No matter how strongly you believe you have nothing to hide on your smart devices, this couldn’t be more wrong. For most people, privacy is one of the most valuable goods they have. But, like in most modern societies, surveillance is also important. But what can we do when surveillance starts to become more invasive by the day? By the year, governmental surveillance becomes more invasive. Surveillance services all over the world have expansive rights of actions and leverage.
Now, it’s time to implement effective security tips and tricks recommended by online security experts to protect your privacy and security online.
Ensure all your smart devices are secured
Since you already have your phone glued to your hand, you might as well start thinking of all the secrets and private info you have on it. And, obviously, you want to make it the most secure device you own. Both Android and iOS devices are known for strong security protocols and features. But they aren’t equally encrypted yet.
Although iPhones encrypt data as soon as the owner locks the screen, for Android users, things are not as bright. To encrypt data on Android devices, you have to shut those down completely. This guide on how to secure Android devices will come in handy if you are a fanboy.
Pay attention to what apps you install
Apps and tools are great to make your day-to-day life easier. But are all apps safe to install and use on the devices that know more about you than your best friend? Most free apps you install will ask for permission to your contacts, camera, photos, maybe phone dialer. A single corrupted app will put your entire privacy at risk, and will create a hard-to-solve crisis.
Avoid installing free to use apps that ask for similar permissions as described above. They can be catastrophic to your privacy and online security, and they can be easily avoided. Yes, you are used to allowing all apps you install to access different systems of your phone, but be more careful in the future.
Be smart about your device passwords
On most modern phones, you can set a six-digit code to protect your privacy. To make your passcodes stronger than ever before, you can use one of the online guides that teach you to tackle this issue with success. This will still show the number keypad on the lock screen, so it will be easier for you to type everything in and access all your data when you like.
Use ad blockers on all your devices
Your smartphone isn’t the only one holding huge amounts of private info and data on you. So does your personal computer. And if you don’t want to compromise all that information and your privacy as well. All apps and systems you install and use on your computer have the potential to put your privacy in danger. No software is perfect, even if they are plugins from companies like Oracle or Adobe. To deter these from ruining your privacy, install ad blockers. These will help you worry less about tracking cookies most websites, apps and extensions install on different devices.
Don’t leave your phone number on the web
Many apps and systems ask you to leave your private phone number before allowing you to use them. The best tip we can offer in this case is don’t. Leaving your phone number around the web is an open invitation to hackers and cyber spies.
However, if you still can’t resist the temptation to leave your number on the web and within apps, and start getting calls from numbers unfamiliar to you, it’s better to avoid answering them. These might disguise scams and other unorthodox attempts. Plus, they might end up costing you money.
What you can do to figure out who’s behind those calls is using a reverse phone lookup tool and see who the holder of the number is. You will be provided with numerous information on the caller, including organizations they are affiliated with, criminal record, even addresses. This will come in handy if you want to file a police report.
Lower the online data you leave behind
Data brokers are websites that you should fear. They crawl the web for users’ personal information and they post it online afterwards, potentially making it visible to everybody online. To find out if you were a victim of crawling attempts in the past, just Google your name and the city you come from. If the top results are websites and platforms you don’t have accounts on, bad news: these are those crawler websites.
DeleteMe is a useful tool to use when trying to lower your online foot print. Plus, they offer plenty of handy guides you can use to prevent such issues from happening in the future.
Secure messaging for secure online presence
Your devices may be secure, but you still have to be careful of all the data travelling through it. All phone calls you make or receive, but also your SMS messages are vulnerable to interception or wiretapping attempts. The metadata all these actions generate can also be easily intercepted and used for surveillance purposes. Although diminishing this is difficult, you can still limit it.
The first and smartest thing you can do is using the right messaging apps and systems. Systems like PGP encryption will help you keep all your emails private by scrambling the content of your emails.
Now on to another important piece of the puzzle. You browse the web a lot, most probably. But to keep it private, think about securing your browser. No matter how perfect a browser you think it is, it’s still vulnerable in the face of cyber crime attempts and espionage attempts. Use a more private web browser. Tor is one of the best you can install and use if you like to keep all private information private.