Computer security: how to protect your online data
January 17, 2023
By making a few simple changes to your devices and accounts, you can maintain security against unauthorised access to your data while also protecting your privacy from those you don’t want to share your information with. It’s simple to get started. Here’s a primer on how to make a few simple changes to protect yourself and your information online.
Use These Resources
Make good use of the tools at your disposal to keep your data safe.
Secure your web browsing
Why? Because businesses and websites monitor everything you do online. Every advertisement, social network button, and website collects information about your location, browsing habits, and other factors. The information gathered reveals more about you than you might expect. You may think you’re clever for never tweeting about your medical problems or sharing all of your religious beliefs on Facebook, but chances are the websites you visit on a regular basis provide all the information advertisers need to determine the type of person you are. This is one of the reasons why targeted ads remain one of the Internet’s most perplexing innovations.
How it works: A browser extension such as uBlock Origin blocks ads as well as the data they collect. The uBlock Origin extension also prevents malware from running in your browser and provides an easy way to disable ad blocking when you want to support secure sites. When you combine uBlock with Privacy Badger, which blocks trackers, ads will follow you less. Disable interest-based ads from Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter to slow down stalker ads even more. Many websites provide ways to opt out of data collection, but you must do so manually. Simple Opt Out provides direct links to opt-out instructions for popular websites such as Netflix, Reddit, and others. This will not completely solve the problem.
On your computer, instal antivirus software.
Viruses may not appear to be as prevalent as they were a decade ago, but they still exist. Malicious software on your computer can cause a variety of problems, ranging from annoying pop-ups to covert bitcoin mining to scanning for personal information. If you’re at risk of clicking dangerous links, or if you share a computer with others in your household, it’s a good idea to instal antivirus software, especially on Windows computers.
Update your software and hardware.
Operating systems for phones and computers, Web browsers, popular apps, and even smart-home devices are frequently updated with new features and security enhancements. These security updates are typically far more effective than antivirus software at thwarting hackers.
Install no shady software.
Every strange app you instal on your phone, as well as every browser extension or piece of software you download from a dubious website, represents another potential privacy and security breach. Numerous mobile apps track your location and collect data without your permission, even in children’s apps.
Secure your phone in case you misplace it.
You need to ensure that no one can access your phone if you lose it or it is stolen. Smartphones are encrypted by default, which is great, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure your phone is properly locked down if it goes missing.