The most violated right in today’s world of the internet is a user’s right to online privacy. Yes, online privacy is a universal right. However, people are frequently bereft of this right due to the activity of online snoopers and attackers. However, it is fair to say that the users themselves are to blame in part for this because people have almost no awareness about the threats to their online privacy and the solutions to them. This is despite the numerous cases of online identity theft and exposure that we see circulating in the news columns and blogs.
Who is the threat? The biggest threats to your online privacy are the traffic monitors and identity trackers. These range from relatively harmless advertising companies and social networking sites to the devious identity thieves and government agencies that spy on the people and monitor their internet activity. Once your identity is compromised on the internet, anyone can use it to turn your life upside down by altering your bank details and other sensitive information.
Use a VPN
Since most traffic monitors and identity trackers use your IP address to find your location and then triangulate on your identity, it is a safe bet to hide your IP from such snoopers. Using a VPN can do just that without requiring you to do any of the technical stuff. VPN providers connect you to the internet using one of their servers and all the traffic between your system and the internet is encrypted in this connection. This effectively means that nobody can monitor your internet activity and nobody can find your location or identity since the IP address that will be visible to trackers will be that of VPN servers. Since VPN providers do not maintain activity logs, they provide a fool-proof strategy to protect your online privacy.
Use latest Antivirus/Anti-Malware
Although VPNs can definitely help you against online attacks, they cannot protect your identity and data to be compromised if your system has already been invaded by a malware or a virus before you set up a VPN. The first line of defence proves to be your antivirus. Ensuring that you have the latest version of your antivirus is an important step in protecting your online privacy since the developers frequently release updates with information pertaining to new malwares and viruses.
Make sure you shop at Secure Sites
The easiest way for an identity thief to access your sensitive information and steal your identity is to hijack an online connection on shopping websites. Attackers eavesdrop on the connection and exploit vulnerabilities in the connection to masquerade as the system you wish to interact with. You provide your bank details and your details will be recorded by the attacker. That is why you should always make sure that the shopping websites are secure. Secure websites have an address with “https” in the URL. The ‘s’ denotes that a secure protocol is being used for the connection, which means that attackers cannot breach it easily.
Cookies are small codes and files attached to your system by websites to store information about your online activity. Periodically deleting these cookies is a basic yet effective method to thwart the attempt of attackers to steal your identity.
This is the most basic method to protect your identity. Using strong passwords automatically makes it difficult for attackers to guess it and gain access to your accounts and the information within.
The need to protect online privacy is imminent as the number of identity attacks has been increasing quite steadily. With attacks like the Ashley Maddison attack, it is evident that one must be careful while using the internet. Being aware is the first step in protecting your online privacy, and we hope this article helped you out with that.
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