Since the emergence of the COVID 19 pandemic, most businesses and individuals have embraced remote working. However, with more people working from home, the issue of online privacy has taken precedence. Now more than ever, everyone is concerned about their privacy on online platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook. In this article, we explore solutions to improve your online privacy.
What is Online Privacy?
Online privacy is the level of protection internet users have against cyber threats. It covers the online security of communication and the personal and financial data of an individual. To achieve online privacy, you must limit access to authorized persons only.
Online Privacy Risks
Many risks threaten your online privacy, and the more you rely on the internet, the higher the chances of exposing yourself to these threats. Below are some of the most common risks.
- Data Breach
Data breaches occur when cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to your sensitive information. They could then steal or leak data like your credit card, banking, and medical records. Such a threat is serious since the hackers might use your information to commit criminal activities that may leave you at odds with the law.
Ransomware is a type of malware used for cyber extortion. Cybercriminals infect your device with this malware and restrict access to it until you pay a certain amount of money. These attacks are severe since they can cripple all operations.
- Online Tracking
Almost all websites use tracking technology to monitor and spy on visitors to their sites. This technology gathers in-depth information about you, your preferences, and your online behavior. The sites might then use your data for targeted adverts, cyber espionage, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying.
- Backdoor Listening
Backdoor listening software listens to your private conversations and chats. Recently speculations have emerged about social platforms, such as Whatsapp, spying on their users’ chats using such methods. Although cybersecurity researchers have not substantiated these claims, they still showcase the threat to our online privacy.
Best Tools to Guard Your Online Privacy
With threats looming everywhere on the internet, no one is safe. In the past few years alone, we have witnessed giant companies such as Yahoo and Facebook having their user data compromised by cybercriminals. It is due to this reason that you must protect yourself in every way possible. There are two major ways of enforcing online privacy.
- Protective Software
Various protective Software help counter the threats on your devices—examples of such Software include.
- VPNs (Virtual Private Networks)
A VPN extends the security of private networks across public networks like the internet while allowing secure remote access to shared resources. It works by creating an encrypted tunnel between two network endpoints and safely moves data through the tunnel. This allows safe reception and transmission of data across a public network.
A VPN enforces your online privacy by hiding your IP address and encrypting your data. Doing this prevents anyone from knowing your location and online activities, therefore keeping you safe from any online threat.
Using a VPN for online privacy is one of the most effective methods to keep your data safe. With most people working from home, a VPN is the perfect option for businesses as it allows employees to access their work networks freely and safely.
- Private Messaging Tools
Private messaging tools are the best option for those who wish to safeguard their online charts. They facilitate secure messaging and the exchange of classified information. Like other apps, they operate on the internet by sending and receiving messages. What sets them apart is that they employ encryption to safeguard your privacy.
- Browser plug-ins
Browser plug-ins operate by blocking cookies and trackers that gather your online information. For people who dislike targeted advertisements, this is the best option. They come highly recommended since they prevent advertisers and websites from collecting your browsing information.
- Protective Accessories
Another method of enforcing your online privacy is by making use of protective accessories. Examples of such devices are:
- Webcam covers
Recently, there have been reports of online applications and sites that use the webcam to spy on users. To curb such threats, you need a webcam cover. Webcam covers protect you against such surveillance by blocking the camera. This action prevents taking unauthorized photos and videos that criminals could use for cyberbullying or extortion.
- Screen covers
Some online mobile applications come with in-built fingerprint and retina scanners. Such apps could easily compromise an unknowing user. For this reason, screen covers are a must-have, especially if you visit untrustworthy sites or applications.
By blocking the camera and screen, these covers prevent any instance of retina fingerprint scanning, therefore, keeping you safe at all times.
With the internet saturated with people and applications, it gets increasingly hard to remain secretive. However, online privacy is a must, especially if you value your safety. For maximum security, you must employ all of the tips above. That way, even if one security measure fails, you still stand protected.