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Privacy Simplified: How to Protect Your Personal Information Online

Created at January 13, 2023

Although the internet continues to get technologically safer, cyber criminals continue to get smarter. 

That’s why it’s important to take the necessary, yet simple steps, to protect yourself when using the internet. 

Whether it’s for personal or professional use, it’s incredibly important to practice proper security when spending time on the web. 

Start practicing these easy-to-use tips and feel safer in your daily digital life. 

Be careful what you share on social media

Although social media apps and sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all have privacy protections in place, there is always a level of accessibility when it comes to sharing on the internet.

Always double check photos you upload to ensure personal information isn’t visible in the fore or background. Never answer questions asked by strangers or acquaintances, even if they seem harmless. And always ensure to practice proper password protocols. Including numbers and symbols will make it harder for hackers to crack the code. 

Be careful what you click

An easy way to protect yourself online is to never trust a link you don’t recognize. 

Phishing attempts can be made through links in emails to retrieve financial or personal information. Once you click the link, you’ll be asked to verify your information and that’s when it’s stolen. 

Cyber criminals use links as a quick and sneaky way to introduce viruses and malware to your devices. Once the link is opened, your assets are attacked.

Remember, banks or financial institutions will never ask you to provide personal or financial information via email. 

Before clicking on links, hover your cursor over the link to view the destination or URL. If it isn’t one you recognize, stay away. 

Use a virtual private network

A virtual private network, or VPN, allows privacy and anonymity when surfing the web by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs also hide your IP address, so whatever you do online is untraceable. 

Using a VPN instead of a public network at a place like a library or coffee shop is important when hoping to protect yourself online. A VPN makes it significantly more difficult for criminals to access your privacy and information.

When talking about VPN options, there are free apps available for use; however, paying for a service will provide you with maximum security.

Install quality antivirus software

Finally, it’s always a smart and proactive idea to install antivirus software on all of your devices. 

The software can keep hackers from taking control of your computer, accessing your information, and even tracking your location. 

Antivirus programs run in the background, so you won’t even know it’s there while it’s protecting you and your device. The only maintenance the software requires is occasional updates released by the manufacturer, so it can continue running properly and successfully.

As technology continues to advance, we have to keep up. The more time we spend on the internet, the more vulnerable we are. 

Using the internet safely and securely protects you in your everyday life. Take the necessary steps to ensure you surf safely.

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