Let’s face it, in this day and age, nothing is private. Whenever we log on to a computer, our sessions are logged. If we access somewhere from a mobile device, it knows, pings a tower, and relays the signal to and from while you are using the network. So how can someone be protected when hackers and cyber threats loom beyond every link?
We have heard about the government agencies fighting against encrypted message spread over social media platforms by cyber culprits. In last year, the UK and the USA has also raised a concern over such encrypted communication to stop unwanted terrorist actions. They were also in mood to pass the specific bill against it. Listening communication of users causes privacy concern. Even surveillance from government agencies is also doing to prevent hacktivism and terrorism. Therefore, it is necessary to protect our-self in this age of data theft and surveillance.
So, how can you protect yourself?
Always Use A VPN
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. This takes your connection and essentially builds a wall around it. Nothing can come in. Consider it the incognito mode of network connections. Your credit card data, customer information, and your passwords are all safer when you use a VPN. Now, if you are at home, you may not feel the need to use one, and that is understandable. The point of a VPN is to ensure a stable, secure connection. So if you were at a coffee shop, and you use their WIFI, you can use a VPN to access it, and make your online browsing experience a little bit safer.
Use Strong, Weird, and Varied Passwords
Too many times we are forced to create passwords that are over 16 characters, include an upper and lower case letter, numbers, and symbols, and maybe a piece of your soul too just for added security. Well, while that does make a strong password if you reset it every time you go to log in, it defeats the purpose. Experts suggest using phrases instead of letters. Not only is this easier for you to remember, but it is also much harder to guess if a hacker would decide to target you.
Use a Strong Antivirus/Firewall
A computer is only as strong as its protection. If you were to use a VPN all the time for email checking for general browsing, you still might be at risk for Trojan, worms, malware and more. Your computer needs help defending itself. Thankfully, most come installed with a firewall, but if you have the extra money, you should buy better protection since you are protecting your business and customer data.
Encrypt Your Data
Encrypting sounds like a scary thing, and if you do it wrong, it could be. Thankfully, your IT team should be pretty proficient with handling new software, and encrypting your data for you. All letters and numbers are scrambled by a key. This key holds all the algorithms to make your data secure; it knows how many times it needs to flop around the letters and numbers to get it back to what you put in. It sounds complicated, but there are chances because you are already using it. If you use SSL (Secure Socket Layer), you already have a taste of encryption.
Your best software can be an open source. Meaning it can be edited, and others can review it. If you have paid for a program or their code, it cannot be altered. Cypherpunks as they are called, create a community in which Internet privacy is critical. It is their passion to try and crack the keys, and when they can’t, the code is approved. If they can, the code is intercepted. Even the code used in software can be verified by SSL protocol that ensures customers about the software legitimacy. Code signing is ideal certificate to protect code and content of your software.
When everyone is watching and waiting for you to leave the door open, it is even more important for you to keep your data secure. A breach in your personal files could leak sensitive information about your bank account, travel plans, credit cards, or even your home at risk if they can get a hold of your mortgage information. While you may think you have bad credit now, you do not want to see the destruction a cyber hacker can cause to your reputation, home, and health.
At the End:
It should also be noted, that while the American NSA is almost always in the spotlight as it is involved in data monitoring of US citizens to give them threats free environment, other countries have very strict monitoring policies as well. In the United States, we often take privacy for granted. The bottom line is that your information seems vulnerable unless you are taking steps to ensure no one is reading your posts over your shoulder. Regardless of if you have done anything wrong or not, permission is a valuable thing.