As we share an ever-increasing amount of personal and professional data online, hacking and cyber attacks seeking to steal that data for the benefit of cybercriminals are increasing as well. Far from being of little importance, the information we share online can be very valuable to digital fraudsters, even causing severe loss or damage to the victims of any leak.
Therefore, to maintain good digital hygiene and protect our data online, these are some of the habits that we should keep:
Opt for safe browsers
We can use a wide variety of web browsers to access all kinds of web pages, but not all of them are the same, so it is convenient to choose the ones that are the most secure.
Browsers such as Chrome, Safari, or Edge are developed by Google, Apple, and Microsoft, respectively, which tend to favor the installation of cookies and the collection of data for advertising purposes. That is why it is usually more advisable to use robust and independent browsers such as Firefox or Brave.
Using a VPN for gaming and browsing is one of the best ways to protect our data online, especially when browsing from insecure Wi-Fi networks. The possibility of a cyber attacker intercepting your passwords or credit card details while you are connecting to Wi-Fi in a coffee shop is very real. Still, this data will be indecipherable if you use a premium VPN.
In most cases, you will also be able to use a free VPN for at least the first month of trial, which will help you assess its services.
Use strong passwords
In the absence of a better method – which will presumably be biometric verification systems – passwords continue to be the main way we can authenticate our identity on the internet. However, reports are continually being published denouncing the weakness of most of the keys we use online, making them very easy for hackers to break.
The use of random, long, and unique passwords is essential to ensure the security of our digital accounts.
Activate two-step verification
As an extra layer of security, two-factor authentication should be enabled on all platforms where it is possible to do so. Generally, this type of verification uses the cell phone to confirm transactions or attempts to access our digital accounts, thus preventing hacking.
For example, if your online banking password is leaked and a cyber attacker tries to use it to access your bank account, Two-Step Verification will ask for confirmation on your phone, allowing you to deny access and keep your funds safe.
Minimize the use of social media
In recent years, security recommendations on social networks have multiplied, and the notion that we should limit the personal content we share is more widespread. However, millions of people still share their private lives openly and almost without any type of filter.
Social networks can be addictive and even become a fast track to gaining popularity. Still, the information we publish on them can lead to serious cases of harassment, and, in addition, it is often used by hackers to try to violate other online accounts.
Monitor the apps that we install on the cell phone
There are millions of apps on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, but not all apps are equally reliable. When we install apps on the phone, they request a series of permissions that can be very dangerous, including the possibility of accessing the photos in our gallery, reading our SMS, or making calls without our knowledge.
Furthermore, these are not isolated cases. Apps as popular as Facebook are among the most requested permissions from their users, and often millions of people accept them without considering their risks. That is why it is important to review them carefully and, if in doubt, avoid installing suspicious apps.