How must you protect your privacy online?
People need to think that joining such platforms as Facebook and any other social media platforms, and or any other platforms, you have to consider your privacy. Although these platforms offer privacy security options, that doesn’t mean you are already protected and are safe. It still boils down as to how much information you share on these platforms that are in turned published all over the Internet.
People forget that their posts on Facebook, Instagram or any other platforms, can directly be searched not just in these platforms but also through search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. These search engines do a good sweep of the whole internet and make these information, may it be posts or tweets, be available on their website.
First of all, these are the group of people who can see your information: from your Internet Service Provider, to Advertisers and Corporations (wonder how Ads are following you regardless of where you are on the Internet?), Your Employer (if you’re carelessly browsing non-business/work related stuff, it is the company’s right to check up on you), Governments (some governments are that advance that they keep tabs on their Citizens through the Internet), and lastly Cyber Criminals (these are the ones you want to make sure they don’t get to any of your information).
So, how does one protect their privacy online? I will not be specific to a platform you’re using but instead, I will give you general guidelines to protect yourself from identity theft, phishing, and etc.:
Assess your activities over the Internet
For example, do you find yourself randomly clicking on any Ads you see, just because you’re curious? Remember the proverb “Curiosity killed the Cat?” yes that applies to anyone using the Internet, with click-bait pictures or articles – articles that are meant to get you to click using headlines that might catch you offguard, that’s just one thing you need to avoid.
Be Careful what you share
Again, it’s always up to you how much you want to share over the Internet, oversharing, just like overeating is not good for anybody. Too much Information you share gets you more into the possibility of being hacked, especially by people who don’t have much to do with their time.
If shopping online, make sure the Website is Secure (HTTPS at the beginning of their URL).
If you love shopping online (who doesn’t?) Check to see if the site has HTTPS at the beginning of the URL, another simple way to tell is if you see a Green Padlock Icon beside the URL.
Do this before you give out any information, especially when you’re about to give your payment information, if not, then you’re definitely prone to credit card info theft.
Use a Strong Password for all of your logins
As a General Rule, I usually make my passwords 12 to 16 characters long, with numbers and letters mixed up with any Symbols, note that this depends on the website as to what they allow, but most websites now require you to have a password that’s 8 characters long and is alphanumeric with 1 symbol.
Use a VPN
A VPN is a simple software that you can run with just a click and it will automatically mask your IP Address, note that this is totally different from using TOR, a VPN lets you mask your actual IP address with an IP Address from a different Country, enabling you to access blocked websites but generally protects you by hiding your real IP Address.
There is so much more a person can do to protect his or her privacy online, but it all boils down to how much you share online. Again, too much information can get you into trouble, so limit what you share!
If you really want a better protection and want to experience a far more secured online expedition, then use internet platforms or browsers that are running on a decentralized system. Decentralized systems assure every user that there is no single centralized authority that makes decisions on behalf of all the parties. Decentralized Internet infrastructure like Decenternet can let you experience the privacy that social media platforms are neglecting everyone right now. Decenternet proliferates net neutrality, protects your privacy, and removes the influence of corrupt intermediaries without having to ask for permission from any central organization.