Most people picture hackers as a group of brilliant computer programmers turned rogue. While this is sometimes the case, It’s still an exception and not the rule. Frequently, cybercriminals take advantage of individual users’ lax security practices to gain access to accounts and personal data details.
They swipe unlocked phones and devices, guess simple passwords, and use other essential techniques. Your data is valuable and not just to criminals, but to advertisers, internet service providers, governments, and other groups. So it is critical to your privacy and security that you safeguard your data.
Why Do People Want My Data?
Data is the driving force of our evolving economy. New technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) revolve around harvesting mass amounts of data. Through massive data sets, researchers can make advancements in artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, smart power grids, and many innovations. Governments use data to track their citizens’ earnings, healthcare status, location, and monitor suspicious online activity.
Advertisers use it to create targeted advertisements based on your browsing and purchasing history. Finally, cybercriminals use data in a variety of ways. Sometimes, they simply gather it and sell it to the highest bidder. In other cases, they use data to steal identities.
Overall, even if you lead a “normal life,” there are many people interested in your personal data. It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you use a PC, Mac, or Linux, or your background. This is why there is a growing consensus that platforms like Facebook and Google should be paying users to harvest their data.
How You Can Protect Your Data
Fortunately, it’s not hard to protect yourself online from prying eyes. More and more people are beginning to realize the importance of controlling who has access to their data. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, along with the constant barrage of data breaches, individuals are now taking cybersecurity into their own hands. Here are a few easy and cost-effective steps you can take.
1. Secure Your Files with NordLocker
More people than ever are using cloud platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive. They are easy to use and allow you to access your files from anywhere. Hackers target these platforms because of the vast amount of data stored there. Moreover, many accounts are secured with simple passwords making them an excellent target.
With NordLocker, you can protect your files with robust AES-256 encryption technology. Encryption is easy, and within a few clicks, you can make your files virtually bulletproof. Best of all, you can take advantage of accessibility features, so you don’t have to sacrifice convenience for security.
2. Clear Your Cookies and Browsing History
Most people gravitate to major browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Edge. There are more secure options out there you should consider that are better for privacy. However, many people still prefer these browsers for their variety of features, including the amazing selection of apps and plugins.
Using incognito mode or private browsing is a good first step, but do know that this doesn’t mean you are truly browsing anonymously. Your devices will still track your personal data, and everything will always be visible to network administrators or ISPs. So be sure to clear your cookies and browsing history routinely. This not only will free up space on your hard drive, but also add to your safety.
3. Secure Your Network Connection with a VPN
One of the most common ways people track you is through your IP address. Your IP address leaves a footprint on every network you connect to and websites you visit. IP addresses also contain other important bits of information, including your location and service provider. This is why you may see advertisements like “find cheap houses in your location.” For your security and privacy, you need to conceal your IP address.
With a VPN or virtual private network, you both encrypt and anonymize your internet connection. This prevents anyone from tracking your internet usage, helping to keep you safe online.
4. Practice Digital Hygiene
When you walk around, you likely don’t show off huge amounts of money, go down sketchy looking streets, or deliberately seek out trouble. It’s just common sense. Digital hygiene is all about taking this same kind of skepticism and putting it toward the online world, which also contains many threats.
Begin by learning how to recognize threats such as phishing scams and suspicious-looking websites. From here, make sure you scan any files you download for malware. Restrict app permissions and data collection from different platforms. Finally, make sure everything is up to date with the latest security updates.
Safeguard Your Data is 4 Easy Steps
Every 39 seconds, hackers target a different business, government, or individual. However, hackers aren’t the only threat to your personal data privacy and security online. Whether it’s nosy coworkers, restrictive network admins, or other individuals, you need to safeguard your data.
Start by encrypting your files and internet connection with tools like NordLocker and a VPN. From here, keep your browsing history clean on all internet-connected apps. Finally, practice smart digital hygiene strategies to keep your safe overall online. With this combined approach, you’ll be able to prevent hacks and data breaches while still enjoying the best of the internet.