Are you worried about digital privacy and searching for ways to hide digital footprints? Does digital privacy concern you as data breaches are increasing with time, and you find plenty of digital privacy frauds?
If so, you’re not alone in this! Many people are unaware of how their personal information is collected, shared and used in our digital society. Your personal data, including your email address, social security number, and phone number, are worth a lot of money to businesses. In this era of uncertainty and heightened risk, it is significant to plan your digital privacy strategy. Due to this, people regard digital privacy greatly.
Luckily, it’s possible to live a private online life and maintain your digital security. You can protect your online privacy by making small & painless steps like making little changes to your online accounts and devices. You might have heard about digital privacy more than ever, but what does it really mean? No worries. In this article, we will explore what digital privacy is and seven proven ways to protect your privacy in 2022. Let’s get started!
What is Privacy?
Privacy is a basic human right, essential to the protection of human dignity. Privacy enables us to protect ourselves from unwanted interferences in our lives, manipulations, and those who wish to exert control. Now, in this digital age, privacy is essential for the well-being of a free & just society. In a nutshell, it allows us to think freely and establish boundaries to limit who can access our things, places, information and communication.
But, what does privacy mean with the internet? Keep scrolling and read on to learn that.
What does Privacy mean, Digitally?
Digital privacy or internet privacy refers to protecting your personal, financial and browsing data while using the internet. It is a control of information about you or your business. Besides, it protects your online accounts, mobile devices, computers and internet-connected devices from intruders. Now, the need for digital privacy is more than ever because the number of data breaches has escalated ten times.
With the digital privacy definition, it is essential to explore the type of information that can be leaked, the threats to digital privacy and how you can keep your information private. Read on to find more.
The types of information
The type of information that companies can use and sell consists of data you share on online accounts or social media. It includes your email address, phone number, social security number, financial information, birthdate, business files, downloads, medical records, pictures, maps and search history.
Digital Privacy intends to protect your personal data shared online from malicious access. Anyone can track a computer’s IP address and monitor your actions. Digital mediums can leave digital footprints, and many don’t realize how this information can be used and stored. Before discussing the ways to protect yourself online, let’s take a look at threats to online privacy.
Threats to Digital Privacy
If you’re using the internet, your privacy is at risk due to browsing activities you might be unaware of. Here are some of the threats to digital privacy.
- Identity theft through Phishing, malware, farming & hacking attacks
- Cyber attacks
- Cookies Proliferation
- Cell phone GPS Functionality
- Mobile app permissions and privacy
How to Protect Digital privacy
Here comes the most awaited and significant part of the blog. If you’ve read it all, you have a better idea of digital privacy and its concerns. Now, the question is, how can I protect my privacy online? Below we’ve discussed the seven best digital privacy practices to adopt today. These effective ways will help you protect your financial & personal information and stay safe from data breaches
Be careful of what you share
First and foremost, look at your social media profiles and limit the information you share, regardless of what the site asks for. The more personal information you share online, the more people can scam you and get their hands on it.
Remember that less is more. Hackers use your digital footprints to track you. Therefore, be careful when sharing pictures, posts, or other personal information because oversharing on online platforms can be disastrous.
Cover your cameras
Cybercriminals can use your photos and videos through cameras for blackmailing. So, it is wise to cover your webcam and tablet’s cam with a seamless cover to reduce the risk of being recorded. You can also use coloured tape on your device’s camera instead of covers to prevent attackers from using your data.
Use a VPN
If you often work remotely and are fond of using public internet networks, you must use a VPN to protect your devices and data. Connecting your device to public networks and WIFI hotspots can leave your data vulnerable to cybercrime. Install a VPN extension on your browser or as an application on your mobile phone. Secure VPN encodes your browsing data and makes it unreadable to hackers.
Block online tracking with extensions
Google and Bing are the popular browsers that track a lot about you. Your browsers collect vast amounts of data about you by online tracking in the form of cookies. So, delete all the cookies and data from your activity dashboard regularly and switch to other secure search engines such as DuckDuckGo or incognito mode. Block the cookies with browser extensions such as AdBlock Plus and uBlock.These extensions will limit online tracking by a third party. It’ll shield your digital footprints and protect you from data breaches & identity theft.
Create Unique Passwords for each account – or use a Password Manager and enable Two-Factor Authentication
Unique passwords are a vital defense step in protecting your data online. Sometimes, it is the only protection against identity theft. Add strong and unique passwords with the combination of special characters to all of your devices and online accounts. Also, changing the passwords regularly and using different passwords for different accounts is highly recommended. Use the password manager to keep the passwords strong and secure for multiple accounts.
In addition, the most crucial step is to set up two-factor authentication in your login processes for every account. Two-factor authentication is another layer of protection for your online accounts and strong passwords.
Carefully review app privacy policies & app permissions
The other way of protecting your digital privacy that almost all the digital experts mentioned is to double-check app privacy policies and permissions. Carefully review whether it makes sense for an application to ask for specific permissions. If the app asks for access to data that is not relevant to its function, it’d be better off not accepting it as it is a warning sign.
Besides, notice your phone’s behavior and changings after installing the application. If the app is not behaving well and your battery time is decreasing, it means the app is running in the background, so delete it quickly. Furthermore, update privacy settings on social media profiles regularly.
Check data breach status
Last but not least, check out whether your information is exposed in data breaches or not. Hackers and cybercriminals may have leaked or used data from at least any of your accounts, which can lead to identity theft. Check your data breach status by searching for your email address on Have I Been Pwned. You’ll know if your email address or phone number is in the data breach.
Being online and using social media does not have to be scary, but internet privacy is critical in today’s modern age. You can be private in this online world & protect yourself or your business online by trying out these ways and using the tools.
Your digital privacy control starts with you, and you will have to take the steps and adopt healthy internet habits to protect yourself from data breaches and identity theft. With the guides from your digital self, you’ll learn how to surf online safely and protect your personal credentials.
Want to make your devices and digital identity more secure? Feel free to reach out to us. As digital security and privacy experts, we’ll provide you with the technical solutions to protect your digital identity and maintain digital excellence. Your digital self is committed to keeping you safe & secure and protecting your privacy.