Concerned about digital privacy? Here are 4 tips for being safer online
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Image Credit: Waqas Ansari

Image Credit: Waqas Ansari

You are your own first line of defense against hackers

There are many steps that can be taken for being more digitally secure. The basics include advice like not visiting suspicious websites and using more complex passwords with eight or more characters. These can help and you will be protect you from plenty of cyber threats.

Although these are good steps, there’s a lot more to cyber security than just that. A new Pew Research Centre report outlines some major misconceptions held by Americans about online security. Let’s take a look at a couple of their findings and see how we can improve our security online.

1.My password is more than enough to keep me protected

While using strong passwords is critical for the security of online accounts, security experts also advise using two-factor authentication as it provides an additional layer of security. This means creating a second step for logging in – such as answering a security question or entering a security code sent to your phone – to sign into your accounts.

According to the study, only 10% of adults could identify one example of this security process.

2.Browsing in private (Incognito) mode is always private

Private browsing only prevents the web browser – such as Safari, Chrome or Firefox – from logging data about your online activities. However, it will not prevent broadband companies or your employer from tracking and monitoring your activity on the internet. Around 39% of people knew that the internet service providers could see you even when you browse in private mode, but now the mystery has gone way too far. The bill in the Congress has been approved that would let ISPs sell your web browsing history to anyone setting the maximum bid.

3.Emails are private and secure

Approximately 50% of people knew that emails aren’t always encrypted. What is encryption, though? Well, it is a means through which data is transformed into an unreadable form to prevent it from being intercepted. Sure, some email providers options for encrypting your emails, however, this practice isn’t yet universal or end-to-end in all cases.

You should consider switching to email providers that encrypt your emails by default if you are concerned about the security of the data being exchanged.

4.No one can track me if I disable my GPS

Almost 50% of people were either unsure or didn’t know whether turning off their phone’s GPS prevents all kinds of online tracking. For instance, one way for your data to be collected is your smartphone’s built-in location service.

Furthermore, when you connect to technologies like Wi-Fi networks and cell towers, you send out a pin that allows for tracking.

These tips are just a few of the basics. In general, taking a breath and thinking before you click on a link or attachment can mean the difference in deciding whether you will be compromised. A big step towards averting the dangers lurking in the online world is to educate yourself and this article will take you one step further in that direction.

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Anas Baig

About Anas Baig


Anas Baig is a security journalist who covers cyber security & tech news. A computer science graduate specializing in internet security, science and technology. He is a security professional and a writer with a passion for robots, IoT devices, and cars.

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