Taking advantage of numerous opportunities brought by the advancement of modern technologies, users often forget that every coin has two sides. The other side of the coin comes in the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to protect our privacy and keep information secure. While we enjoy the benefits of the lightning speed internet that lets us get in touch with people or buy things and use services of the companies who are half a world away, state-of-the-art technology is tracking our activities and collecting a heck of a lot of data about our lives.
Let’s face it, cyberspace is far from being a safe environment because it’s chock-full of scam artists that want your money, directly or indirectly. Your favorite app sells every piece of info it has managed to collect, condemning you to see infinite advertisements apparently in accordance with your interests and preferences. Of course, it’s annoying but not the end of the world. You can experience far more serious problems when your account has been hacked causing the leak of sensitive financial data, or email and message exchange.
That’s why it is of utmost importance not to take online safety lightly and make every effort to protect your privacy and keep all the info secure, and here are 6 ultimate ways to do it in 2021.
6 Ultimate Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy in 2021
1. Use VPN
Virtual private networks are nothing new and they have proved to be a highly effective weapon to protect your privacy on the internet. In addition to that, a VPN delivers a precious opportunity in this age to bypass omnipresent geo-restrictions and access websites you otherwise are not allowed to visit.
It is very important, however, to stick with renowned providers because the VPN market is loaded with “bad” guys that just want to sell your data (again!) to 3rd parties. If you wonder how to tell the good guys from bad ones, the answer is pretty simple – avoid free VPN services as you avoid everything that sounds too good to be true. A weekly free trial with limited options is okay but it’s naïve to expect quality and fair service on a permanent basis without paying for it. If you want to pay less for a quality VPN, you can do it in another, smarter way by using one of the coupons offered at https://www.swagbucks.com/shop/nordvpn-coupons and save up to 70% of the regular price. You will get top-notch service with high privacy protection and a wide range of extra features for less than $3.5 a month – we call it a bargain.
2. Stronger Password Is Key
We bet you use the same password for different accounts and you are not alone. Many people don’t bother to create a new pass every time they create a new account – indeed, who wants to remember that extensive list of complicated combinations of letters and numbers? Well, online security experts unanimously agree that a strong and unique password is a key element of your privacy protection and a kind of guarantee that your identity won’t be stolen. No worries, creating such a combination is not rocket science but you‘ll be sure that your bank account or account at an online shop is really secure. Let’s take a look at the four main characteristics of a strong password.
To start with, it should be unique. The worst thing you can do is to use the same combo both for your social media and bank account. Social media accounts are at a high risk of being cracked, so why expose your bank credentials and important financial details? Secondly, a good password is lengthy – 20 characters is awesome. The big idea behind this tip is very unpretentious, the longer the inscription, the more difficult it is to hack. The minimum requirement is 12 characters. Diversity is the third factor to consider, so make sure your password includes special symbols and capital letters. Finally, try not to create passwords that make sense, even though it might seem awesome. In terms of security, it is not because if your password makes perfect sense for you, it won’t be a tough nut for others.
3. Secure Your Home Network
Even though this one is a no-brainer, many users forget about the importance of keeping their home WiFi secured. Naturally, the first step towards ultimate protection is creating a strong password (see way #2). The second one is to ensure your network doesn’t show up on the list of available connections that can be seen by your neighbors and other people – piggybacking is not that rare. Last but not least, do not invite your guests to use your main network but set aside a couple of minutes to create for them special access.
4. Delete Apps You Don’t Really Need
As already mentioned, apps collect tons of info, especially when you give them access to many types of data. Be careful with the boxes you check when giving access and to be on the safe side, delete all the apps you use rarely or don’t use at all. If there is a need, you can always use them in a browser of your choice. For better privacy protection, keep the number of downloaded apps on your smartphone at a minimum.
5. Don’t Back Up Your Chats To The Cloud
The majority of apps protect conversations in chats by encryption but keep in mind that the moment you back your chats up to Google Drive or iCloud, the content is no longer encrypted. If you want to save some important conversations, use an external disk, not a cloud.
6. Turn Off Ad Personalization
To avoid encroaching tracking, make sure to go into the Settings menu and turn off ad personalization whenever it is possible. They also say it’s for a better user experience but in reality, it’s for collecting as much info about you as they can.
In this day and age, leaving your online security to chance can cost you dearly. It’s never late to enhance your privacy protection, taking advantage of these six ways. Use a VPN, create strong passwords, and be very careful and selective with apps.