Are you worried about your online security? Well, you should be. In this tech-advanced world, everything is online – be it buying groceries, filing taxes, shopping, entertainment, and more. It has definitely made our lives easier, but it also means more targets for cybercriminals. You might log in to your mobile banking app to see zero balance or get notification of a lot of unauthorized spending on your credit card.
So, if you are worried about your online privacy and security, it’s rational. On the bright side, you can ensure your online security and increase your own defenses against such problems. Keeping your devices secure doesn’t take much effort, as it all boils down to using the right tool. Here are some simple security tips and tricks to help you keep secure online:
1. Get a VPN
Whatever you do, any time you connect to Wi-Fi, you are exposed to thousands of online security risks, especially if we talk about public Wi-Fi. For example, let’s say you connect to public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop; anyone on the same network can hack your device easily, thus breaching your privacy. Therefore the best way to ensure protection is to use a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will encrypt your traffic and pass it through a different server, thus making it impossible to track. This means nobody; even your ISP cannot snoop on your online activities. If you are new to VPNs, ExpressVPN is the best in the industry right now. What’s best is that you can also try ExpressVPN’s 30-day free trial hack and use it free of cost for 30 days.
2. Install an Antivirus on your devices
You must think of an Antivirus as a fancy software that does nothing really, but you can’t be more wrong. After you are done setting up a VPN, the next thing to take your security one step ahead is to install antivirus on your devices. Bots can take over your entire system and do whatever it commands. Similarly, Trojan horse software seems very popular, but they steal your private information.
A good Antivirus protects against such attacks and thousands of other malware that might be sitting in your device without you ever knowing about them. With the antivirus program installed, you won’t have to worry about checking things manually as it will download updates, clean the device, and more in the background.
3. Use unique passwords and usernames
One of the most common ways hackers steal information is by trying a bunch of usernames and passwords to get access. Therefore, if you are among those people who use generic passwords like ‘qwerty’ or ‘John123’, you might need to consider your approach. If a hacker gets their hand on your username and password, he can log into major apps like banking and online stores. Therefore, to safeguard against such issues, make sure to set a unique and strong password.
You can also use a password manager if you feel like you cannot remember your passwords. If you use this, the only password you need to remember is the master password to unlock the password manager app itself.
4. Use two-factor authentication
Another useful trick is to use two-factor authentication, which makes your accounts more secure. Two-factor authentication is the process where, in order to access your account, you need another password that is sent to your mobile phone or linked app like Google Authenticator. Gmail, Dropbox, and Evernote are a few examples that use two-factor authentication. It is a great tool for online privacy.
5. Use separate emails for different accounts
Most people use the same email ID for work and personal use, especially on social media, which leads to a lot of personal information in the hands of a lot of people. Therefore, it’s recommended to use a different email for different accounts. This way if a phishing email comes from a bank to your social media account email/ personal email, you will know it’s fake.
Similarly, consider using different usernames online with different accounts.
6. Clear browser cookies and cache regularly
Did you know, websites store cookies on your browser that store not only personal information but also other data like browsing history and more. Thus saved browser history could point to your actual location, name, and even credit card information.
To protect yourself, make sure to delete browser cookies, cache, and history regularly. If you are using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer or Opera, simply enter ‘Ctrl + Shift + Del’. It will open a dialogue box; from there, you can choose the element you want to clear.
7. Turn off the “Autosave password” feature in browsers
Speaking of browser cookies and cache, you must know by now that most browsers come with a password manager that automatically saves passwords, so when you log in next time, you won’t have to add the login details from the start. It’s a data log that hackers can tap into at any time.
For example, when you install a third-party password manager, it offers you an option where you can import your passwords from the browser. If a password manager can do that, so can a cybercriminal or a bot. Therefore, it’s better to turn off this feature and avoid browser fingerprinting.