You might think that you’re playing it safe on the internet, but sadly you’re mistaken. The internet today is much more dangerous and poses countless threats from gaining your personal information to stealing your money using your financial details.
Given these countless dangers present in the digital world, many users tend to make small mistakes that could lead to serious problems. In this article, I am going to outline 7 common mistakes that can damage your online privacy. So, let’s get started!
1. Always Using a Credit Card for Online Payments
Why use a credit card for all your online activities and put your money at risk? Hackers can get hold of your financial information and use it for their own advantage. It is so much more sensible to move towards online payment merchants and prepaid cards like Amazon card or Apple Pay.
Limiting the use of credit card makes it less likely for a user to face a big financial loss. Furthermore, these services are often traceable or require certain information that only the original owner may have.
Making payments using these methods can secure you from criminals getting your information. Today luckily, many services are present that offer encryption options and high level of security, such as PayPal and Google Wallet. They not only allow you to make payments locally but work in a vast range of countries.
2. Not using a Password manager
It is highly recommended that all your accounts should have different passwords, because if one is leaked, you are doomed. Owing to the fact that today, we have countless accounts on social media sites and other utility services. This means you’ll have to memorize a dozen or two passwords.
Fortunately, when mankind can reach to the moon, handling passwords isn’t definitely not rocket science. This is where the use of a password manager comes in.
Just create one strong password for your password manager and rest assured your accounts are safe. There are many applications available in the industry now, however, make sure you use a highly recommended and credible application that offers encryption and has features such as self-destruct.
3. Not Using a VPN
A virtual private network is of utmost importance when it comes to protecting yourself online. It encrypts your data, meaning it will be unreadable to any third party. It also masks your location, making it impossible for intruders and surveillance agencies to locate you.
What’s more? With a VPN you can unlock content that is region restricted. The best part is that you could be sitting in the Netherlands and your IP will show that you’re in the United States. However, only the best VPNs can be trusted and actually work.
Make sure to select a VPN that offers wide range of servers, offers apps, and provides AES-256 bit encryption.
4. Connecting to Public Wi-Fi without Security
Public Wi-Fi is like a free cookie! In fact, a free Wi-Fi is actually more important than the food or coffee at a café. But these public Wi-Fi are dungeons for cyber criminals and hackers trying to get lucky.
The best way to protect yourself in such a situation or while travelling abroad is the use of a credible VPN service. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it protects it from the prying eyes of hackers and others alike.
5. Downloading Unreliable Browser Extensions
When you want a particular utility, let’s say an instant PDF converter, you’ll download any extension or software that comes first to you. This is exactly what cyber criminals want you to do. These extensions often contain malware and ransomware. They often steal your credit card information by offering you a free trial or collect the credentials of your social media platforms.
This is why you need to be very careful when downloading extensions on the internet, as they may be a source of malware.
6. Not using a Double Password Verification System
Creating a two-step verification system furthermore protects you, even if your password is extremely hard to guess. A second layer of security is always a good idea and will only protect you.
Even if your password is leaked, the two factor authentication will make sure that no one can access your data unless you verify from both sides.
7. You’re Using Outdated Security Tools
As security threats are being created at an unstoppable rate, the security companies too have to work tirelessly to combat these viruses. It is advisable to update your anti-virus software and other security tools regularly. Keep scans and updates on the auto mode if the software allows so.
The digital platform is the criminal’s new avenue, as all things are taking place online, so is robbery and crime. It is very difficult to catch criminals in the online world, as all data is encrypted and masking yourself is not a difficult task.
Therefore, it is advisable to take security measures on your own and to do them correctly. It is inevitable to avoid the internet and you wouldn’t want to do that either. So take some solid steps and enjoy online freedom the way it was meant to be.