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An Essential Guide on How to Keep Yourself Private Online in 2020

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Online Privacy has become a major concern for every security agency and the citizens ever since the big data leak has taken place. There have been several occasions when Online Privacy threat has become the most threatening security breaches. Though cyber security agencies are always working on it to reduce the number of cyber threats, it is still evidently threatening many parts of the world. Even just minute mistakes from us like clicking unsolicited files can leak your data in no time at all. So this is not only a threat to big agencies but at the same time, Online Privacy is more targeting regular citizens on the go. Here is a Comprehensive Guide to Online Privacy 2019 that you must follow to stop your data being leaked to different hackers. To make this easy for you to understand we have divided this guide into three following sections. 

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Biggest Threats to Your Online Privacy

Threats do not warn you before coming. But a little hint of awareness may help you a lot to prevent you from any type of security breaches. But there are many affected sites like Government Intelligence, Search Engines, malware as well as Cloud storage which makes it worrying for any person. Here are some of the tips to deal with Biggest Security Threats to Your Online Privacy.

GOVERNEMENT INTELLIGENCE

Securing Government Intelligence data is the most important job for anyone associated with it. The data has a 24X7 threat with it because of hackers everywhere. So following these tips will surely help you.

govt intelligence

1. Try to Encrypt Your Site. If you understand how encryption works, there is no better away from securing the files. It works with a unique algorithm key which makes sure that your info is safe and secure.

2. ​If you are using an encrypted number, make sure that it is both X*Y. The reason is if anyone of the numbers is disclosed, it becomes easy to trace the number.

3. Encrypted Data Can Have a Time Log. You can have a time log which allows you to decode the data automatically. This certainly helps government agencies to secure their messages and data.

4. Government Agencies attract more attention because of encrypted messages. But at the same time, it is more secure.

BROWSER AND WEBSITE DATA SHARING

A lot of information is being stored in the browsers without you even knowing about it. Yes, any web browser has all the records of what activity you are doing including the forms you are filling and the data you are sharing.

1. Make sure that you are not using fingerprints to any browser. Web browsers may collect your fingerprint for remembering you. Any decent site will not ask for this information from you.

2. Web browser can always remember a few things like your IP, your email account, your cookie settings, and your exact location. So make sure that you are not sharing them with any ethical website.

3. E-tags are always important to validate any type of cache. So if you are viewing any image, it gets registered in the web browser. But it may also be used to track you back.

4. Make sure that the site has an SSL certificate. It will be on display to the URL of the site which shows the HTML tag.

SEARCH ENGINES

If you search for a simple word on any of the search engine sites, it becomes easily available to them. In fact, it easily gets registered against your IP address which makes it a great threat to your data.

Search Engines

1. Search engines can easily Catch your IP address. Google uses mostly this information to send it to advertisers on the platform. Every time you open a website from the search engines, the browser gets your IP information.

2. Search engines can easily Record the time and date of the visit. It is called as time browsing and bounce rate. It can track your movements like how much you spend time on the internet.

3. Search terms. Any search engine is developed in such a way that it can analyze with your search terms. So the browser may know what you like to search and how many times you do so.

4. Cookie-ID. The cookie ID may be stored in a cookie which acts as a token of history for what you have searched. Search engines store this information to help you track related pages.

NON-SECURE WEBSITES

There are several sites present all over the internet which is just made to collect your data. Such sites mostly do not have any secure certificate and you can easily track them. Keep a safe distance away from such sites.

1. Look for HTTPS security in the sites. You can refer to the site by going to their URL. Check if it has an HTTPS tag which will make the site secure and safe to browse. The encryption code by the HTTPS sites is very secure.

2. Look for the Lock symbol on the URL. This means that the data stored in the site is fully secure and it cannot be breached through any type of malware. So it will be safe to use such sites with the help of this procedure.

3. Look for error messages. If your Chrome is updated, whenever you visit any unprofessional site, it will show you error messages. Immediately go back to safety to avoid any of your data to be leaked out.

4. Never put up any personal information. Even if you are browsing any non-secure website, make sure not to share any type of personal information with the site. Do not at all share the information like birthday, credit card or more.

MALWARE

The most suspicious object that can be anywhere near you is a malware. Yes, it is the biggest thing that scammers use mostly to extract information from your PC. It is also difficult to detect such malware.

malware

1. Use an Antivirus. Try to use a proper antivirus for your computer or laptop which you are using. Make sure that you are using the proper software to detect any type of malicious files in your PC.

2. Opt for Internet Security. A lot of top security companies provide internet security for users. This is because there are a lot of websites which may contain such hacking malware. Internet security detects such websites and does not allow your PC to open it.

3. Opt for Daily Scans. Opting for daily scans will mean that it can save your PC from being heavily affected. With the help of proper scanning software, you can detect the malware and protect your PC from them.

CLOUD STORAGE

We often use cloud storage to store our files which cannot be easily stored in the PC. Because of this, there are a lot of sites which offer free cloud storage options for you to secure your files. Well, they may be harmful to use.

cloud storage

1. Make sure that you have a Pass code. While you are storing any files with the help of the cloud, make sure that you are setting a password. This will help you to secure the storage files without being harmed.

2. Encrypt the files. Even if you are using a zipped file to store to the cloud, make sure that it is zipped by nature. This will mean that you can get proper security from any type of threats.

3. Ensure that the data is only private. Most of the cloud storage sites do offer services to third-party sites with your data. So it is mandatory to buy premium packages and ensure that your data is only private for you.

MOBILE DEVICES, FILE STORAGE, AND CORRESPONDENCE

We use such devices, fill up forms, and respond to text messages. But everything is being stored within such devices and also to the service providers. There are a few things that you can always keep in mind.

mobile device security

1. Encrypt Private Chats. You may be sharing some of the data to your family members. But make sure that the data is entirely encrypted to avoid threats from malicious files.

2. Mobile Banking. A lot of us use mobile banking for sending short payments. But most of us save passwords and enter the personal information for this. So make sure that the sites are free from any malware attacks.

3. Emails. Do not quickly respond to emails right at the time you see it. You can understand more about third-party services involved in the email. You can look for the path by simply clicking on the advanced option present on the email.

END OF PART ONE

Steps to Protect Your Online Privacy

Securing your online privacy is the most important thing that you need to look forward to if you are willing to opt for your online privacy. However, sometimes just because of silly reasons and minute mistakes, we may lose our privacy. You can keep these tips in mind if you wish to keep your data and personal information only with yourself.

1. Create Secure Passwords

Creating secure passwords is the most important thing that you can always follow up. Do not make the password easy and neither click on the auto-save option for any of the passwords you create. You can follow these steps below:

Do’s:

  1. Create a password with strong characters. Use a mixture of Upper case, lower Case, Special characters and numbers o combine to a password.
  2. Make sure that the password is not related to our birthday or your mobile number or even your name. Hackers try to use these combinations to get into any page.
  3. Try to make the password strong and long enough. A strong password always has at least 8 characters in it. So make sure that you use them if you wish to get the best results.

Don’ts:

  1. Never store your password in your PC. You may think of storing the password in case you forget it, but it will be a completely foolish thing to do. The password must never be anywhere except your memory.
  2. Never use the same passwords for Banking. If you are willing to use online banking, make sure that it has a different password than the ones you generally use.

2. Use Secure Payment Methods

The main reason why people mostly hack into your PC is to make money from you either by duplicating your card information or by authorizing a payment transaction from you. This is the reason why it is very important to secure payment methods. Here are the tips that you can follow.

  1. Make sure that you are using only authorized merchant sites. You can find out the list of the authorized merchant sites from your bank’s website. Do visit once to find out more information.
  2. Never save your card for future references. Though most of the websites use this to store your card information, it is never safe to store this information with websites. It can always be hacked.
  3. Do not use any type of banking services from cyber cafes. They may have on-screen monitoring software to record your activities along with hotkey tracking. So make sure that they are entirely secure.

3. Configure Your Browser

The browser contains all the information from where we spend most of the time, which passwords we use, our saved password and even our email access. Even if your browser is secure, your information may not be so secure.

  1. Regularly Clear your Cache and DNS. Make sure to regularly clear your cache and cookies because they are the small tokens of your history. This helps you a lot to protect your personal information like passwords.
  2. Never Save your Passwords. Every browser allows you to save the password for easy logins from the next attempts. Make sure to not save your passwords because anyone gaining access to your PC can easily gain access to these sites.
  3. Clear the Flash Cookies. These types of cookies are multimedia cookies which can help to recollect images or different objects. So make sure that you flash the cookies before you are using them

4. Change Your Search Engine

The search engine is the place where we search for different websites with the help of keywords. All this information is always kept with you are sending along to partner sites for better business. So beware of such threats and change the search engines. You can use these small tips to get better results.

  1. Don’t use the same search engine every time. Since they keep your data, it would be too risky to handover every information to them. So make sure that you keep changing and uninstalling the search engine randomly.
  2. Search for search engines which do not keep your history. There are some alternatives which do not keep your search records to give you suggestions or results. Such browsers are much safer to keep your data.

5. Protect Your Mobile Phone

We use mobile phone regular for playing games, browsing sites and doing several things. In fact, it is also important to protect your mobile phone from any type of threats. You can follow these tips to learn more.

  1. Use encryption for Messages. End-To-End encryption makes sure that your messages can only be opened with a password. This helps you a lot to secure your data and make sure that you can get the best results.
  2. Do not use Public Wi-Fi too much. A lot of areas around us have public Wi-Fi which we randomly use. They are much easier to hack and get your information. So make sure that you are not using such public Wi-Fi options.
  3. Don’t turn on the Hotspot. Hotspot sharing everywhere can be too dangerous for you. If you keep the hotspot open every time, it invites people to connect to your phone. The hackers can easily get more information about your location and different things.

6. Secure Your Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is very handy for most of us as it allows us to store the files in a bulk number to keep it safe from hacking. But sometimes, they may not be much secure for you to use. You must consider a few tips to make them secure.

  1. Make sure that the cloud account is protected by a password. Creating a secure password will always help you to protect the files at least for the first stage.
  2. Manually Encrypt the files which you are using. Even if the files are encrypted by the cloud service, make sure that you are manually encrypting the files.

7. Secure Your Email

Email threats are most common everywhere in the world. Just by clicking on any unwanted emails may lead up to a third party servicing getting into your PC. Several things come like invoices from third party sites or some passwords from different sites which you need to protect.

  1. Don’t Open Spam Messages. The Email AOI is created in such a way to filter out spam messages from your inbox. These are from untrusted sources which may harm your PC.
  2. Don’t Open any Unknown Links. You may receive money even in billions on your email. But believe me, these are all scams. Never open such links with such prize offers.
  3. Make sure that you Change Passwords. Changing passwords regularly is very important if you are willing to use the email service. It helps you keep your files in the email safe and secure.
  4. Always Sign Out. Make sure that you always sign out of your email account after the job is done. Never keep it open as it is or stored in the browser.

8. Invest in Anti-Malware and Firewall Software

The most important part of any PC is the Firewall. Most of the hackers attempt to crack the firewall of the PC which allows you to get more information from it easily. All that you need to do is to invest in such Anti-Malware and Firewall software to get better results. They not only help us to protect the encrypted and regular file in the PC but also keep it safe from any external threats. So make sure that you properly invest in such software and get your results. Purchasing proper and reliable services will give you several options to get the best results. It allows you to properly secure the browser and even confidential data in your PC.

9. Stay Informed on Social Media Privacy Policies and Settings

We daily use social media and networking sites to share what we eat, what we wear, where we shop and even when our birthday is. But little do we know who is keeping a close eye on our profile. There may be hackers everywhere around us. So it is very important to keep these tips in mind. 

  1. Keep an Eye on the Privacy Policy. There are a lot of sites which provide useful information to their partners. So it is very important to stay away from such social networking sites.
  2. Check the Settings and make sure that your email id and phone number is not on public display. Hackers may easily get involved with your account.
  3. Never Share any Personal Photos through social media sites. They may keep a record of all the activities you are doing and even all the pictures you are sharing.

10. Use Free Open Source Software

Several softwares are running in your PC or even on your mobile which allows you to download unsolicited files. This can cause more harm to your privacy more than anything. Using open source software may help you a lot.

FOSS helps you in maintaining your Privacy. This allows you to manually give access to a program before it can operate any function like downloading other software. It acts as a secret backdoor which means that you can completely rely on the software. In case of any breaches, the FOSS denies permission and keeps your data safe.

END OF PART TWO

Mixed Tricks for You to Stay Safe

Apart from just maintaining your online privacy, you can do several more things which will help you to protect your personal data being shared. Here are some of the tips which you can easily follow.

1. Password-Protect Your BIOS

BIOS are the main component of your PC on which the OS runs. We usually configure our BIOS to the Boot Menu of your PC to ensure that the PC runs safe and secure. You can go to the settings and manually ensure that the BIOS setup with a password. This will automatically ask you to enter the password every time you log in to the PC.

2. Use Linux Rather Than a Commercial OS

Linux is developed with encrypted security. This means that the only user who can operate the PC with Linux is OS. If you have any personal data on your PC and looking for security concerns, Linux is the ideal choice for you. Opt for Linux than any commercial OS around you.

3. Change DNS Servers and Secure Your DNS with DNSCrypt

DNS or domain name system is the core of any website to be developed. If you are using any online websites and it contains personal data, it is always important that you secure it. The DNS server registrant will have the information that you are holding. So make sure that you change the DNS server at times. Apart from this, you can also use DNSCrypt. It works like encryption that completely secures the name server for only you to access it.

4. Disable Flash

Flash Players work actively on developing a browser that allows you to watch videos instantly on a web page. But it also acts as cookies which remember your searches. So make sure that you do not run any type of permanent flash players on your PC. Just keep them disabled so that no video automatically plays on.

5. Avoid All Five Eyes-based Services

Almost everyone is aware of the FVEY services that work mainly through different parts of the world. It is an unethical spying alliance that does not follow any rules. There are many websites which use the FVEY services. So make sure that you avoid such sites and keep your data safe and secure.

6. Review Terms and Permissions while Installing Software or Apps

Make sure that before you grant permission to install any type of files to your PC or mobile phone, you are going through the terms and conditions. A lot of apps take access to your PC while performing a task. Make sure that they are safe to use and you are hiding all the personal information from such apps. So it is very important to review the terms and conditions of such sites.

END OF PART THREE

CONCLUSION

Online Privacy has become a major concern for everyone ever since the big data has been leaked. It is thus very important for everyone to follow the internet safety rules and abide by them. If you are browsing the internet casually, stop right now and make sure that you are following these rules and regulations. This will surely help you to stay safe and even protect your data being leaked or hacked at any time. If you follow these tips and tricks closely, you will never face any problems while browsing or safely viewing a web page. Hackers are everywhere around us and just a little bit of awareness can help us from being robbed.