Internet Privacy & Security: How to Protect Your Digital Privacy
Table of Contents
- By David Lukic
- Apr 15, 2022
Most of us spend our lives online for work and play. However, spending so much time online puts us at risk of internet privacy issues. It’s essential to know all you can about how to protect personal information online.
What is Internet Privacy & Security?
Internet privacy and security refers to the level of protection your personal data gets on the internet. Many factors can affect internet privacy and security, including identity profile safety, availability of posted personal records, breached information, exposed personal details, and many other things that could lead to identity theft.
Why Does It Matter?
Internet privacy and security matters because if you are not careful, your personally identifiable information (PII) could be exposed, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
What Data Are We Talking About When It Comes to Digital Privacy?
It’s essential to know how to protect your privacy. The first step is knowing what data may be at risk. Some of the pieces of information that you need to protect are:
- Social security number.
- Home address.
- Driver’s license.
- Passport number.
- Medical IDs.
- Date of birth.
- Mother’s maiden name.
- Private images.
- Birth certificate details.
- Credit card numbers.
- Bank accounts.
- Other private information.
Internet Privacy Risks and Dangers
Below are some of the risks and dangers of privacy and security on the internet:
Personal Accounts Phishing
Through a process of “phishing,” your user data can become exposed on the internet. The type of details that identity thieves target is usually the most important personal identifiers, such as your DOB, SSN, phone numbers and email addresses, family members and associates, employment information and history, education records, social and web profiles and accounts, online usernames, private user IDs and private images, videos, posts, chats, and other information.
Internet Pharming Scams
Digital privacy and security on the internet involve many online scams, including “pharming.” Pharming is an internet breaching technique used to redirect a legitimate website visitor to a fraudulent website. It uses a masked IP address concealing the fake destination, so you are not aware you are using a scam website. Often these scams are linked to social networking sites.
Spyware & Privacy Breaches
Many identity thieves use spyware to try and compromise your data privacy and online security. Spyware is malicious code that infects your computer to spy on you. This additional software is installed without the user’s consent or knowledge. Thieves wait until your computer or device is online and then access your data using the spyware already installed. Spyware can be used for data collection or ransom.
Identity thieves may use malware to compromise your identity. Malware is a virus program identity thieves use to steal your information. It may be installed on your local machine or payment terminals in retail stores. We recommend that you regularly scan your computer and personal information for any breaches and exposures to help identify potential issues.
Ransomware & Computer Attacks
There are many ways that your digital privacy and security could become weak and compromised. Another way this can happen is ransomware. Ransomware is illegal software that hackers install on your device to take over your data and accounts. Sometimes thieves use ransomware to blackmail money from you or take control of your bank accounts.
Online Shopping Security
Online privacy and online security is a growing concern for people who make online purchases via e-commerce sites, visit social media websites, or participate in online games and other online forums. The most crucial part of internet security is ensuring that your account password is not compromised or revealed, or your identity or account information could be breached and stolen.
Your personal information could become exposed through phishing, pharming, spyware, ransomware, malware, viruses, Trojans, data breaches, and other fraudulent software. Be sure to check what type of records of yours are exposed by running one of our free scans and ensuring everything is correct, up to date, and contains no suspicious or erroneous information. Monitoring your information is a type of cybersecurity practice that internet users need to stay safe.
Browser Safety & Security
Some personal privacy and data protection safeguards to keep you safe include using approved antivirus software, identity theft protection and monitoring services, anti-spam software, and correctly configuring firewalls to help you browse the internet safely and securely. We strongly recommend that you run a regular scan of your information to make sure you know what is available about you on the internet and what types of data have been posted online.
How Can I Strengthen My Internet Privacy & Security?
It’s essential to know how to protect yourself online, and part of that is education. Learn all you can about privacy protection and security and implement best practices. You should also sign up for identity theft and credit monitoring to keep a close eye on all your information.
How to Protect Your Information Online
Some ways you can protect your data and online privacy and security include:
Use Preventative Software or Service
We strongly recommend that you start using various approved, reviewed, and authorized types of preventative software and services to help curb online privacy violations, such as antivirus software, anti-malware, anti-spam, computer, and device firewalls, VPN cloaking and masking software, anti-ransomware, anti-spyware, and a comprehensive identity theft protection and monitoring service.
What is digital secure? Digital secure refers to a suite of software programs designed to protect your online privacy and security.
Safe Shopping & Browsing
Avoid shopping on unreliable or unfamiliar websites that look suspicious or ask you strange or revealing personal questions that would not be required for that service. If you think you are in danger of having your information and personal details stolen, hacked, leaked, or breached, we recommend that you stop the activity immediately and verify that the website you are using is legitimate.
Avoid Data Exposures
Avoid exposing your personal details on websites with lower or non-existent security levels. Always verify that your connection is private and secure, and that the security certificate is valid and up to date. The types of data that could be intercepted on such sites include your name, addresses, account details, email, phone, relatives, DOB, SSN, and any other personally identifiable data.
Clear Browser Cache & History
We strongly recommend that you use protection software that automatically clears your browser cache and browsing history regularly. Doing so will help you prevent certain types of online scams and fraudulent activities by ensuring all installed cookies and internet data could not be used against you if you visited a compromised website in the past.
Always use very strong passwords that consist of letters, numbers, and special characters in your accounts online to prevent unauthorized activity such as scams, account takeovers, phishing, hacking, intercepting, spying, breaching, compromising, and other identity theft scams, as well as keep your identity and your public profile safe and protected.
Keep Your Information Monitored
To check your online privacy and security levels, run one of our free scans verifying your public identity and public records. We will instantly let you know what type and how many of your public records are available online and are potentially exposed for others to see. We look for combinations of your personally identifiable information such as your name, address, DOB, and other data to show how much of your profile is currently exposed.
Secure Your Accounts
Make sure all your accounts (especially financial ones) are digital secure. That means turning on two-factor authentication, using security questions, and setting a strong, unique password for each one.
Protect your Web Browsing
Use Antivirus Software on Your Computer
Keep good, strong antivirus software on all your devices and run deep scans often. Some internet service providers (ISP) offer antivirus free to their customers.
Update Your Software and Devices
Update your software and devices with the latest security patches.
Don’t Install Sketchy Software
Never install software or apps from untrusted sources. Many contain malware or worse.
Lock Down Your Phone in Case You Lose It
Use biometrics to lock down your phone, so no one can access your private information if stolen or lost.
You must do all you can to protect yourself online. Scammers and cybercriminals devise new ways to commit fraud daily, so you need to keep up by securing your online information and keeping it private.
Frequently Asked Questions About Internet Privacy & Security
How Do Digital Privacy Laws Work?
Each country has its own digital privacy act. These laws help protect citizens from unlawful use of their personal information. If you do suffer an attack, you can contact local law enforcement to help and report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
How Can I Prevent Internet Privacy Violations?
To help prevent internet privacy violations, use preventative software and services such as identity theft protection and monitoring service, antivirus software, anti-malware, anti-spam software, computer and device firewalls, and other types of helpful software and services.
What Types of Internet Privacy Violations Exist?
Many types of online privacy and security violations and scams exist online such as fake or fraudulent websites and web services, phishing violations, pharming threats, spyware software, malware, ransomware, and other types of illegal software and methods used by online identity thieves to steal and misuse your identity profile and personally identifiable information.
Does Identity Theft Protection Help With Internet Privacy?
Although identity theft protection and monitoring services cannot help you protect against all internet privacy and security violations, they may give you an edge when dealing with such situations. It will also notify you if your data or personal information has become compromised.
How Can I Start Monitoring My Internet Privacy & Security?
To start monitoring your information, run one of our free scans to check instantly what type of information is considered breached or exposed and to see the report summary with our quick assessment of your identity threats and possible identity theft incidents. IDStrong’s privacy protection begins with monitoring your information.