Protecting Your Privacy Online: Key Steps

In light of many big-name data breaches, everyone is looking for new ways to protect their privacy online. In the World Wide Web, there’s no such thing as being too secure.

Today, people are sharing all kinds of data and information on social media, cloud drives, and their own websites. This leaves them vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. In 2017 alone, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud. This is an all-time high, and the internet is to blame.

No matter how safe you think you are online, there are always more steps you can take to protect your own privacy and information. A case of identity fraud is not something you want to deal with, and many never recover from damage to their credit and their reputation. Just look at the many businesses that have fallen victim to these attacks. Today, they have to work extra hard to rebuild their customer’s trust. Don’t let yourself become another statistic. Here are the key steps for protecting your privacy online.

Monitor Yourself on Social Media

One of the ways people make themselves vulnerable to attacks is by being too open on social media. There’s nothing wrong with sharing photos or information about your life but know when you’re wandering into unsafe territory. For instance, one of the main reasons behind home break-ins is because people advertise they’re on vacation during a certain time frame.

Being too open on social media can get you in trouble in other ways, as well. Posting excessively about your pets, kids, or additional personal information can make your data vulnerable to attack. In general, it’s a good idea to be cautious with what you post online and who you’re sharing your information with. Review your privacy settings on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to ensure your data isn’t visible to everyone on the web.

Monitor Your Accounts and Profiles

While you should enable alerts about your credit score and your bank accounts, you should also take matters into your own hands. Check your credit report regularly and look out for any unusual activity. Your bank likely has an option for free transaction alerts, so you’ll always know if you’re the one actually making a purchase.

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In a perfect world, you’d never have to worry about your account information being compromised, but we know that’s not the case today. Your bank information can be accessed through data breaches and other things that are often out of your control. The best thing you can do is monitor your accounts and information for unusual changes. The sooner you’re able to intervene, the better chance of recovering your account.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Many platforms online are introducing multi-factor authentication. This means you no longer enter just a username and password to access your account. Many services are also requiring additional steps like a code number sent to your smartphone or a security question. You can enable these in other places for extra security.

Don’t compromise your security because it takes a few extra seconds of your time. These small steps go great lengths to deter hackers from accessing your data, and they’re easy to set up everywhere from your bank account to your email inbox.

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Website Security

More people than ever before have their own websites today. While this is a great way to build your online portfolio or even run a digital business, it also opens you to even more attacks online. You’ll need to work with your host to ensure your server is secure. You can take extra steps by installing an SSL certificate and adding security features to protect yourself and your customers.

Always save backups of your website to ensure you can easily restore it if things go wrong. Papertrail can accept logs from any Node.js app to keep track of your website logs automatically. Take advantage of any tools that make security easier on your end.

Taking the Right Precautions

You shouldn’t be afraid to be an active member of the internet community, but you should be proactive about staying safe. There are many ways for online criminals to access your information, so it’s up to you to keep yourself from being a target. There is no way to be completely safe in this digital landscape, and things are often out of your control. These tips above will still help you have an edge of defense against any unwanted attacks.

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