Securing your digital footprint: best practices for online safety
A Digital Footprint refers to the trail of data that is left behind by individuals when they engage in various online activities, such as browsing websites, sending emails, and posting on social media. Nowadays securing our digital footprints is very important for several reasons: Privacy Protection, Protection from Cyber Attacks, Control over personal information, and Peace of mind.
Securing your digital footprint and practicing online safety are crucial in today's digital age. Here are some best practices to help you protect your online presence:
Strong and unique passwords and Privacy setting
Use strong, complex passwords for all your online user accounts. Avoid using common passwords like birth date or your name. Each account should have a unique password to minimize the risk of all accounts getting trapped even if one account is breached. Using a unique password for each online account ensures that if one account is compromised, the other remain secure Review the privacy settings and permission for your online accounts and media profiles; limit the amount of personal information you share to public and only grant permission to app and service which can be trusted
Keep software updated and Two-Factor Authentication
Regularly or weekly update your software for a better version of your operating system, web browsers, antivirus software, and other applications to ensure you have the latest security patches. This will help in protecting against known vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit. Enabling two-factor authentication will add an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification; this basically involves a second form of verification such as a code sent to a mobile phone or your email. This adds an extra barrier for unauthorized access, even if your password is compromised.
Be cautious of phishing attacks and secure wifi connection
Be aware of phishing, it is a very common technique used by hackers to trick individuals through emails, messages, or links. One needs to be vigilant, especially to those emails requesting personal details or login credentials. Phishing attacks often trick users into revealing personal information or installing unwanted malware. Similarly, when we use public Wi-Fi they trap our personal information. A public network is often unsecured, which makes it easier for hackers to intercept your data. Use a VPN if you need to access some sites or to encrypt your internet connection and add an extra layer of security.
Regularly backup data and use a secure payment method
Create regular backups of your important data, files, apps, photos, etc. to save it from malware hacking or ransomware attacks. Use an external hard drive or cloud storage services for securing your personal data. This will give you a backup of your data even after something wrong happens in your device. You can still retrieve your valuable information. While making any online purchase, use secure payment methods, such as credit cards or trusted payment modes which offer encryption. Avoid sharing any sensitive, important financial information through text, emails or unencrypted connections.
Educate yourself and be mindful of social media sharing
Stay informed about the latest online security threats and scams, learn how to identify the techniques used by hackers, such as social engineering, fake emails and identify and avoid potential risks. Regularly educate yourself about common scams, phishing tactics, and other security risks to recognize and avoid potential threats. Be careful about what you post on social media, and avoid revealing too much of your personal information such as address, phone number, or vacation plans, as this can make you a target for identity theft. Adjust privacy settings to control who can access your posts and personal information.
Overall, securing our digital footprints is of utmost importance in today’s digital age, but by taking proactive steps we can protect our privacy, reputation, and personal information in the digital world. It will help us to have more control over our online presence and reduce the potential risk associated with our digital activities. If we practice good online safety we can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercrimes and protect your digital footprints. By prioritizing online safety and adopting best practices, we can navigate the digital landscape with confidence, knowing that we have taken steps to protect ourselves and our digital footprints.