Whether you browse websites, save the content in the cloud, share the location, and do any other online activities. It could be cause an issue, if you do not overlook your online privacy. Recently, Snowden has exposed sensational news about NSA spying activities that alerts and made aware of an infringement of “Web Privacy”. It is clear that many people blindly trust technology and now became more reliant on technology stuffs. Surfing any website, downloading software, allowing cookies, sharing personal details, all these activities need a careful attention of users otherwise, a small mouse click can put users at risk. A recent report by consumerreports.org said, in US, there are nearly 62% consumers who do not take their online privacy seriously.
However, as a web user, you can take some precautions that may help you to keep your identity isolated from third party.
Travelers, coffee shop or hotel visitors uses Wi-Fi but forget their online privacy because open Wi-Fi connections are boon for hackers. They can easily make people target and steal their data. It is better to avoid open Wi-Fi because hackers around you may have set a fake Wi-Fi hotspot to capture your data. Do not use services which require any login credentials for example, net banking, emails. If necessary, always look for HTTPS while entering your login credentials in any website.
Keep your social profile setting rigorous and do not share your details (for example, your address, phone number, on a social networking website) to others especially unknown user. Users who spend time on Facebook may use “super-logoff”, while on Twitter users can select “Protect my tweets” option. Do not accept friend request from unknown as it may spy on your account activities once you allow the request.
Firefox, chrome has many privacy plug-ins that keep your browser in isolation from third party monitoring. Besides, there are many privacy plug-ins like Disconnect Ghostery, Lightbeam, and AdBlock, which helps user to manage their online privacy. These plug-ins track third party observations and block them immediately. By doing this, your web page will load quickly, and you will get rid of annoying pop up and ads. Users can enable incognito mode, so search history will not be linked to your browsing activity.
With the expansion of internet services, financial institutions and banks have also provided facility to their customers for internet banking. However, many phishing frauds target innocent customers and take their hard-earned money. It is sensible to look for HTTPS (SSL secured website) instead of HTTP in the address bar. Many banks use EV (Extended Validation) certificate or green bar certificate for better security and privacy of customers. A single “S” is a mark of security of a website and ensures about encryption for online transactions.
Keeps a habit of changing your password frequently to avoid potential password hacking. Use different passwords for different sites and accounts. Do not keep your date of birth, vehicle no., mobile no., or any personal details as your password because hackers can easily identify such password and may put users at risk. Do not share your passwords with others and if you cannot remember too many passwords, then you can use password managers (LastPass, RoboForm, and KeePass) that will store all passwords for you and reliable place for password management.
Taking action is always more effective than preferring to do nothing. It does not require huge amount of money, but a simple initiative from users will help to keep them away from attackers or hackers. I think the above safety measures will preserve users’ online privacy. Before victim lure your precious information it is advisable to follow these instructions to stay safe online.