The topic of data privacy has circled this week owning to the Tiwa Savage leak. In this 21st century where almost everything we do is easily accessible online to those prepared to look, data privacy has become key.
Some of our most-used apps and platforms have embarked on a mission to ensure more data privacy. Sadly, there is only so much these platforms can do when hackers make it their job to well…hack. It feels almost bleak but there are some easy options that we can all take to safeguard our privacy on the Internet.
Here are 7 common ways to ensure personal data privacy.
1. Use two-factor authentication.
This feature is common to most platforms as well as many smartphones nowadays. Securing your apps with a two-factor authentication protects your data and lessens the chances of hackers breaking and entering your email or social media platforms. With smartphones a simple pass code with an added biometric authentication protects your phone from easily being broken into. Even when it’s stolen.
2. Check for Green Padlocks in the search bar.
Green padlocks are great. They mean the site you are on is secure. Any other colour means there is an issue. Red, orange or yellow often than not mean the webaddress is not a safe one. Do well to disregard sites that do not have the green padlock. You could make your phone or PC easy access to information to not just hackers but malware and viruses.
3. Phishing alerts.
Do not take them for granted. When such alerts appear on your device of choice after opening a website please do well to heed them. Falling into not secure sites makes your data, at the worst, a target for hackers. At the most your device gets riddled with viruses.
4. Avoid sharing too much info with strangers (or new friends)
Social media is an amazing thing. It gives us the opportunity to stay in touch with a simple click while giving the benefit of inspiration and tracking business metrics in real time. But it can also be used against us. Oversharing details such as Identity or Credit Card details make us susceptible to Identity Theft. Worst case, you could get a stalker.
5. Always have alternative email addresses.
Yes, this helps a lot. Personal data is easily sold online. Email addresses, social media handles and sometimes even IDs are fair trade. Alternating between different email addresses lessens the chances of you being the subject of any of these online activities. Using one email may attract persons with malicious intent. Have a work email, a personal email and a dummy email for mailing strangers or signing up for newsletters or untrusted websites.
6. Try Tor, the secure Web browser.
We first got introduced to Tor some two years ago and it has been a Godsend. Tor is an online traffic router and encrypting browser which secures all your browsing history and activity. It is the ultimate browser to protect you against prying eyes and it’s absolutely free and available for both iOS and Android. You can download Tor here.
7. Use VPNs
After the crackdown on Twitter in Nigeria all Twitter users within the jurisdiction found themselves at a loss. After all, the micro-blogging site alternates as a source of income-generation for some users and influences. VPNs came in and did the trick. A VPN is a traffic encryption that disguises your Web data to avoid tracking and censorship. It can secure you from hackers as well as employers and even governments. Your activities are not easily monitored when you use a VPN. Download a VPN here today and secure your Internet surfing.