6 Simple and Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Personal Data Online

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To say that security breaches and cyberattacks are rampant would be an understatement. It seems like not a day goes by without hearing about a company being breached by hackers phishing for user data.

It’s never been more important to make an effort to protect your data online these days. Getting started is easy and won’t even cost you a lot of money. Your privacy is priceless, after all, and the smartest thing to do is to be careful online. To protect your information online, here are some tips:

Create strong and unique passwords

Using your pup’s name as your Neopets password when you were younger was cute, but you can’t keep doing the same thing now that you have accounts with private and sensitive information. In recent years, data breaches and password leaks have plagued even the biggest companies, including Facebook, Equifax, and Yahoo. If you have many online accounts, hackers may try to log into banking sites using the same password they got during a breach.

It is then in your interest to create strong and unique passwords for possibly every online account you have. Experts suggest using long passphrases and a random combination of numbers and symbols to reduce your chances of getting hacked. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to remember every password you create, so you can also use a password manager to help you keep track of them. Some of these tools can even help you create unique passwords whenever you’re struggling to come up with one.

Protect your browsing with a VPN

Websites and other third parties tend to track your online activity pretty much 24/7. Almost every site you visit, every button you click, and every link you share is collected by companies to study your browsing habits and serve you targeted ads. One of the easiest ways to combat activity tracking is to use a virtual private network (VPN), which adds a layer of security to your browsing and makes you anonymous online as long as you’re connected. It gives you an entirely different IP address so that you cannot be easily tracked by third parties.

Some VPNs, however, still store some of your data, so you technically trust your information to a different entity rather than your own ISP. Be sure to choose only reputable VPN services for your peace of mind.

Consider using a DPN

If you are not comfortable with the idea of ​​an entity taking over your sensitive information, a great alternative to VPN is DPN or Decentralized Private Network. DPNs also encrypt your browsing activity to a high level like VPNs, but instead of doing it through a centralized network, they use decentralized encrypted tunnels to redirect web traffic to different nodes. A DPN never depends on a single server and instead your device functions as both a server and a client.

A device like Deeper Connect Pico can help you enjoy the benefits of a DPN, as it offers an enterprise-grade 7-layer firewall for a secure and fast private network anytime and anywhere. And unlike VPNs that typically require you to pay a recurring fee, this DPN device only requires one payment ($248) for lifetime use.

Install anti-virus software

Viruses may not seem like the threat they once were, but there’s no denying that they still exist. The last thing you want is for your computer to acquire some kind of dodgy software or bug that can wreak havoc on the rest of your device, and even worse, data. With phishing scams becoming more and more prevalent, you can never be too safe. Installing anti-virus programs is always recommended, especially if you have several people in the house connected to the same network.

Refrain from disclosing your personal information

More often than not, the easiest way to protect your personal data is simply to refrain from disclosing it. Even if it’s just your unassuming barista asking for your email address or mobile number to send you their latest promotions and discounts, you’d better stay wary. Being polite and giving it anyway can only hurt you in the long run when your email is somehow compromised by scams, or even just too many newsletter subscription lists.

You can always say no to people who ask for your personal information. It is not necessary to share your data to buy a latte. If you really can’t help it, it would be best to create a separate email address that you only check occasionally for promotional emails.

Make sure your security settings are up to date

Updating your devices can sometimes feel like a chore, but updates exist for a reason. Your phone, apps, and smart home devices usually receive updates, along with new features and security improvements.

Updating your devices and accounts only takes a few minutes out of your day, so it’s better to comply than be sorry. By keeping your gadgets and software up-to-date, you also benefit from patches made by manufacturers’ security engineers. You can dodge potential vulnerabilities and prevent cybercriminals from accessing your data.

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