5 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information Online

These days, nearly all our online activities involve companies collecting personal information about us. This data is gathered and frequently used for various purposes, such as when you use social media accounts, shop online, redeem digital coupons in stores, or browse the internet.

5 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information Online

Sometimes, one company collects your information and then shares or sells it to another. While data collection can benefit both you and businesses by connecting with friends, providing directions, or offering sales promotions, it can also be used intrusively if you don’t take control. There are many ways to protect your personal data and manage how it is shared and used.

Safely Use Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi offers convenience but does not safeguard personal data. When using public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing critical accounts, like your banking app, or sending sensitive messages. Hackers can easily eavesdrop on these networks and capture your information or passwords. To enhance security and browse anonymously on public Wi-Fi, consider using a VPN.

Delete the Cookies Stored on Your Browser

Cookies can hold your login details and credit card numbers. Hackers can steal this information by taking over your browser sessions and capturing your cookies as they move online. To protect your information, you should regularly delete your cookies.

You can do this by browsing your browser’s history and clearing the data from each session, including the cookies. Alternatively, you could use subscription-based data broker removal services like DeleteMe to remove your personal information from data broker websites that collect and sell your information.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) ensures the security of each login attempt by preventing access from individuals who might have stolen an account password. Every time a login is required, it sends the account owner a secondary verification method, like a text message or email with a unique, one-time code. Enter the correct username, password, and one-time code to access the account. Always enable 2FA when it’s available to safeguard against hacking.

Deactivate Inactive Accounts

Reflect on all the online accounts you’ve created over the years. Now, consider which accounts remain open but are no longer in use. If one of these accounts is breached, hackers could access any associated personal information.

For instance, an old email account might store past bank statements and healthcare forms containing sensitive data that could lead to identity theft. Dedicate some time to identifying and closing unused online accounts. The less personal information you have stored online, the safer you will be.

Safeguard Your Credit Card Information

Another way to safeguard your online data is by configuring your browser to enable cookies solely when a website requires them. Cookies are pieces of information that websites store on your computer, tracking your visits and activities. While most websites keep this data private, some might misuse it. Allow cookies but restrict them to only those websites that actually need them.

Endnote

Your online behavior can reveal a great deal about you, so protect your internet security. Hackers can gather information through malvertising or other hidden methods to target you with deceptive tactics. Cybercriminals constantly seek out vulnerabilities, making it vital to evaluate your online habits promptly for more secure browsing.

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