8 Simple Things You Can Do To Protect Your Privacy

15 December, 2016
By G-Team in Technology
With the Internet of Everything, privacy is becoming a rare commodity these days. With all sorts of data being stored on the web, literally anything can be retrieved online, including your personal data. You will be surprised at how much personal information the internet stores as you browse websites unknowingly.
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According to statistics from cloud security vendor, SkyHigh, the average organisation shares documents with 826 external domains. This includes business partners as well as personal email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail! and Hotmail. While this might seem to be a massive number, shared documents only account for a relatively small proportion of total data stored in file sharing solutions. 64.3% of these documents are not shared with anyone and are only accessible to the individual who uploaded the file or parties with admin privileges. Yet, this does not discount the fact that there is a possibility of data leak.

While data leakage is not entirely avoidable, this does not mean that we should be complacent when it comes to preventing it or minimizing the risk of it occurring. Here are 8 simple ways that you can do to protect your privacy – be it at work or personal.

1.       Do not fill up your social media profile

The more information you share about yourself on social media, the easier it would be for someone to access your personal information. Ideally, keep your social media profile as barren as possible. Does the entire world really need to know your birthday and phone number? The people who need to know these information should already have it, so you do not have to broadcast it to the entire world.

2.       Check your privacy settings – make sure default privacy setting is not public

Unknown to many, most default privacy settings on social media sites or email domains would be set to “public”. Yet, many do not bother changing the privacy setting to "friends only" or perhaps, they do not know how to. Make an effort to find out your privacy settings and ensure that it is not set to public.

3.       Lockdown your hardware

Many people might complain that having to key in a password when unlocking their laptops or mobile devices is troublesome and unnecessary. However, those few seconds of keying in your password can help prevent any unwanted person from snooping around and accessing the private files on your electronic devices.

4.       Encrypt and password-protect your files

Always encrypt and password-protect your important and confidential files. Additionally, if you are sending these files to another party via email, send the password via a separate mailer. This can prevent any unwanted parties from gaining access to your private files.

5.       Turn on private browsing

If you do not want your colleagues or family members to know the websites you have been browsing (e.g. your entire browser history shows only ASOS.com), you should enable “private browsing”. This feature, which should be available in most web browsers, deletes your cookies, temporary internet files and browsing history after you close the web browser.

6.       Use two-factor authentication

With two-factor authentication, this means that when you log in to that particular site, you will also need to enter a special code that the site texts to your phone. Two-factor authentication might be time-consuming but it is a great way to beef up the security on your personal online accounts.

7.       Lie when setting up password security questions

Password security questions such as “What city were you born?” or “What is the name of your first high school?” are supposedly meant to keep your account safe from hackers or unwanted users. However, someone who is keen to access your account could easily do some online research to dig up the answers to these generic questions.

8.       Google yourself regularly

The best way to determine if your information can easily be uncovered online is to search about yourself regularly. Alternatively, there are tools such as Talkwalker Alerts that drops you an email whenever new information about you is being mentioned or published on the internet.

While taking all these precautions might be time-consuming and cumbersome, if you really value your personal space, these are simply quick measures to safeguard your personal privacy.