In today’s modern world, the internet has become an essential component of our daily life. We are constantly connected to the internet, from social media to online shopping. However, this connectivity comes with a risk to our privacy. We leave digital footprints everywhere we go, so it’s critical to take precautions to safeguard our personal information online.

Protecting Yourself from Data Breaches and Cybercrime

When it comes to online privacy, data breaches are a huge concern. A data breach occurs when a hacker gains unauthorized access to sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial information. When a company or website suffers a data breach, it puts its users’ personal information at risk. As a result, identity theft, fraud, and other forms of cybercrime may occur. To protect yourself from data breaches, use strong passwords, avoid sharing personal information on public networks, and keep an eye on your accounts for unusual activity.

Be cautious when sharing your information with third-party apps or websites, as they may lack the same security measures as the sites you trust. If you suspect that your information has been compromised in a data breach, you should change your passwords immediately and monitor your accounts for any unauthorized activity.

Staying Safe on Social Media Platforms like Facebook

One of the most common ways for people to compromise their privacy online is through social media platforms. Facebook, in particular, has become a hot spot for exchanging personal information, and not all of it is secure. For example, you have probably seen posts that say, “Copy and paste this into your feed, and then you’ll see all your friends again… it really works!” These posts are frequently scams intended to dupe people into disclosing personal information or installing malware on their computers. Just ignore those posts and keep scrolling!

One of the best ways to protect your privacy on social media is to be cautious about what you share and where you’re sharing. Consider whether a hacker could use your responses to an online post or quiz to guess your security questions. For example, an online quiz that asks you to list your favorite movie could possibly reveal the answer to a common security question like, “What is your favorite movie?” Be extra vigilant of quizzes that ask for personal information such as your birthdate or location.

Misleading posts on social media can also compromise your privacy. Because the owner of a post can modify it after it has been shared, you may unintentionally contribute to advertising (or worse!) that you do not support. For example, a seemingly innocent post about a missing pet or a fantastic job opportunity could be edited to include spam or links to malicious websites. To avoid this, steer clear of posts that appear too good to be true, and never share anything without first verifying the source.

How Password Managers and 2FA Can Keep Your Accounts Safe

You can also protect your online privacy by using technological safeguards. One of the simplest and most effective methods is to use strong, unique passwords for each online account. Password Manager apps such as LastPass or BitWarden are lifesavers because they securely store all your passwords in one place and generate new, secure passwords.

One of the many benefits of using different passwords for your accounts is that hackers will have a more difficult time gaining access to all of your personal information, even if only one account is compromised. Another safeguard involves enabling two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA requires a second form of identification, such as a code sent to your phone or obtained through an app such as Google Authenticator. Implementing 2FA makes it easier for people and businesses to protect their sensitive data, which is crucial.

Over to you!

Whether you own a business or are a frequent social media user (or both!), protecting your privacy online is critical in today’s climate. When using social media, be sure to create and use strong passwords, get into the habit of using two-factor authentication, and be wary of misleading posts. By following these simple steps, you can keep your business and personal information safe while still enjoying the benefits of the internet without the risks.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger