Last year, if our readers can recall, we had an interesting discussion on Data Privacy Day (DPD) and also shared some useful tips on how to keep our data safe. Well, we are here again. To refresh our memory, DPD is observed across the world with a centered approach towards respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust. And with this thought in mind, we have outlined some useful tips to protect your data and privacy on the Internet.
Tips to Protect Your Data and Privacy On the Internet
#1. Things you share on the Internet can stay there forever. Be thoughtful about what you post online about yourself or your friends.
#2. Share your full name, date of birth, phone number, address, etc., only if necessary, for your online accounts. If a skilled hacker has enough information about you, then they can open bank accounts in your name and commit other such crimes to steal your identity.
#3. One of the greatest threats to privacy and data are phishing attacks. Any unknown or unexpected communication (email, call, SMS, etc.) that requires you to act immediately and asks for your personal information should be treated as a phishing attack. Always ignore such communications and report them to the right authority.
#4. Consider using the 2-step verification for your online accounts. This prevents unauthorized users from getting access to your accounts and their data.
#5. Never trust links or attachments in emails from unwanted or unexpected sources, particularly if such emails are about your online bank accounts.
#6. Banking or shopping online using free, public WiFi networks can allow hackers to steal your personal and financial information. Always use secure networks for such activities, including logging in to your social media account.
#7. Protect your data with passwords that have a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
#8. Before installing any mobile app, review its permissions carefully. Know what type of information on your device the app requires access to. If a simple flash light app requires access to your Internet, contacts, media files, etc., then avoid installing it.
#9. Always password protect your mobile device, tablet, and laptop. Being smaller and compact, such devices are more vulnerable to theft. Prefer using PIN or Password security feature.
#10. If you store any sensitive data such as passwords, bank account details, social security number, etc., in external storage devices, ensure that the data is encrypted.
#11. Always keep different passwords for different online accounts. This will ensure the safety of your other accounts, even if one of them is hacked or compromised.
#12. Protect your important data by taking regular backups.
#13. Data Privacy Day also presses the need to delete sensitive data securely. Data deleted even by ‘Shift+Del’ can be retrieved using data recovering tools. So, to prevent this know how to delete your data securely.
#14. Spyware is another threat to your data and privacy. These software monitor your activities, and record your data without your consent. Ensure that your PC has anti-spyware protection in it. Risk of a spyware infection can be avoided by turning on pop-up blockers, and downloading free software only from verified publishers.
#15. Knowing how a website uses your personal information is also an important step to protect your data and privacy.
#16. Always log out/sign out of websites once you are done, especially when you are using a public or shared computer.
#17. While shopping, banking or paying bills online, ensure that the website’s URL begins with “
“https://” and is accompanied by a locked padlock symbol.
#18. Avoid checking ‘Remember me’, ‘Remember password’, ‘Keep me logged in’ boxes.
#19. Many mobile apps can locate your whereabouts to serve you better. If you think such services are invading your privacy, then turn OFF location-tracking services on your device.
#20. Tighten your Facebook privacy settings to ensure that others see only what you want them to see. Check out these easy tips.
#21. WhatsApp now provides better security for your text messages. However, there is a lot you can do to ensure that your data and privacy over WhatsApp stays safe. Read our post on this.
#22. Block unauthorized storage devices from copying personal or sensitive data from your system. Quick Heal Data Theft Protection can help you with this.
UPDATED: This post is updated as of January 28, 2015.