Courses & Documentary

4 Essential Steps to Protect Your Digital Privacy

Even if you’re a regular user and seemingly don’t have anything hackers could steal from you, it doesn’t mean you’re safe.

Unfortunately, everyone can become a target of malicious attacks online, and it’s not only big companies, corporations, and government authorities that fall victim to hackers. Criminals often target average civilians and blackmail them to get what they want. So, knowing how to protect your privacy online can be a literal lifesaver.

That’s what we want to dedicate our today’s guide to - essential digital privacy tips, which will make the internet a safer space for you.

1. Avoid Connecting to Public Wi-Fi

Many people who come to cafes to work or meet with friends connect to the public Wi-Fi and don’t have second thoughts about it. In most cases, it won’t end in anything dramatic, but public-access Wi-Fi remains the most widespread channel through which hackers steal personal information.

Not only that, such Wi-Fi hotspots make it easy for the perps to distribute malware and make cyberattacks on businesses, stealing their sensitive data, such as client information, financial details, etc.

However, if you have no choice but to connect to the public Wi-Fi, make sure you turn off sharing and don’t log in to your private accounts. Although this is not the cure, it can significantly decrease the chances of an attack on your personal data.


2. Consider Residential Proxies

A residential proxy network is a type of proxy allowing you to choose a specific location and browse the web as if you are in this location.


Essentially, residential proxy networks create a tunnel and hide your real IP tied to your physical location. The provider of the proxy will assign you a different IP, and you can safely continue your online activities using it. By the way, residential proxies are a solution if you often have to use public Wi-Fi.


The best option, however, is to invest in a VPN, not a VPN proxy. They not only hide your IP but also encrypt all your online activities, significantly improving your online safety. However, note that free VPNs would hardly be effective against skilled hackers, so if you often work from various locations, buy a reliable VPN service.


3. Make Your Social Media Accounts Private

Many people choose not to make their social media accounts private, consciously sharing the details of their life with the wide public. However, such a decision can attract unnecessary attention, for example, from cyberstalkers.


One such case happened with a man from Tulsa who admitted to stalking young women on social media, sending intimidating messages, and threatening the victims’ physical and online safety.


This is not the only problem you can get by not securing your profiles. If you’re used to sharing details about your life events involving your family, you also put their lives in danger. Besides, you can attract not only online perps but also burglars who can figure out where you live and rob you when you’re not home.


So, it’s best to keep your private life private.


4. Create Strong Passwords

Finally, it’s essential to secure your online accounts (not just on social media) with strong passwords. Of course, this is not the ultimate answer to all cybersecurity threats, and skilled hackers can still get to your personal data, but strong passwords can improve your online security significantly.


What should such a password include:


  • At least 12 characters
  • Upper-case and lower-case letters
  • Letters and numbers
  • Special characters (?, @, &, #, etc.)


Sometimes, online platforms ask their users to come up with 16-character passwords or even longer. You can also use online password generators if you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas.


Remember: a password must not contain your personal details.

Over to You

Sadly, there is no surefire way to protect your online presence 100%. However, there are some ways that can add layers to your online privacy and not let hackers get to you.


Avoiding public hotspots, using residential proxies and VPNs, switching your public accounts to private, and securing them with strong passwords are all good strategies to feel a bit safer. Besides, you’re protecting not only yourself but also your family.


Of course, some of these methods require extra financial investments, but your privacy is worth it.