Expert Advice to Protect Your Privacy Online

Sep 9, 2022

Originally posted at porch.com.

Protecting your privacy online is a common concern nowadays since we’re coming closer to a a fully internet-connected world. It’s more important than ever to maintain your personal, financial, and browsing data private. Here we will show you some tips from digital privacy experts for you to protect your data.

Why is a VPN important for cyber security?

“Nowadays, VPN is not just a tool, it’s a necessity! We use online banking, we send emails with sensitive personal information, we store important files on our devices, we browse dozens of websites daily and we want our search history to stay private. VPN ensures your security in the digital world and protects your devices from malware and hackers.”

VeePn

What are the most important cell phone safety tips to prevent cyber attacks?

“Here are a few cell phone safety tips to protect yourself from prying eyes:

  • Beware Of Software Installation
  • Don’t Use Free Wi-Fi
  • Avoid Opening Suspicious Urls
  • Avoid Modified Smartphones
  • Encrypt And Minimize Visibility Into Device That Access Your Company Network
  • Avoid Making Sensitive Transactions On Public Wi-Fi
  • Use Anti-Malware Solutions With Remote Wipe Functions
  • Set Face Recognition/Pins And Fingerprint To Unlock Your Device
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2Fa)
  • Avoid Oversharing On Social Media”

Bulkly

What is online reputation and how to protect it?

“Online reputation is the impression your brand makes whenever stakeholders research your name on the web. This impression can be shaped by anything from search results and business profiles to news articles and online reviews, and can have a very real impact on how customers, colleagues, investors and the public feel and interact with your business in the future. Needless to say, this can affect brand trust, industry authority and your ability to earn and grow revenue. Protecting your online reputation and brand integrity takes a proactive reputation management approach that includes online monitoring, negative content removal, optimized content production, SEO, review management, and other techniques that unlock opportunities and position your brand for success across the internet.”

Net Reputation

What is phishing and how do you protect against it?

“Phishing is a type of cyber attack that aims to deceive users into handing over personal information or granting electronic system access that can be used for the benefit of the cyber criminals perpetrating the scheme. Phishing is a creative endeavor, and cyber criminals continually design new and clever ways to reel in phishing victims. To prevent phishing, individuals and organizations alike should consider upgrading their email security, implementing stronger passwords, signing up for real-time security notifications, using a zero trust security model, and applying endpoint security. At present, callback phishing, mobile phishing and spear phishing remain as persistent and worrisome cyber security threats. At present, callback phishingmobile phishing and spear phishing remain as persistent and worrisome cyber security threats. Discover 10 of the top phishing prevention best practices here.“

Shira Landau, Check Point Software

What is the best way to safeguard important documents?

“The best way to safeguard important documents is to use DRM or Digital Rights Management.  Using this technology you can control both access and use of your documents.  DRM enables you to prevent sharing, copying, editing, printing, and screen grabs.  You can automatically expire and remotely revoke access, dynamically watermark content with user information, and lock use to devices and locations.  For a document DRM system to be effective, it should not use passwords (can be shared or removed), plugins (can be circumvented or disabled), or enforce security using JavaScript.  All browser based systems such as Secure Data Rooms, Google Docs, etc. use both passwords and JavaScript for their security and this can be easily bypassed by either editing or disabling JavaScript in the browser.”

Locklizard

What are the most common types of cybercrime?

“Cybercrimes can be divided into two broad categories i.e computer as a target and computer as a tool. The most common types of cyber-crime that our helpline receives are Cyberbullying, Sextortion, phishing/vhishing attacks,  ransomware, malware, cyber enabled human trafficking, CSAM, identity theft, and social engineering.”

CyberPeace Foundation

How to choose a secure cloud service 

“I believe it is important to choose a cloud provider who has security built into their design and default settings. A secure service should have basic compliances, such as HIPAA or GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), ISO standards etc., in place so that the user information can be protected at all times while using this particular providers’ product(s). Proving through testimonials from past clients how well they’ve performed during certain events will help a user make an informed decision about whether those products meet his/her needs before committing fully!“

Jyotsana Gupta, Wire19

What are the best practices to protect personal data from apps?

  • “Keeping a lean digital footprint is always the best way to minimize one’s digital risks. When you’re no longer using certain services, make sure to delete your account and personal information.
  • Other important tips: Use unique passwords for each account. With the number of data breaches, you don’t want to reuse passwords on apps that could give hackers access to other personal information.
  • Limit the personal information you share on apps. Make sure to check your privacy setting and turn off any app permissions that you’re not comfortable with or aren’t necessary to use the app, like live GPS settings.”

Mine

 

What are the best practices to secure your home network?

“A router is perhaps the most important gadget in any modern-day home. It controls access to your home Wi-Fi network that is used by all Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and smart IoT devices. Once your Wi-Fi network gets extended beyond your walls, it opens a wide world of opportunities to hackers who can manipulate it for their benefit. All we do in most cases is set up a password to prevent others from accessing the data. But it needs more attention. You can avoid most of the potential attacks with a few best practices detailed below:

  • Replace the router’s default admin username and password. This will help avoid unauthorized access to your router settings. Also, change the default SSID(WiFi Name) and use a strong WiFi password.
  • Keep your modem firmware up-to-date. An updated firmware will ensure that the latest security patches are installed.
  • Turn off Plug n Play(PnP) and WPS. The PnP capability can be potentially used to inject malware programs to get access to your router’s security settings. Also, Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) allows connecting new devices to the router with a push button. This makes it easier for unauthorized devices to gain access to the network. Disable this feature if you specifically want to disable it.
  • Reinforce your encryption. Use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), and Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) encryption on your WiFi network. It is much more difficult to exploit.
  • Use a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic. A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and prevents unauthorized access to your network. Setting up your Router with a VPN helps encrypt all the data transferred from every device connected to your router. Setting up a Personal or Family VPN server would be an ideal option.
  • Turn on Firewall. If your router has a firewall option, enable it and manage the settings to meet your security requirements.“

Dave Marques, UTunnel VPN Solutions ​

What are the best ways to cover your internet activity tracks?

“The best way to cover your online activity, if you don’t use internet at all. All kidding aside, it is not an easy thing to not use internet nowadays. Why? Because there are services, which are available only via the internet.  For example talking, chatting with a relative or friend who is living far from us. Or you would like to buy something what you can order only online. For using these services your PC has to save or remember some of your personal data, and a normal PC user doesn’t know how to wipe this data from one’s PC in a proper way. This is the reason why programs have been created that do the cleaning on your computer. Of course you can say that I don’t need a program I can find my browsing history myself and erase all of it. But honestly, you won’t be able to do a perfect job manually. Even cleaning the history from your browser won’t do it properly. Usually when you delete a file, then it won’t delete it directly. It depends on the settings, but usually you will find your deleted files in your recycle bin. And even if you remove it from your recycle bin, you will be able to recover it. There are programs, which  can help you to recover your deleted files. So if a third party will get your PC or somehow get an access to your PC, one can restore all your previously deleted files and steal all of your personal data.  Therefore I recommend to use a professional program regularly, such as east-tec Eraser to remove all evidence of your computer and online activity.“

East-Tec

How VPNs help you avoid identity theft

“Identity theft is a common consequence. How common? It is reported that there is one occurring every 22 seconds in the USA alone, resulting in 1 in 15 Americans becoming victims of fraud. Due to its large population, the large number of companies and integration of new technology, the United States has the highest number of identity theft cases. Most Americans aren’t aware of how to protect themselves from happening a second time, as 1 in 5 victims experience this crime more than once. Besides the usual tips of monitoring your credit cards, never sharing personal info with unfamiliar contacts and strong passwords, a virtual private network (VPN) can protect you from hackers in most cases. A VPN may not be able to protect you from clicking on malicious links or installing malware, but it can protect you from a few specific techniques used by hackers. It disguises your data traffic online and protects it from external access. While connecting to public Wi-Fi on your device, a VPN protects you from cybercriminals who are known to look for others connected to the network.”

BrightVPN

What is a Cyber Attack?

“A cyberattack is a malicious activity that cybercriminals launch using different tactics against systems and networks. Hackers use cyberattacks to expose, gain unauthorized access, alter, steal, destroy, or make unauthorized use of information assets. Cybercriminals engage in offensive maneuvers that target information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, and personal devices to access information, restricted areas, and controls of systems without authorization.”

Cyber Experts

How is crypto related to cybercrime?

“With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency, the number of scams is also increasing. Instead of opting for older scams like hacking web stores to order things or extracting credit card details, hackers now prefer exploiting crypto investors through their tricks. Cryptocurrency, an entirely digital form of money, has enabled decentralized transactions. These transactions do not require an intermediary body to regulate them. Moreover, crypto transactions are untraceable. It is impossible to trace back to the natural person on the other end, as crypto accounts don’t even require you to sign up with your real identity. After transferring crypto assets, the transaction details like the wallet’s public key are recorded on a public blockchain. The records on the blockchain can not be changed later, and that’s all.”

The House of Q

What are the characteristics of a secure backup?

“True cloud backup security is achieved through privacy-encouraged technology. That means the implementation of a zero-knowledge system in combination with client-side encryption where even the cloud backup provider doesn’t have access to your files. Sufficient redundancy and distribution across multiple data centres ensure protection against hardware failure. And to top it all off, always try to verify the company’s past performance (if they have any data breaches on their record) and check if they have complied with any of the industry security-related standards. Lastly, and even though I know it’s a hassle, enable two-factor authentication – it’s worth it!“

Cloudstorageinfo.org

What are the best practices and cybersecurity tips for working remotely?

“While there are many benefits to working from home, it’s important to be aware of the cybersecurity risks that come with it. Hackers are constantly looking for new ways to exploit remote workers, and a few simple mistakes can put your company at risk. Here are some tips to help you stay safe online:

  1. Use a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and protects your data from being intercepted by hackers. Be sure to use a reputable VPN service and connect to it whenever you’re working online.
  2. Keep your software up to date: Outdated software is one of the biggest cybersecurity risks. Be sure to keep all your software up to date, including your operating system, web browser, and any applications you use.
  3. Use strong passwords: Strong passwords are essential for protecting your accounts from being hacked. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your name.
  4. Avoid public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and easy for hackers to exploit. If you need to use public Wi-Fi, be sure to connect to a VPN first.
  5. Be careful what you click: Hackers often try to trick people into clicking on malicious links or attachments by disguising them as something innocuous. Be wary of any email or link that comes from an unknown sender, and don’t click on anything unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe
  6. If you suspect that your computer or another device has been compromised, reach out to a cybersecurity professional immediately. They will be able to help you troubleshoot the issue and protect your data.

By following these simple tips, you can help protect yourself and your company from cybersecurity threats.”

Lynx Technology Partners

How to keep your online brand safe from cyber crimes

“There are things you can do to protect your online company. Read on to find out about methods that can help reduce risks by up to 95%:

  • Trademark your Brand
  • Brand Your Domain
  • Prevent Domain Hijacking
  • Claim Your Brand
  • Protect Your Copyright”

    Lien Design

What is the safest way to do online banking?

“There is no bullet-proof tactic or a simple answer. It’s more about end-user perspective and cybersecurity awareness. But here are some key points that have to be taken into consideration when doing online banking:

  • When you’re using online banking make sure you’re accessing your bank’s official online or mobile banking app – Banks are taking the next step in ensuring cybersecurity policies such as 3D security, tokenization, Call/SMS/Mail verification, 2FA, and app authentication methods, and etc.
  • We always recommend using a secured Wi-Fi connection especially when you’re doing online banking
  • Don’t run additional apps/software on your device while you’re doing online banking except for the system necessary process and security software in the background
  • Complete a regular scan of your device with your security software before starting online banking just as a precaution
  • In the end, when you’re doing online banking try to do it in a space where you will be private physically, distanced from potential predatory eyes.”

Originally posted at porch.com.