Over the last few decades, the Internet has become a vital part of our everyday life. There are lots of kids born recently that don’t know the world without the Internet. Wits its easy access to the latest news, entertainment, immense shopping and communication possibilities makes it one of the greatest inventions of all time. However, it is poisoned with various hidden menaces that affect your daily routine even though you won’t see any evidence of it from the first sight.
You can’t avoid taking decent precautions to get rid of the dangerous consequences of your online behavior, which mainly includes sharing personal information or financial details. With our easy 5-point guide you will be able to stay away from cybercriminals, looking for a weak spot in your data protection system.
1. Non-controlled data sharing
Even though most of us tend to think that the only breach we might have in our personal online life is by using social networks only. When it’s definitely one of the main starting points of a potential data loss there are various ways available for data criminals to start from. You might leave some of your personal information by filling online and subscription forms or by breaking into accounts, containing sensitive data. There are lots of public records available, that gather all the information about a person over the Internet in one place, creating a so-called “person’s account” that matches almost anyone pretty well. As you can see, this doesn’t involve using info from your social media profile.
Most of that kind of information is treated this way because no one really reads third parties agreements when installing or clicking on anything on the Internet, especially when it comes to our privacy. Since the data is allowed to be collected, there’s no way to stop spammers, hackers and other fraudulent people from using your information against your will.
Because of that, make sure to check what is available about you online in major search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. A quick search might reveal an unpleasant truth about your digital footprint, thus we highly recommend to start an opt-out campaign right away. Such tools as Nuwber, Beenverified, and Truthfinder allow you to completely wipe yourself off from multiple databases, containing your credit card history, phone number or even address.
2. Keeping your passwords in one unprotected place
With the enormous development in the Internet niche, we may see the increased number of accounts people have created and use to this day. Interestingly enough, almost ⅓ of respondents stated that they have no idea how many online accounts exactly they have that require password usage.
Most of the people still prefer to store the list of the passwords inside their personal browser. Such modern-day browsers like Google Chrome encourage the usage of automatically generated passwords by saving them into the passwords lists once created. Even though this is a highly practical feature, once your device hacked or simply stolen, the criminals gain access to your private information in just a few clicks.
One of the most trustful ways to avoid passing all the data without any resistance, we suggest you use such reliable apps as Dashlane or Keychain (on Mac) that safely store your passwords away from the browser which saves you from the hassle of breaking inside your browser’s history. Even though this is not a 100 percent working method, this is a way better alternative to keeping passwords in your browser.
3. Downloading anything for free
Mobile apps are designed to help to create a better environment for our daily routines such as sport, finding the right information, maps, cooking apps and so on. However, you’re taking the risk of losing your personal data when uploading an app from unsecured sources like popular online forums or websites.
When setting up a new app always pay attention to what permissions you grant to the app and whether you want to share anything at all. Stick to the trusted stores like Google Play or AppStore and you will be safe and sound with risks kept to the minimum.
4. Insecure purchases
The growth of online shopping popularity has led to the emergence of such online-retail giants such as Amazon and eBay. Even though they have quite an opposite business models, they all rely on digital payment systems mostly which practically led to the decline of many old-school stores. As its popularity grew over time, cybercriminals started to pay more attention to that aspect of e-commerce as well. Nowadays threats include credit card frauds, stealing credit card details from the fake websites and online forms, unauthorized tracking attempts and so on. To avoid that, try using the most reputable websites in the niche you’re looking for and use HTTPS over older HTTP ones as they provide a greater level of protection.
5. Using public Wi-Fi
Avoid using public Wi-Fi at all costs, especially in such places as major international airports, train stations or popular tourist spots. Most of such networks are not protected by any means and easily hacked which allows criminals to track what you do there. If there are no other alternatives, try going with such an option as VPN or Virtual Private Network connection that will hide your real data and moreover, avoid visiting log in pages demanding your phone number or email.