With every upgrade comes a new batch of tech questions, and spending hours trying to find just one answer can be frustrating, but sometimes the questions are mere curiosities. For instance, have you ever caught yourself on Pinterest or Facebook, or catching up with an old friend online and wondering if you should be using some sort of private browser? Perhaps you’ve heard the stories of hackers getting personal information and wonder if people can really track your internet history. We’re here today to solve the mystery of whether or not online privacy really matters.
Problem: Like most things, online privacy is up to the user and whether or not it matters to them. However, there are many reasons why online privacy is important. For example, it can help those in specific branches of the military keep their families and personal information safe. Online privacy can also protect users from identity theft, and protect businesses from cybercriminals seeking to gain unauthorized access to private company information. Online privacy protects against phishing and hackers as well.
Solution: The first step is understanding what exactly online privacy is. According to Online Privacy Expert, “online privacy broadly refers to the protection of data relating to communication, personal information, and browsing footprints of web users. The end game is to ensure anyone who accesses a website does not suffer a violation of privacy or breach of a request to remaining anonymous.” In simple terms, online privacy is the protection of your data, such as your address, date of birth, financial information etc., and protecting private, personal information is crucial. Fortunately there are things you can do to protect yourself online and prevent anyone from accessing your personal information.
These days WiFi is the first thing we think about when we go anywhere, but it’s important to be cautious when using WiFi. Online Privacy Expert stated that “Wi-Fi networks are often prone to cyber-attacks.” However, if your access is protected, every data or information you send over Wi-Fi networks becomes encrypted, making it more difficult for hackers to hack or decrypt. Phishing is another thing to be cautious about. Hackers may try to steal private data through impersonations or by using malware to obtain passwords. Staying informed and up-to-date on phishing is one way to protect your online data. Updating or deleting apps and files you don’t need or are no longer using is also a way to deter hackers from using old files or outdated apps as loopholes to compromise privacy and access your information.
The things we post online are there forever. More often than not someone has already taken a screenshot of a post, which gives them access to it even after it’s deleted. Another method of maintaining online privacy is keeping track of your digital footprint and not posting things that may give away personal information, or come back to haunt you. The last thing you can, and should always do, is to secure your devices with proper anti-malware software to prevent hackers from using your personal devices to do harm.