of protection. Keep in mind that you should do this whenever the company updates or changes their policies, just to make sure that everything is still in place.
Consider Who You Trust
Think about the various companies and individuals that you deal with on a regular basis and that you trust. Why do you trust them? Have they earned your trust? What about other new companies that you are considering using? How much do you trust them and their policies regarding your data and information? If a company is not being transparent with your data, and if they are not providing you with control over how the data is used, or at least knowledge of how the information is used, you should be careful about providing them access.
Get Antivirus Software
Today, cyber attacks and viruses are a genuine and almost constant threat. The best way to keep your tech and your personal information safe and sound is with a high-quality piece of antivirus software. In addition to having this program on your computer, you also need to make sure that you are installing all of the patches and updates. These ensure that it is ready to provide you with protection from all of the most recent threats that are out there.
Change Up Passwords Regularly
People use passwords for all of their accounts online, and it can often be difficult to keep track of them all. Many people make the mistake of choosing a single, easy to remember password and then using it for all of their sites. That is a problem, though, as they will be easier to crack, and once a thief has the password to one site, they will have them all. You want to make sure that you are changing up your passwords regularly, have different passwords for each account, and make them hard to crack.
Beware Your Email
Email phishing scams are still prevalent, unfortunately, and the scammers are getting better at making themselves look like legitimate email.
With this type of scam, a company might contact you through email asking for some of your personal information to take care of some important matter with your account. They might even provide you with a link that you can click so you can sign into your account. However, this leads to a site that can track your keystrokes and steal your information.
Whenever you get an email, be wary about providing any personal information or clicking on any links. If there is a problem with one of your accounts, you will instead want to head directly to the company website in question and sign into your account through their main site. Then, you can check your account to see if there is a problem or not.
Consider a VPN
A VPN, or virtual private network, is another good option that you might want to consider as a way to help improve your safety and your privacy when you are online. It can mask your activities, and make it impossible for a hacker, thief, or prying eyes to learn about what you are going online, and that includes making it hard to find out your personal information.
Be Wary of the Technology You Use
If you are using old and out of date technology, and you do not have the proper safety precautions in place, whether it is hardware or software, you could be at risk. If there is a risk to your security, you would be better off just not using that piece of technology if you can help it. If you do need to use the tech, make sure that you are not broadcasting your personal information on it.
These are some of the best and simplest ways to help improve your online privacy and safety. Be sure to start using them if you do not already.