Nearly 4.5 billion people use the internet every single day. Most people don’t give very much thought to digital security when they are using the internet. Just think about it, how often do you consider online privacy other than times when you are entering a password or payment details? What people don’t realize is that by not considering digital security, you are risking your personal information and financial security every day, just by simply using the internet.
Why is Digital Security so Important?
According to Athens Micro, a single security breach is enough to compromise your confidential data. In recent years digital security threats have been on the rise. As more and more people are working from home, fewer people are adequately protected online. This can threaten your personal information, your finances, and the technology you use every single day.
So, now that you understand why digital security is so important, it is time to focus on the ways in which you are can protect yourself online.
How to Protect Yourself Online
Increasing your security and privacy online doesn’t have to involve radical changes in the way that you use the internet or the purchase of hugely expensive security software. In reality, you can make a range of simple changes which will have a big impact on your online security.
Use a Secure Search Engine
Search engines are a business—their job is to recommend websites to the user. The way that search engines can best ascertain which websites are worth recommendation is by tracking their users. This means that when you use a search engine such as Google, your online behavior is being monitored and stored.
Not every search engine works in this way; there are a few specific search engines that value data privacy. For example, the search engine DuckDuckGo is dedicated to data privacy—so much so that they don’t even know how many people currently use their service. Switching to a privacy-focused search engine is a simple change you can make to protect yourself online.
Be Mindful About Downloads
When you download a program onto your computer from the internet you are risking your security and privacy. The reason that downloads can be so devastating is because it is all too easy for a cyberattacker to load malicious software onto the download which will then infect your computer. This malicious software can be hidden in completely safe-looking software. You should be careful to only download credible programs from a safe and trustworthy site.
Be Careful With Your Password Choice
The most secure passwords will use a random collection of letters, numbers, and symbols. Having a secure password is not in itself enough to guarantee your digital security. It is recommended that you change your passwords regularly, that is, every few months. Having a secure password means that it is much harder for a hacker to guess your password, therefore keeping your accounts and personal information safe.
Use a VPN When Using Public WIFI
Most people won’t think twice before logging into public WIFI, otherwise known as a hotspot. However, public WIFI is actually very dangerous because it is usually unencrypted, meaning that it is vulnerable to a wide range of cyberattacks. This means that what you are doing when using a public WIFI network, is visible to anyone who cares to look. You should use a VPN and a firewall to keep yourself protected when using public WIFI.