The data that we choose to publish publicly on a daily basis online without a second thought, are things that we would not divulge so readily outside of the internet.
Why is this? Is it simply not being responsible or is it because the majority of users do not know how to protect their information from getting mined.
Recent research done by Mozilla spoke to over 30,000 internet users about their online protection and privacy. The results are surprising.
Simple steps for basic internet security
A vast majority of the users, in fact, 90%, felt strongly that they genuinely did not know enough about online safety. It’s actually pretty simple. Keeping your software, apps and devices up to date and install all of the security enhancements which have been made available. This simple first step will guarantee you basic internet security from intruding parties.
A segment of users also felt that they do not have sufficient control over the information which has been published online. Only 1 in 10 participants were confident enough of their data online.
Browsing on private mode or incognito mode is one way to guarantee some basic protection online. The mode does not save any searches, data or cookies which mean that your searches will not be traceable. You could also choose from a range of privacy browser add-ons and plugins that will enhance safety such as NoScript, BetterPrivacy or Ghostery. These attributes function to block sites which cannot be trusted and helps prevent the likes of online forgery. TOR is a good example of a system that gives you complete anonymity online. Even though it has a reputation of being used exclusively to browse the deep web, this could also help you protect your private and sensitive information from being leaked out to unwelcome parties. This article also offers some great tips on how you could protect your identity online.
VPNs and Proxies
VPNs and Proxies differ from each other but they both serve a basic common purpose. They allow the user to appear as if connected to the internet from a different location to the actual one. Their encryption and the means of accomplishing this differs. For example, a proxy server acts an as intermediary making it look as if though the internet traffic is coming from a different location. Using a VPN or a proxy is a great way to stay under the radar.
Windows, especially Windows 10 has been under scrutiny for its privacy concerns for nearly two years. However, as recently announced by the company, they are now taking steps to ensure that the system is compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. The organisation has re-assessed and decreased the amount of data that is necessary to ensure that Windows 10 devices are updated and protected. The new controls have enabled users to opt for either basic or full level of data collection which allows them to be in control. O&O ShutUp 10 is a free antispy tool that is compatible with Windows 10. It will give you complete control over which and how much of your data goes out. The interface is simple and acts to remove unnecessary software.
What is Encryption? Does it work?
Encryption is a modern method of cryptography that permits the user to hide the desired information from others. It uses a complex algorithm called a cypher to convert normal text into a string of random characters that cannot be read by those who do not have the decryption key.
The vast majority of internet users are unclear on how encryption works. Most browsers such as Mozilla does offer advice on how encryption works but you could always do a bit of online research to find out the information that you need. Once you know about encryption and how it functions, you will be more confident about the information that you share publicly.
Hackers and Trackers
61% or 8 out of 10 users were concerned by hackers as well as getting tracked by marketing companies. The majority of these people were interestingly those who have a good and in-depth knowledge of internet security. The methods with which to minimise and avoid this dilemma is again, quite simple. Choosing strong passwords, using different passwords for each site you log into, paying attention to warning messages that pop up on your browser while online and looking for the “secure” indication next to the website address are easy, practical and great ways to reduce the risk of getting hacked or tracked.
Anti-tracking browser plugins like Disconnect, BlockAds and AdBlockPlus are all great options of what you could install to avoid adverts and marketing organisations tracking you online.