Simple and Effective Ways To Protect Yourself Online

Updated: May 13

It’s never been more important to be tech-savvy about protecting ourselves online. The truth is that the moment new online security becomes available (think software updates, etc.), hackers are already trying to breach it. It’s a never-ending cycle of cat and mouse. However, you don’t need a degree in IT to protect your details - far from it. You can take some simple steps to protect your personal information and save yourself from suffering a data breach. This article looks at some steps you can take today.


1. Use Antivirus Software

Antivirus software typically protects you against malware. Malware is the name given to software with the specific intent to cause damage to a computer, server, network, or client. This can be devastating, which is why it is worth paying for antivirus software that’ll protect you from malware like Ransomware and Trojan horse programs.


Regardless of the type of antivirus software selected, you’ll more than likely need to renew it every year. If you’re happy with the service you’re receiving, then having it run consecutively avoids any interruption in service.


2. Use a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are becoming increasingly popular because they protect you against someone trying to access your information in a Wi-Fi spot that has lax security.


VPN’s do this by encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through a server owned by the VPN company. This stops anyone from gaining access to your files or data sent from your laptop to your mobile phone or vice versa. VPN’s also hide your IP address, showing theirs instead. This is a great way to stop trackers from determining your location. If you’re ever working in a coffee shop, library, or anywhere that has free Wi-Fi, you should use a VPN for your protection.


If you’re interested in using a VPN, there are plenty of websites where you can even earn discounts, including swagbucks.com, or where you can obtain a trial period via coupons or discount codes. Some websites even provide different discounts to suit your needs, ranging from Spring deals and deals for a three-year commitment.


3. Have More Than One Email

This is not an uncommon thing. Many of us have different email accounts, perhaps one for work and another for everything else. However, think about having different emails for different purposes—for example, a personal email for communicating with friends or family and another for subscribing to websites.


If you decide to do this, you need to keep your online identities associated with each email address separate from each other. So if you are on a social media platform, you wouldn’t have the email address that you use for subscribing to websites listed as a way of contacting you. Nor would you have your personal email as your preferred email for your subscriptions.


4. Have Unique Passwords


Imagine you have the same password for all the places you shop at, and a hacker has purchased a batch of emails and passwords, one of which is yours. They could use it to gain access to your accounts, purchase stuff and have access to even more of your personal information.