As more and more people get easy internet access, the online space is expanding exponentially. This means that most people have access to at least some online applications and have some of their data shared online. But with such a massive number of users, it is almost impossible to know who is good or bad on the internet. With this confusion comes the possibility of your personal information being unsafe with certain websites.
If we consider the state of online privacy in the United States of America, it is sub-par and vague at most. According to PIA, almost all US states have different online privacy laws. Still, if we compare them, some states do not have laws related to protecting children’s information on the internet, and others state that sites and services can legally share user information with third parties or track online activities.
Increasing cybercrimes in the US
There is a sheer lack of online privacy protection on the internet as people are not very aware of the dangers of the internet. However, stealing personal information is one of the most lucrative businesses for cybercriminals. Additionally, the lack of proper preventive measures makes it easier for hackers to steal user data and leave no trace of their presence.
It is also concerning that many websites and applications do not have proper security measures to ensure the safety of their user database. These holes in the security of the database make it easier for hackers and cybercriminals to get into any database. These activities also end up causing a lot of damage to users as well as the operating websites.
Hackers and scammers look for personal information to sell on the dark web, but they also look for other things like financial information, account passwords, and identification documents. So internet users should take serious preventive measures to protect their data and increase their online privacy.
What is online privacy
Online Privacy essentially refers to the right of an average user to keep their personal information private. There has always been a debate about how much large organisations and government authorities should know about people. It is problematic if all the personal information related to a person is simply available on the internet for others to see and explore.
The lack of internet privacy inherently increases the need for internet security so that users can control how much they can share publicly on the internet. It can be said that ensuring that user data is protected, as this can eventually lead to identity thefts and financial scams.
So what can internet users do to protect their personal information while browsing? What information can be hidden, and how much should you share? Let’s look at some ways to ensure that your personal information is somewhat protected while you browse the internet from your devices.
How to improve online privacy and security
Effectively improving online privacy and security means, at its core, restricting individual access to sensitive information. This might not come as a surprise that the best way to protect your data while browsing the internet is by using strong and unique passwords. Never use the same password for every account. Even though accounts created on larger platforms have a secure database, smaller websites do not have the same level of security.
Creating strong passwords is essential in protecting your information online as it makes it harder for hackers to access your accounts. Additionally, sharing less personal information on the internet and updating the security settings of applications can also be helpful.
To ensure that no one can access your devices, e-mails, and other accounts, it is better to set up two-factor authentications for all your important accounts. It is also better to use various methods to set up two-factor authentication so that in case you lose your phone or e-mail, you will still be able to access your other accounts.
Another way to protect your device data is to avoid using public networks. Users do not know who can access their device information when connecting to a public network. Many cybercriminals and hackers use public Wi-Fi to hack into people’s devices by luring them into connecting to a public network they set up.
To add another layer of protection to your devices, especially if you have confidential information stored on them, is by getting a firewall. It acts as a barrier between the user’s device and the internet and blocks unauthorised access to the devices. Additionally, using anti-virus services on your devices can also help users protect their devices against any spyware or malware uploaded to your device by some external website.
It is difficult for internet users to ensure that all their personal information is protected. However, it is suggested that users should try to keep as much of their data offline as possible. The lesser you use the internet, the fewer chances your data will be stolen.
However, it is not possible to completely give up on using the internet. That is why it is better to take the help of certain preventive measures so that users can easily protect their online data. Be it using unique passwords or using two-factor authentication, there are many ways for internet users to add a layer of protection to their data. It is also important to note that users should better understand the online privacy protection laws in their state and how they can help ensure data protection.
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