Cyber attacks are a common occurrence. Virtual fraudsters keep changing tactics and launching new forms of attacks. Apart from targeting major companies and organizations, fraudsters also hack into personal emails, sometimes with the intention of getting PINS and passwords that can be used to access credit cards and bank accounts.
It is, therefore, important to take measures to protect your privacy when you are online. The following precautions will keep you safe:
1. Different email addresses
Have at least three emails; one for social media, one for personal matters such as communicating with friends and family and another one for managing subscriptions such as to newsletters. A good choice is Google which makes it possible for you to link different Gmail accounts in a browser.
2. Don’t be too trusting
Stay on guard against online gimmicks. Beware of scam emails such as those telling you that you have won a lottery prize or that you have been sent money and your details are needed to send it to you. These are attempts at phishing to get your details. You will also see phishing attempts on social media such as posts on your Facebook wall. Delete and block such emails and postings.
3. Use Tor or go incognito
Many people don’t know that online ad networks can track users every move on the net, whether or not they are logged into a specific site. One way to prevent surveillance is by using the Incognito Mode on the Chrome browser. Installing Ghostery in Safari, Firefox, Opera or Chrome will also make you anonymous as can using Tor or similar options to anonymize your IP address by default.
4. Remember that there are no secrets online
Don’t write an email or type a question on Google that you’d like to keep secret. Everything online can be discovered. Sensor yourself and limit the information that email service providers can use or the information that sites can sell to advertisers.
You can still search for the information you want by putting in a call to your doctor or another expert. You can also use tools that don’t collect data on you like the DuckDuck.Go search engine. There are also email providers such as Protonnail that don’t ask for your personal information so that you can sign up. They protect your information by encrypting emails until they go into the recipient’s inbox.
5. Choose the brands you interact with
Personal data is important to brands so they are always trying to access it. Always ask why you are being asked for personal information before you give it. Location data can also be used to target you with specific ads and the same can be used to identify you. It is best to switch location data on and off or leaving it off permanently.
It is also recommended that you block third-party cookies on your browser so that you remain anonymous. Ad blockers will ensure advertisers don’t take advantage of your data or annoy you with ads.