Internet Privacy & Security: How to Protect Your Digital Privacy

  • 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 It Matters

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.

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 privacy

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.

Malware Threats

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.

Exposed Records

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

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.

Password Protection

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

Turn on ad-blockers and turn off tracking on your web browser. Review your web browser privacy settings and set them to maximum protection. Read the platform’s online privacy policy before agreeing to use it. Use a private browsing window when you log onto financial accounts. Use trusted search engines and an “Incognito” window when browsing with Chrome. A VPN will mask your online activities and keep you safer.

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.

internet security

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.

About the Author
IDStrong Logo

Related Articles

What is Mail Theft and How to Prevent It in 3 Simple Steps

One of the many ways that identity thieves get their hands on your personal information is through ... Read More

Credit Card Fraud: What Is It and How To Protect Yourself Against It

Credit card fraud is a fact of life, and most Americans have experienced it or know someone who ha ... Read More

Lost or Stolen Phone? Don’t Panic, Follow These Steps

Most of us are tethered to our smartphones like a lifeline. In these tiny little computers, we car ... Read More

Stolen or Lost Wallet: What to Do?

Anyone who has ever lost their wallet or purse, or had it stolen, knows that instant spark of pani ... Read More

7 Most Common Types of Identity Theft That Can Happen to You

Identity theft is a major concern for many Americans these days with data breaches, ransomware att ... Read More

Latest Articles

Flagstar Bank Breach Impacts More Than a Million Customers

Flagstar Bank Breach Impacts More Than a Million Customers

Flagstar Bank is in the news for the wrong reason. The bank recently publicized the fact that it discovered a digital breach.

Weekly Recap June 24 2022

Weekly Recap June 24 2022

We are nearly halfway through 2022. News stories detailing hacks and other digital breaches continue to roll in on a daily basis.

Cybercrime Related to Travel Soars at the Year’s Halfway Point

Cybercrime Related to Travel Soars at the Year’s Halfway Point

There has been a significant spike in tourism following the gradual decline of the coronavirus pandemic.  The increase in travel has caught the attention of digital miscreants looking to scam tourists as well as travel services providers.

Featured Articles

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

Buying your own home is the American Dream, but it might seem out of reach to those with bad credit. However, the good news is, if your credit is less than perfect, you do still have options and in most cases, can still buy a home.

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

How Secure Is Your Password? Tips to Improve Your Password Security

Any good IT article on computers and network security will address the importance of strong, secure passwords. However, the challenge of good passwords is that most people have a hard time remembering them, so they use simple or obvious ones that pose a security risk.

Top 10 Senior Scams and How to Prevent Them

Top 10 Senior Scams and How to Prevent Them

Senior scams are becoming a major epidemic for two reasons. First, seniors often have a lot of money in the bank from a life of working hard and saving.