Have you ever thought how do online frauds happen? You might have heard about extortion, fraud, bank details getting hacked by some hackers or even an online community, being highlighted in the news.
Have you ever worried about yourself, or clearly, your online privacy? I guess most of you don’t. Most of us think like “Why will the hackers bother me? I am not a celebrity or a public figure. “, but my friend, you are totally WRONG here. Hackers can be target specific or general as well, so YOU might be the next target if you don’t care about it.
In this post, you will learn about how to ensure your online privacy by just taking care of a few simple and easy things in mind. So stay in and read the post till the end.
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Software
Most of you might have heard about it, right? Well, if you don’t, it’s really easy to know how it actually works.
A VPN connection helps to override location based restrictions by assigning your device a temporary IP Address of where the VPN server is actually located. All details in it are highly encrypted and is almost impossible to crack down to get your private information (A large group of hackers might be able to do that, but it’s simply not worth the effort). This acts as a tunnel to the destination of the service you are expecting from the internet.
A VPN functions somewhat like the figure shown. In a regular connection, your data packets (that you send or receive during an online transaction or any other important online task) are exposed, and can be intercepted with a little effort by the hackers. This is also the way your ISP (Internet Service Provider) tracks your online activity, even when you go private or incognito!
By using a VPN you are encrypting all that data packets through a secured tunnel that opens up only at its destination. Isn’t that cool?
So there are some places where using a VPN software is highly recommended:
- When you check-in in your hotel rooms and use the hotel’s Wi-Fi service.
- When you are about to initiate an online transaction.
- When you are using some other person’s mobile hotspot for online activities. (Do NOT trust anyone except your family members)
Some famous VPN Softwares are
- Express VPN
- Windscribe (Free version available and Recommended by our Editors)
- IPVanish VPN
Check for a “green padlock” or a “secure tag” on the address bar of your web browser
Have you ever noticed a green padlock or a secure tag whenever you enter a trusted site which may include, but not limited to your social media accounts, e-banking websites, electronic mail services (e-mail), etc? That green padlock, though appears just as a symbol, has a lot to say about the website(s) you are visiting or about to visit. This may be just as a secure tag (mostly used by Google Chrome) or a padlock symbol with or without a name written on it. The padlock appears on the left side of the URL address of the address bar as you may see on our site. (Our site is secure to visit indeed!). We have made a separate post if you want to know about it in detail. The padlock is actually a certificate accredited by an International Internet Security Authority (Like Let’s Encrypt, Comodo, DigiCert, etc) to verify information safety on a particular website. Only the websites which undergo a rigorous verification by these authorities are accredited by the green padlock, which has to be renewed after a certain time. To verify the credibility of a website be it an online transaction site or your social media account pop-up requesting your username and password, you should always check for this lock before you login. Furthermore, you should also check for site’s primary domain (example.com or example.net or example.edu, etc) written beside it. Doing this, you can double check the site’s credibility and on the same time, ensure your online privacy. This will also eliminate any possibilities of getting into phishing pages, which eventually ends up your account getting hacked!
In short, the green lock simply means that any personal information you share with the website is end-to-end encrypted using a modern cipher suite and cannot be even read by the website owner.
Always download apps from the Apple App Store (in case you own an iPhone or a Macintosh Computer) or Google Play Store (in case you own an Android) or related trusted services.
As stated above, one should always try to download apps from the device’s trusted services. It is due to the fact that many hackers are able to modify the installation file of the software and can inject malicious codes which can bring havocs in your device (which include, but not limited to stealing sensitive information, causing your device to overheat or just causing too much ads popping up on your device), which can be annoying for a user.
In case you need an app from outside, or it’s simply not available in the trusted services, always scan the device with an anti-malware software to ensure device safety.
Check for permissions when an app tries to run
This is mostly required when you install an application from outside the trusted services, as stated above. When an installed application is run for the first time, it asks for certain permissions regarding access to certain components of your device, as stated in the picture on the right. You must keep aware of what permission each of your app (which you installed from outside) requires to run. Well, for example, a calculator would never require to access your webcam, right? Similar to the condition previously stated, you should never allow a permission for an app which it is not meant to use. This simply means a hacker has modified the file and want to mess up with permissions to access your private data, which may be location, your front camera, your contacts, your documents or anything, which could be misused in any way. Keeping these small things in mind can prevent you from a possible chaos.
The above stated points are just some things you can bring up into practice to prevent any malicious activity on your device and keeping your digital life private and sufficiently secured. Hope you liked the post and hope it taught you something new. If you think you know even more ways to do so, please help us improve ourselves by commenting down below and do share this post to your buddies so that they can get to know about this too.
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