Are you fearful of the parasitic aliens who are trying to steal your information over the web? Phishing scams and hacker attacks are now extremely common.
An increased rise in easy access to internet and people sharing their vital information over the same has led to many incidents of identity theft. According to the study, close to 12.6 million Americans became victims of ID theft in 2012 alone.
Hence, it is best to get acquainted with some of the tips and tricks to protect your online data rather than feeling sorry after becoming a victim. Some of the useful tips and tricks to protect your online data safe are the following ones.
Refrain from using free Wi-Fi Connections
Free Wi-Fi connections may seem to be very lucrative and for business travelers, it is a boon, but it is best to refrain from using such connections to protect your online data. Such connections are nothing less than goldmines for data thieves. Whenever, you get connected to the internet using a free Wi-Fi connection, anyone who is present on that network will become eligible to view your data!
A Firefox extension Firesheep has further made the things easier for such people which put your online data at severe risk. At best, what you can do while using such free Wi-Fi connection is reading news, listening to music or playing games which do not have any kind of login requirement. Even if you felt opening or sending an email is extremely urgent, make sure to use an SSL/TSL. Also, check whether your login website is starting with ‘https’ or not. There is also a padlock symbol to indicate the secure channel is functioning as it is intended.
Configure your web browser properly
There are multiple ways by which hackers can attack your browser. Of the many ways, the scariest is undoubtedly the one in which malicious code gets downloaded automatically whenever you visit a website which is uncompromised. However, by the use of sandboxing, a full proof protection can be sought against any such attack. At present, only Google Chrome ensures sandboxing which adds an extra layer of security to the browser against malicious websites. There are also many free security suites containing the feature of sandboxing that can be downloaded from trusted sources to stay safe.
Keep an alternate e-mail address
Create an alternate email address if you frequently post your comments or views to newsgroups, chat rooms, etc. The best practice is to use one of your email id solely for interacting with friends or your employer. This is essential because if your email id is visible in a public place, it can be quickly used by spammers without your knowledge and you may suddenly get flooded with emails that will compel you to delete your account altogether.
Don’t reveal personal information
Today, excessive use of social networking sites has prompted users to share personal information with online friends. However, it is highly advisable to keep the social media profile sealed and to have the settings to strictest privacy. Information should be shared only with trusted friends and this also never includes sharing information like personal phone number, credit card number, address, etc. online with them. Making a telephonic call to share such kind of information is the recommended way to be safe from hackers.
Avoid sending personal emails while at work
According to a study, employers are increasingly monitoring the usage of internet and emails of 14 million employees. Yes, it is true that nowadays employers monitor the internet usage of their employees at work and hence, it is wise to avoid sending any kind of personal email containing any vital information like credit card number or banking password while at the workplace. The security of your online data can become seriously compromised if personal emails are sent while at work.
Treat your phone like a PC
As number of mobile users is now rising who access the web via their smartphones or iPhones, it is good to treat your phone like a PC to ensure the safety of your online data. There are now pattern lock applications available that can be downloaded from the Apple store or the Google Play store. One such app is Leo Privacy Guard 3.0 which runs both on Android smartphones and iOS devices perfectly and allows users to store their vital personal information in a safe box inside their device as well as importing their images or video clips to private albums that cannot be accessed by any other person.
Lastly, picking up strong passwords is highly recommended to all internet users. If possible, stick to multi-stage authentication process while setting up an account. Many people are now also opting for storing their vital data on a cloud for ease in accessibility from anywhere and to ensure its privacy in the best possible manner.
The author is a writer with remarkable expertise in writing on topics related to internet security and online data privacy. He is a freelance mobile application developer with creative blend.