You are constantly at risk of individuals, data brokerage companies and governments targeting your online user data. Your online activity is being monitored more than you may realize, from passive, soft surveillance systems to widespread censorship measures in countries like China. In our guide to online privacy, we give you various tips on protecting your data as best as possible.
Comprehensive guide to data protection
#1 Use a password manager
Store your passwords securely with a password manager so you don’t have to remember them. Benefit from advantages such as quickly creating complex passwords and using a password generator for highly secure and unambiguous passwords.
Additionally, most password managers allow you to store credit card details and other important information. Data is always encrypted and secure; many offer two-factor authentication for greater security.
#2 Use a VPN
Using a VPN is highly recommended to ensure the security of your data and protect your privacy online. There are VPNs for Windows available from various developers, all of which promise guarantees. However, one of the few security-tested VPNs for Windows 10 free is VPN. This fast VPN for PCs offers over 2500 VPN servers and uses advanced connection protocols. You can download a VPN for PC with Windows or Mac and extensions for popular browsers. VeePN offers VPN apps for almost all platforms. The VPN provides end-to-end encryption to protect the privacy of your data and prevent unwanted surveillance. It also hides your actual IP address from the websites you visit.
#3 Don’t use public computers
The use of publicly accessible computers and Wi-Fi involves risks and uncertainties. If you must use such a computer, avoid logging into a website or entering personal information. If you log in, there is a risk that your password will be stolen. If you need to check email or conduct business on a public computer, log out before leaving and change your password when you regain access to a private connection.
#4. Backup your data
No matter how carefully you protect your data and devices, something may slip through, and your data may be deleted. To solve this problem, it is essential to create a backup. A backup ensures you always have an additional copy (or more) of your data stored in a separate location, usually in the cloud. Using a cloud backup solution offers an efficient and cost-effective approach to ensuring the availability of your data.
User data is at significant risk from ransomware as attackers use malware to extort users online. If you have copies of your data, ransomware will have less impact because you can allow the attackers to delete your files and restore the backed-up versions.
#5 Don’t store financial information on websites
You cannot fully guarantee the protection of your data once it is online. However, you can increase the security of your financial information by not storing it on certain shopping websites. Decline the option to save your credit card information and take a few extra minutes to enter the information for future purchases manually.
#6 Use Secure Messaging
Gmail may be convenient, but Google is notorious for lacking privacy. Free email services can never match paid accounts’ security, ensuring encryption, security and confidentiality. Direct messaging applications also suffer from similar vulnerabilities. The companies behind it, like Facebook, often collect and sell user data, while the messages can easily be intercepted, potentially putting your personal information at risk. You can have genuinely private and confidential conversations when you choose secure messaging apps like Wire or Signal.
#7 Use a private search engine
Google’s search engine is widely known for its lack of privacy and potential data security risks. Their track record in handling user data could be better. However, there are several privacy-friendly alternatives to Google that you should consider.
One of these alternatives is DuckDuckGo, a safer and more privacy-friendly option than Google. It is based on a search engine that does not store identifiable user data, making it a much more private choice.
#8 Use two-factor authentication
If one of your passwords is compromised, you can provide additional protection with two-factor authentication. Please enable it on all websites offering this option so that you have to take another step to verify your identity. The website will send you a text message, email, or automated phone call to confirm when you sign up. If you receive a verification request that you did not initiate, you should immediately change your password for that website.
Companies of all sizes and disciplines are trying to violate our privacy online. The more they know about us, the more money they can make. Is that good for us? To a certain extent, yes, but the feeling of constant surveillance is not the most pleasant. If you don’t want to receive personalized advertising or your privacy concerns outweigh the benefits, these tips can help you protect yourself from pervasive surveillance.