Virtually all humans have a self-preservation mechanism. This is what makes you cautious as you move through life, hedging risks every now and then. For the most part, it is the reason why you are still alive.
Well, in certain instances, this mechanism can be overridden by something known as optimism bias. It can also be referred to as the “it can’t happen to me” syndrome. Humans, as a whole, like to downplay the possibility of bad things happening.
While this can certainly help you sleep a little better at night, there can also be a downside. It can mean that you let your guard down and aren’t fully aware of all the risks around you. You have a more unbiased opinion about just how safe you are, consider what you need to know about security in modern times.
Be Aware of the Digital Footprints You Leave Behind
Although it isn’t a pleasant point to focus on, every move that you make online is tracked. From the moment you open up your internet browser, your provider, websites, and search engines know what you are up to. Now, for the most part, this information is used in an annoying but largely harmless manner.
Many of these businesses want your browsing details to create more targeted ads or to improve their customised service. Due to many new laws regarding privacy, websites have to divulge that they are storing cookies on their site.
Nevertheless, this can be a rather uncomfortable feeling, especially when you are looking for sensitive information. Not to mention, when planning a holiday or booking a flight, these tracking mechanisms can work against you.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution – a Virtual Private Network or VPN. This is becoming a rather common tool among the general public. When you use a VPN, the virtual and physical address of your computer or digital device is obscured. Therefore, no one can trace your movements back to you!
Online Identity Theft is Easier than You Might Think
You probably grew up with stories of identity theft. Well, this is a criminal activity that continues to stick around and cause quite a bit of damage to people. Regrettably, it is also a crime that has become more tech-savvy. This means that more and more people are having their identity stolen online.
One of the ways that this can happen is through spyware unknowingly downloaded onto your computer. The malicious program then tracks all the information on your device and gains access to your financial information, social security number, and more.
Identity theft can also occur when you shop on unknown or suspicious sites. Here, any important details that you use are saved and used for criminal purposes. The easiest way to prevent online identity theft is to be more careful about the websites that you visit. You should avoid downloading files from sites that can’t be verified.
Online Profiles Don’t Tell the Whole Story
These days, it is common to meet people online. Social media, dating apps, and even friendship apps mean that strangers can connect on the internet rather easily. In fact, many people form strong and lasting bonds with people they have never met.
The downside is that this anonymity can make it rather easy for people to trick others into falling for various scams. It isn’t just money that you have to be worried about losing, either. There are plenty of predators masking their real identities through online profiles.
So, it is important to never take an online profile at face value. This is especially true if the person on the other end of these interactions refuses to accept phone calls or voice calls. You should never give out personal information or send these individuals money.
If you are planning on meeting an online acquaintance, make sure to do your research first. Look up https://www.checkpeople.com/police-records to see if the other individual has ever been accused of a crime. A similar background check can also help you to verify the details they have provided you with as well.
Get Creative with Your Passwords
Most people take for granted what their passwords are protecting. However, these code words can be safeguarding financial details, personal information, and a lot more. This is why you can’t be lax when coming up with your passwords. Just as importantly, you can’t use the same one for all your accounts.
When coming up with a password, don’t use the most common options. People’s names, birthdays, and anything else can easily be cracked. Instead, focus on odd, long phrases that can’t be guessed. To make this even more secure, throw in numbers, lowercase, and uppercase numbers too.
Now, you may be wondering how you are going to keep all these insane passwords in mind. Well, you don’t have to. These days, there are plenty of secure password managers around. They keep all your passwords locked up tight, ensuring that you have to remember just one password as a result!
Use Cloud Storage More Carefully
Ah, cloud storage – it is the future of online storage. In fact, more and more people are using it right now since it makes accessing files from various locations a lot easier. While the cloud can seem like a dream come true, there are also plenty of disadvantages to it.
One of the biggest issues is that the security of your cloud storage is in the hands of a third-party organisation. This means that you have to trust that they are going to safeguard your information. The good news is that there are certain options if this doesn’t sit right with you.
The trick is to encrypt your information before it is sent into the cloud. That way, if someone wants to access these files, they will have to go through two levels of encryption. So it is unlikely that they manage to get through.
If you are worried about how secure your information is, this article should give you some reassurance. Here, you can learn about all the steps you can take to greatly improve your online security.