How to Keep Your Data Private: Our Top 6 Tips

The internet is home to billions of users and millions of people create new online accounts each day. Whether it’s for banking, meeting new people, or anything else, keeping your data safe is essential. When we refer to data we’re focusing on passwords, public records, social security information, banking information, usernames, and anything else that can be stolen online.

While it may seem overwhelming to protect all of these data points, it doesn’t have to be. We have a handful of methods to help to stay secure online.

Learn about each tip and how to keep track of your records below.

woman looking at her phone

6 Tips to Keep You Safe Online

Staying safe online isn’t as easy as it used to be because hackers continue to upgrade their tools. Fortunately, you can stay ahead of people who want to get in by following some of the tips we cover in detail.

These tips include:

  1. Use a VPN
  2. Change Your Passwords
  3. Be Careful Who You Chat With
  4. Avoid Clicking Random Links
  5. Update Your Systems
  6. Backup Your Data

Learn more about each tip below.

1. Use a VPN

VPNs are one of the best things you can use to surf the internet. A VPN functions by routing your connection through a different server than your primary internet service provider. This helps you hide your IP address and remain secure online.

Aside from protecting you, VPNs are our favorite tip because you get some unique benefits. These include access to television shows and web search results that might not be available in the United States.

VPNs do cost money but many options like NordVPN offer discounts when you purchase the annual package.

2. Change Your Passwords

This tip might seem obvious but millions of people use the same password for everything and don’t update it. Sure, using a variation of that password might count, but consider changing your password to something completely new.

Several apps can help you update your password across many platforms at the same time to speed up the process. While this may seem simple, changing your passwords gives you a layer of protection that doesn’t require much effort, time, or money.

3. Be Careful Talking to Strangers

Talking to strangers and meeting new people is one of the best ways to leverage the Internet. In fact, there are tons of social media platforms designed to help you meet new people. That said, it’s important to be careful when talking to strangers. This becomes more true when someone starts sending you things via email.

The good news is that there are email lookup search engines (like this one, our personal favorite) that you can use to verify someone’s identity. We recommend using these tools before opening links from someone and before responding to unfamiliar emails.

4. Avoid Clicking Random Links

hand on mouse

Random links have become one of the biggest problems on the internet. These are known as phishing links and they give the people who send them access to your information.

The problem has become so severe that nearly seven million of these attacks were registered in 2022. Unfortunately, that’s a 4% increase from 2021 and that number is projected to be higher in 2023. Phishing links can be found on websites, sent via email, or sent to your phone through text.

5. Update Your Software

Regardless of the software you’re using, it’s important to keep it updated. This applies to your smartphone, laptop, and desktop. Anything you use that’s connected to the internet needs to be up-to-date. Otherwise, people can breach your device’s outdated security.

You can update your systems manually but many devices have automatic updates to help you stay current. If you have this feature disabled, we recommend turning it back on.

Also, it’s a good idea to install antivirus software if you’re worried about additional problems or visit risky websites frequently.

6. Back Up Your Data

Backing up your data is a great thing to do because it will keep you afloat if something does happen to you. If you get hacked and lose all of your data, for example, you can restore the backup and keep your data. While you might still lose some information it’s better to have something rather than nothing.

These tips will keep your data safe when you’re using the internet.

Stay Safe Out There

In many ways, the internet is still like the Wild West and data laws are hard to enforce. The good news is that it’s possible to stay ahead of any potential problems by following the tips we provided. Also, make sure you check your data frequently to ensure that there are no discrepancies or problems to take care of.

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