Despite the existence of complex firewall systems and data encryption designed to protect your digital privacy, data leaks are still prevalent. Just end of last year, approximately 13 million Malaysians had their information compromised involving big corporations like Astro and Maybank.
We’ve all known that maintaining data privacy is a huge issue, but because of the digital age we’re living in, it’s almost impossible not to give out your personal identification online. So while data breaches are sometimes inadvertently inevitable, there are precautions we can take to prevent our personal information from going to the wrong hands.
Here are 5 ways to protect our digital privacy:
- Use strong passwords
Strong passwords that contain a mix of symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters decreases the chances of your account getting hacked. Hackers typically go for anything remotely close to your identity as the first step in decrypting your passwords. So avoid predictable sequences like birthdays, for example, and go for something that is not easily crackable.
- Enable two-factor authentication
Secure sites like online banking portals and Google have already employed this method, and you should also ensure you’re taking advantage of the added layer of security. Two-factor authentication (or 2fa) will enable another method of authentication, usually a code or numbers that only you can access through text message or phone number.
- Protect your browsing activity
Hyper targeted ads leverage your browsing activity almost exclusively that it’s borderline exploitative. To avoid websites tracking your every activity, try using search engines like DuckDuckGo or browsers like Tor that make your browsing activity virtually untraceable. Or at the very least, remember to clear your cache and cookies from your browser history!
- Avoid public WiFi if you can
Public WiFi is like honey on a bear trap. It’s the first place anyone can expect to have their personal information robbed and vicious malware infecting their devices. Avoid it if you can. Alternatively, if you have no choice, consider using VPN (virtual private network) that provides extra security to your online activities by hiding your IP addresses from prying parties.
- Avoid oversharing on social media
Finally, be very wary about what you share on social media. Even if your account is set to private, there is a risk you are being monitored. So, avoid sharing sensitive information like pictures of your bank/credit card, or tagging live locations to ensure your privacy both in the online and offline sphere.
Your online data might not seem like a big deal, but it’s imperative that you start realising how important it is to your personal security. If you’d like to check whether your data has been compromised, visit this website where you can enter your email address to see if your data has been breached before.
Remain vigilant, and stay safe!