Tips for securing your digital presence

Your growing digital presence is a huge threat to your privacy and online security, especially with the rise in incidents of data breaches, data theft, and online scams. In the name of tracking your online behavior, cookies log all your actions, which are used by agencies in any manner they deem fit. You have to save your critical personal and financial data to prevent people with malicious intentions from harming you.

Data breaches are expensive

According to a 2019 Varonis report, 4.1 billion records were exposed due to data breaches during the first half of 2019. Cyber attacks are considered to be among the top 5 list of threats to global stability. Companies across the globe are witnessing crippling data breaches, and more and more information is being compromised with each passing day. The statistics reveal how hackers are motivated by the money they can claim by acquiring data. Hackers highly value personal information as it fetches more money in the unmonitored markets.

Data breaches can lead to irreparable damages and have a long-lasting impact on an individuals’ life. We intentionally or unintentionally end up sharing a lot of information on the internet, which, if compromised, can fall into the hands of people with nefarious intentions. 

Personal data can be used to create fake profiles for carrying out scams or other illegal activities. For instance, personalized phishing attacks could be fairly challenging to recognize. They might present a lot of information on the victim, and it might be enough to convince the targeted person to perform a specific action. Extorted financial data can be used for various financial frauds and scams. Thus, it’s imperative that we adhere to some of the best practices while leaving as little digital imprint as possible to save ourselves from hackers and fraudsters.    

Cookies are the culprits behind the curtain 

The minute you log in to an online service using a browser or app, website owners, advertisers, hackers and any other random individual can start tracking you and extracting information. For instance, when you use web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Edge, you’ll certainly start collecting cookies. The cookies are used for retaining a variety of information about the websites you visit, login credentials, shopping cart details, language preferences, etc. The websites create these cookies, and they attach themselves to the browser until they’re manually removed or automatically expire.   

Not all cookies are harmful. However, there are some that remain active on websites other than the ones they originated from and gather information about the user’s behavior and what they click on. These are the questionable cookies, popularly known as tracking cookies, which are often seen as intrusive.

How to prevent tracking cookies from gathering information?

Well, manually deleting the cookies at regular intervals is a great way to prevent them from gathering information. You can easily clear cookies by moving into the browser settings and manually deleting the cookies. In some browsers, you can disable third-party cookies in general, but this might disrupt features of some websites.

Smart Tips to Avoid Digital Compromises

#1. 2FA or two factor authentication – You must enable 2FA to secure all your Google accounts, including Gmail and other personal accounts. This feature can also be enabled for other popular online services like Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Apple, and WordPress. 

#2. Strong passwords – You need to create strong passwords for all your online accounts. In case you find it too difficult to manage multiple passwords, applications such as LastPass can be quite helpful. 

#3. Use a VPN – Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on all the devices used to connect to the internet and secure all your communications. Atlas VPN guarantees secure tunnels for all the data transmitted between the device and the server, which no one can hack into. Thus, you have a secure channel for data communication, even when you connect to the internet via public Wi-Fi. The end-to-end data encryption offered by a VPN is the most secure way to connect to the internet and prevent hacking or eavesdropping attempts. 

#4. Check for fake accounts – You must regularly check Google and other social media accounts to keep track of fake accounts if any. Immediately notify the service provider or local police if you detect a fake social media or online account in your name.  

#5. Close old online accounts – Well, the majority of the hacking incidences are a result of our ignorance. It’s imperative that you close all online accounts that you no longer manage to prevent their misuse.

Online privacy and security need to be taken seriously as weak entry points can lead to huge financial losses. Using online security tools and applications like anti-virus, a VPN, and advanced firewalls can prevent unwanted data breaches and privacy issues.