By implementing a few simple changes to your online accounts and personal devices, you can protect yourself against attempts by third parties to access your data. All you need to do is read the below-mentioned guide in detail and safeguard your privacy from apps, cookies, and trackers that you have consented to share information with.
The Wisetek Store specializes in selling refurbished laptops and a host of other devices, e.g., desktops, tablets, and monitors. We also specialise in data destruction, helping to guarantee that every device bought from the store is secure and safe to use online.
PROTECTING YOUR ONLINE PRIVACY: A GUIDE ON TOP WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA ONLINE
On average, internet users spend 7+ hours online, working or surfing through news channels and social media sites. While it's debatable whether this amount of time is good or bad, the reality is that it's happening, and the numbers are bound to keep rising.
And while the internet and other digital technologies have helped simplify our way of life, you must accept that they also come with certain dangers. This is evidenced by the high number of data breaches recorded yearly.
The only way to remain safe is by learning the 10 ways to protect your personal data online.
1. INSTALL AN ANTIVIRUS SYSTEM
Before you use your refurbished LENOVO THINKPAD X1 YOGA 3RD GEN from Wisetek Store, go online and start by installing antivirus software. This refers to software capable of fending off malware attacks targeted at your computer more effectively.
Running an antivirus system means you can easily ignore its presence, leaving it to run in the background as it routinely conducts automated malware scans and removals. Although most modern operating systems have built-in antivirus software, they don't offer much protection.
Installing a third-party antivirus program from a renowned seller is a much better option. After settling on your preferred provider, you'll need to ensure that you renew the program annually. If possible, set it up to auto-renew, ensuring you won't be left exposed.
Such a setup guarantees you a full-fledged protection system that doesn't require much work to maintain and renew.
2. CREATE AND USE STRONG PASSWORDS
Top among the top ways to protect your personal data online is using strong passwords to secure your devices and online accounts. When generating a password, you need to choose something that can't be easily cracked or decoded.
For this reason, it's frowned upon to use a phrase or number that others can associate with you, e.g., your ID number, first, middle, and last names, or even your child's name. Where possible, try to create a password using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Cyber experts recommend blending upper and lowercase numbers in all passwords to protect yourself against online breaches. Additionally, ensure you never share or reveal your passwords to anyone, as this will increase your chances of getting hacked.
3. AVOID OVERSHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
As hard as it may be to believe, there is something called oversharing on social media. If you check your timeline closely, you won't miss coming across that one friend who shares too many of their intimate/personal details online.
Aside from being annoying, this habit can also risk your personal security and information. Go to your social media accounts and adjust your privacy settings. Please make it so you're always aware of who can see and go through your posts.
Exercise caution when posting information about your present location, birthday, hometown, and all other personally identifiable information. The same holds for home and work addresses; others can use this to get to you.
4. MAKE IT HARD FOR IMPOSTERS TO GET CREDIT IN YOUR NAME
One of the most potent threats posed by identity theft is the possibility of someone taking out credit cards or loans in your name, leaving you to repay them. In most cases, you won't know that this has happened until you get ready to buy a car or a home.
By this time, the impersonators will likely have ruined your credit, making it hard to obtain any form of financing. Credit bureaus provide several ways to protect yourself against this:
• Fraud alerts: Here, a lender will need to verify your identity before they can extend any credit. These alerts are free, but you'll need to renew them at least once every 90 days.
• Credit Freeze: It prevents third parties from accessing your credit report, thereby ensuring that thieves can't get a credit card or loan in your name. A credit freeze may attract a fee.
• Credit Lock: It's similar to a credit freeze, the only difference being that you can lift it on your own electronically. A credit lock may also attract a fee.
To guarantee your safety, consider putting alerts, freezes, and locks with all credit bureaus.
5. UPDATE YOUR SOFTWARE REGULARLY
Every app and work tool installed in your Chromebook, including the operating system, is a piece of software that requires regular maintenance. Maintenance involves installing frequent updates which offer access to new features and the latest vulnerability patches.
For example, in its latest security update, Microsoft Windows has provided a patch that prevents hackers from connecting to your device anonymously and getting access to your files. You must update your app toolkit and OS routinely to keep your data and devices safe.
6. DON'T OPEN EMAILS FROM STRANGERS
Did you know that your home network can get damaged by simply opening a phishing email with malware attached? You don't even need to download the attachment for this to happen.
A drive-by download can install malware on your device without your consent or without downloading it. There are instances where the drive-by download may disguise itself as a regular standard system update fooling even the most cyber-savvy users.
The only way to protect yourself is by refraining from opening emails you don't know.
7. FOLLOW THE NEWS TO KEEP UP WITH DATA BREACHES
Sophisticated hackers target more than government agencies and large corporations – they also target individuals. This makes it necessary for digital users to inform themselves about potential data breaches that may affect them. Most of these breaches are reported online and by print media.
8. BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT PUBLIC WI-FI CONNECTIONS
Most people can't resist the allure offered by free public Wi-Fi connections. While they are relatively fast and easy to access, these connections have severely limited security measures. Simply put, anyone using the same network as you can easily access your data. Therefore, only use them to surf the web and not for online shopping.
9. ACTIVATE WEB BROWSER BLACKLISTING
Most people have become victims of phishing and hacking attempts due to the internet browsers installed on their devices. Modern browsers contain additional security features such as blacklisting, which allows you to set the parameters of the sites you'll visit when online.
10. CHECK TO SEE IF A WEBSITE IS SECURE
Before submitting personal information to any site, visit the top section of your browser and confirm that it's secure. A secure site will have a lock symbol, and its URL will begin with "https".
Other ways to determine if a site is secure are through a website policy, a "verified secure" seal, and the presence of contact information. Wisetek Store experts are ready to ensure that you remain safe by providing secure refurbished devices.