If you don’t feel safe, how can you trust? That’s why online privacy lays the foundation for feeling safe online.
Unfortunately, online users today can’t trust the websites and platforms they use to protect their data. The numerous security breaches and hacks highlight that sad fact. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal alone compromised millions of user’s personal information.
That means we are on our own for ensuring our online privacy.
Online privacy is a combination of cyber-environmental awareness and the help of a few privacy tools.
Without getting into anything fancy, simply knowing the signs that cue a sketchy website offers basic online security.
For example, look out for:
- A secure connection in your browser address bar. Secure web addresses are prefixed with https:// rather than the usual http://. Secure connections make it difficult for hackers to snoop by encrypting information coming to and from the the site.
- Trust certificates. Legitimate websites display trust certificate images on their page. The certificates are handed out by Internet trust organizations. Be careful though, counterfeit trust images are sometimes used. To be sure, contact the organization on the trust image.
- Website reviews. Third-party experiences with the website can be found on reviews. Just search the company’s name with “reviews” after it.
If you want to take your online security to the next level, consider taking these actions:
- VPN. The protection isn’t perfect but it’s a huge step up. VPN’s (Virtual Private Network) give you a temporary IP Address to disguise your real one.
- Block third-party cookies. Cookies are the most common way for advertisers to track your browsing habits. The good news? Every major web browser has an option to turn off tracking cookies in their settings.