8 Ways to Keep Your Data Private Online

As the Internet makes the world smaller, it knows too much about every internet user. Every time you browse a website, do a search through a search engine, post on Facebook, or download an app, your personal information can be easily accessed by others. It has become increasingly difficult for us to keep our data private.

This article explains how to avoid data breaches.

Password Manager

When it comes to data breaches, we usually worry about password theft. You may have learned how to create a strong password from the Internet. And there are so many rules. For example:

  • Try to create longer passwords.
  • Please do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Passwords should not contain any basic personal information that others can easily access.
  • Passwords should contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Don’t use words from the dictionary.

If you create a hard-to-crack password by following all the instructions, this password is also difficult to remember. Because of this, many people use password managers to store and manage passwords. 

password managers

Generally, a password manager has the following features:

  • Create hard-to-crack passwords.
  • Save your password for each account.
  • Offer a browser plug-in, a mobile client, and a desktop client.

Some of them can also:

  • Check if the site you are visiting is safe or not.
  • Check if the password has been cracked.
  • Support for two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication

If a website or program wants to verify your identity, you will normally need to enter a username and password. However, it does not seem to be enough to verify the identity of a user in recent years. This still makes it easy to steal your information.

As a result, more and more websites and apps are using two-factor authentication to protect user data from identity and data theft. It adds an extra layer of security to your authentication process.

The two-factor authentication is usually divided into the following categories:

  • Inherence factor: facial recognition, voice recognition, fingerprint;
  • Knowledge factor: extra personal identification number (PIN), security questions;
  • Possession factor: security token, mobile phone number (message), credit card (shopping).
two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication means that two authentication factors are required to gain access to a website or service. 

The most common method is to use a two-factor authentication app. A possession factor is used as the second factor to secure your authentication process.

Some password managers now offer both password management and two-factor authentication. 1 Password is a good example. There are also a number of independent two-factor authentication applications such as Authy, Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator. 

Protect your SIM card with a PIN

You can set a PIN code for your SIM card. The PIN code usually consists of 4 digits. After setting up, you will need to enter the PIN code every time you re-register the SIM card on the network (start/restart your mobile phone or insert the SIM card into another phone). If the PIN code you entered is incorrect, you will not be able to use this phone number.

SIM locked

You can only try the PIN code a few times. Otherwise, you must unlock your SIM card with the PUK code. If the PUK code is also entered incorrectly, you must contact the operator to change a SIM card.

Do not use numeric passwords

Both iPhone and Android allow you to use a complex password (a combination of letters, numbers and symbols) or a numeric password (usually 4 to 6 digits) when logging in. What you need to remember is that digital passwords are not secure because they are easy to crack. So, you should always avoid numeric passwords.

avoid numeric passcodes

Encrypt data on your devices

Now you have created a strong password for your computer or other devices. Can this prevent others from stealing your data on your phone or computer?

Of course not. In most cases, when the attacker accesses your computer, they can plug in a prepared USB drive to restart your computer. The USB drive often includes an operating system that allows it to read and copy your files.

Fortunately, Windows 10, macOS, iOS, and Android come with hard drive encryption, which ensures that you can access hard drive data only if you are logged in to your account as normal. 

Remove Exif information from photos

It is noteworthy that sending a photo to a friend can reveal your detailed location information because it is included in the Exif information. Besides, it also contains your phone model, shooting time, exposure parameters. 

If you don’t think you need it, you can also turn location sharing off.

Check the application permissions regularly

app permissions

Be careful when your apps request permissions. You should also periodically check the following permissions for each app:

  • Camera
  • Location
  • Microphone
  • Contacts

In addition to the vulnerability in disclosing location information, you should also protect your contacts, which not only exposes your own information but also the relationship between your contacts. It is not necessary to allow apps to access your contacts if you are only charging your phone. It’s also easy to check app permissions on iPhone, Android, macOS and Windows.

Use a VPN

When you are surfing the Internet, your traffic can be intercepted by others for malicious purposes. To keep your data private and secure online, you can download RitaVPN to encrypt your Internet traffic.

Free VPN download.

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