How to boost your online security and protect personal data

Email phishing, online data fraud, and identity theft – these are just some of the nightmares that come with regular internet usage, and being online these days. While these are just a part and parcel of everyday life, and there’s not much you can do about their existence – you can ensure you stay out of it. Well, it is best to stay safe than sorry – and the old adage “prevention is better than cure” holds true even in these times. Here are the top 5 things you can do that will ensure your online security is top-notch and your personal data is protected:

iphone security

1. Visit safe & secure websites

Visit only HTTPS secure website. Websites that look fishy and inappropriate must not be visited – have some firewall that does not let you visit bad websites or ones with expired certificates that can make you more prone to attacks. If you are using gaming websites for entertainment from your couch or your car, you must ensure you’re on good websites like spin princess casino that not only allow you to have fun but also ensure your personal information is protected and not open to malicious sites and dangerous hackers.

1. Subscribe on a VPN and use it:

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) masks your identity online and lets you use another IP address as your own – so that your own ID address is not revealed. Now, it creates a secure tunnel between yourself and the websites you’re visiting so that even your internet providers cannot snoop around on what you are doing. If you’re ever connected to a public network, your data is open to anyone on that network. If you use a VPN, you become the one in charge of your personal data and ensure that no confidential information is getting out to any of the authorities or hackers on the internet. All data exchanged is encrypted – so that’s how your online security is boosted, and personal data protected.

2. Have two-factor authentication switched:

Most social media platforms and profiles that you have allow users to have two-factor authentication now for logging in. If you’re logging in just with user ID and password, you run the risk of compromising your private confidential data. It must sure feel like a nightmare when you’re doing it but saving a couple of seconds, at the most, three seconds is not a lot when you have greater stakeholders. Enable two-factor authentication which will send an OTP to your private device, and in this way, it adds another protective layer of security. Whether you are using Dropbox, Gmail or Evernote, there’s two-factor authentication available for all – and, all social media accounts, Facebook, Instagram allow it as well.

3. Use different email IDs:

Different email IDs are a good idea – they might look like a lot of effort, but once you have created the account, it is no hassle at all. Having a single email ID for all purposes – official and unofficial – is not good, as it runs the risk of leaking your information. If you use different email IDs, it is important to note that it will be easier for you to find phishing email that sometimes lure you to open and share sensitive information. Block and avoid spam content whenever you can and don’t remain unlogged out of accounts.

4. Clear cache every once in a while:

Your browser’s cache knows a lot about you – a lot more than you can imagine. Your searches are saved, your caches are saved and your web history allows ads to pop up and guide your shopping choices. They can also go to the extent where your private information like address and family details gets revealed to snooping sources so you must ensure that you are clearing cache – the best method would be to clear your web history on a regular basis, so that no information gets left out or compromised to the wrong hands.

5. Switch off that auto save-password feature:

I know it makes life easier and it looks like it is saving you extra effort – but it is doing so, at a price, at a price that’s more than money and can lead up to huge disasters that you might not be able to contain in the future. So, stop trying to save those extra seconds and store your passwords in some other secure location – rather than your auto-save feature provided by your browser. Use a password manager as they are the best in maintaining passwords, and in this manner, it will also stay protected and all in one place. Hence, turn the feature on your browser off – because one day they might fall into the hands of some malicious software and you don’t know what you will lose.

Be a smart internet user and follow all these tips to keep your data & privacy safe online.

Ranbeer Maver is a Computer Science undergraduate. He's a geek who embraces any new consumer technology with inhuman enthusiasm.