How can you keep your information safe? When you’re shopping with companies, choosing one that pays attention to your privacy is important. For example, companies that use zero trust security instead of perimeter-based based security are less likely to compromise your data, or you can make online purchases using PayPal so your payment information is hidden.
Choosing who you shop with wisely is important, but your privacy isn’t just in the hands of other companies. There is technology you can use at home and on the go that can keep your private information safe too.
Use a VPN
One of the best things you can do to keep your information safe is to use a virtual private network (VPN). Originally created to help business networks stay connected between the office and home, today it is used because it can encrypt private data too. It disguises your IP address and can protect you from external attacks.
You can use it at home to stay safe, but it is an especially good idea to use it when you’re on the go. You’re more susceptible to attacks and malicious behavior when you’re working at the local coffee shop, for example, than when you’re surfing the internet on your couch at home.
Getting a VPN is easy. There’s no hardware to buy. Instead, you can download an app that works with your particular device. Most offer a free trial, and most also offer affordable monthly payments for personal use.
Who is watching while you browse the internet? Everyone is! Companies like Google and Facebook collect your data and sell it to advertisers, while other webpages and phone apps keep track of places you have been so they can provide you with relevant advertisements. That’s a lot of your data out there just to try to sell you something. What if it gets into the wrong hands?
Browsing in an incognito window is a good first step, but if you really want to take privacy to a new level, try an app like Disconnect. It blocks thousands of trackers from collecting your information while you’re using the same internet browsers and devices you’re already using. A premium option can even show you which sites would be tracking you if you weren’t using the software.
Secure Cell Phone
A lot of our time is spent on a cellphone. It’s convenient to have such a powerful device in our pockets, but it’s dangerous to your privacy. From texts to emails and even your contact list, it can all be obtained by the right hacker, company, or even government.
Instead of trying to secure everything separately, try a different kind of cell phone. Blackphone can secure voice calls, video chats, texts, and file transfers, in addition to offering built-in anonymous web browsing.
Take Control of Your Passwords
If you’re looking for something a little easier, start with something simple like your passwords. Most people already know that each password should be unique and that it should include numbers and symbols, but most people don’t follow this advice. That’s because remembering that many passwords is a nightmare!
Instead, download a password manager. It encrypts your information and stores it until it’s needed. Then, it enables you to log in automatically the next time you visit a site. Not only does it prevent you from having to remember all your passwords, but because you don’t have to remember them, you will be encouraged to choose passwords that are harder for others to guess.
Password managers aren’t your only option. The tech industry sees passwords disappearing sooner rather than later, and many companies already offer different log-in options like:
- Fingerprint readers
- Facial recognition
- Behavioral recognition
Easy Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication can take your security to an even higher level. Whenever you can, activate this option. The next time you log in, you will not only need your password, but a code will also be sent to your cellphone or email account that must be entered in order to finish the log in process.
If you’re tired of entering codes all the time, consider a USB stick that can move you past the authentication process automatically. For example, YubiKey makes sticks that work for computers, as well as other devices, like cell phones.
Don’t assume others have your best interests at heart when it comes to the security of your information. Take control with the ideas on this list to keep your browsing history, payment information, and more safe from prying eyes.