Start here – 7 steps to lock your online privacy and security down (and enjoy the internet at full)

When you hear about online privacy and cyber attacks, you might perceive something like a robotic apocalypse.

But it isn’t so huge.

In fact, you just need to remain a little careful about how you behave online and what you do to protect yourself.

Of course, it’s challenging to begin with. But it’s never impossible.

And now that you have reached here, things won’t remain difficult either.

Here are seven essential steps that let you lock your online privacy and security down.

7 steps to develop your online armor

1. Protect your home network

You might have heard charity begins at home. So does your security.

To begin protecting your online privacy, you need to secure your home network first. It’s because your home network is that singular place to which all your devices connect – that includes your family as well. So, if your home network is vulnerable, you risk your family’s security, including your kids.

To protect your home network;

Hide network visibility

The first thing to protect your home network is to veil it from everyone. Nobody should connect to your home network except the ones who live in your home. So, why let your neighbors see your WiFi? It’s better to hide your network visibility to prevent any intrusion attempts.

Protect your WiFi password

Although you won’t mind sharing your WiFi password with your guests, you unknowingly welcome some uninvited guests, too – the hackers. So, create a strong password for your WiFi and avoid sharing it with anyone.

Create guest accounts

If, at all, you need to allow access to outsiders/visitors/guests to your WiFi, prefer setting up guest networks. Most good routers of today, like Linksys, allow you to create guest networks.

2. Use an antivirus solution

Best Antivirus Software
(123RF)

While antivirus isn’t a new word for anyone, unfortunately, many people still forget or ignore using this vital tool. Perhaps, that’s the reason why cyberattacks are rising continuously.

Thankfully, the cybersecurity community hasn’t ignored your security. That’s why you have dedicated antivirus apps to secure every device you own.

Now, it’s your responsibility to look for the best antivirus software to protect your devices. You can also protect your kids from malware attacks by using the best antimalware solutions offering parental control.

3. Set up strong passwords on all accounts

The reason account hacks have become commonplace is the use of insecure passwords. While creating, people often use hackable passwords, like admin123, 12345, iloveyou, letmein, and more. If you’re using such passwords or their variants, be ready to see your account hacked one day.

Likewise, people also reuse passwords across multiple accounts. It means that a breach of password via a single account risks all your accounts.

Therefore, make sure you create strong (hard to guess) passwords – that are long, unique, uncommon, and difficult to crack. If you’re confused about creating one, use password managers instead to take care of this hassle.

4. Protect accounts with Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Regardless of how secure your password is, your account remains vulnerable to cracking. For instance, even if you have set up a virtually unhackable password, a keylogger can ruin your privacy since it can record whatever you type.

Therefore, you should protect your accounts with 2-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). These procedures apply an additional security layer to your account, like a verification code, fingerprint scan, facial unlock, etc. They then only let someone into an account upon successful authentication that ensures that only a legit user can log in.

While you can often find 2FA on your online banking accounts, you should also protect your social media and email accounts with this security check. You can easily find the settings for 2FA in the main settings of your Facebook, Google, Twitter, and almost all other major services.

5. Use secure email addresses

Just like your chats, your emails also need security from online threats. Despite being heavily used, unfortunately, most popular email services like Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail do not offer thorough protection. Though you can apply email encryption to secure your communication, it’s not easy to configure these settings.

Therefore, you can use secure email services that secure your email communication and protect you from phishing emails and scams to a more considerable extent.

6. Go anonymous online with a VPN

Provider
ExpressVPN
NordVPN
Surfshark
Our ranking 2nd 3rd
Overall rating 9.6/10
Best Encryption
9.3/10
Most Affordable
Monthly cost (starting from) $3.71 $3
Netflix Yes Yes
Logs No logging policy No logging policy
Maximum Encryption 256-bit AES 256-bit AES
Torrenting Yes Yes
5 Eyes, 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes Member No No
Supported Devices
More info Visit website Visit website
Read Review Read full review Read full review

Given the increasing dependency on the internet and the rising tracking and cyber-attacks, you inevitably need to mask all your internet activities. That’s where a Virtual Private Network or a VPN serves you.

Briefly, a VPN encrypts the entire data generated from your device. Plus, it reroutes this encrypted data through its own servers before forwarding it to the online services.

That’s how VPNs let you change your IP location without compromising your privacy. Similarly, due to these properties, VPNs help you access blocked content, bypass geo-restrictions, change online location, prevent ISP and government tracking, and keep all prying eyes at bay.

Whether you use your home network or public WiFi, make sure you have the best VPN service running on your device.

Want to know more about VPNs? Check out these useful resources.

7. Keep an eye on your credit report

5 Eyes 9 Eyes 14 Eyes
(Unsplash)

While you can protect your own online privacy, you cannot ask the services or other users to take care of cybersecurity issues.

Hence, you remain vulnerable to losing your information via data breaches. Consequently, you remain prone to identity theft, as well.

Thus, you need to check your credit report vigilantly as well. You can sign up for a credit monitoring service like LifeLock to track your identity for potential theft. Besides, make sure to check your credit report at least once a year.

If you have already implemented most of the above, congratulations! You’re among the few safe online users, and you just need to add more to your online security to remain protected forever.

If not, don’t worry. It’s never too late to begin. Start applying steps 1 to 7 to begin creating your online armor today!

Other useful resources for all PrivacySavvy users

Although we always strive to come up with useful resources to help you stay safe online. But we know that there always is a starting point for everything, even for your privacy. So, you might need to go through the very basic resources first before delving into the detailed guides.

We recommend you to go through these guides to start safe online surfing:

Whereas, if you’re wondering about how to protect yourself from online threats while traveling or on vacations, check out these dedicated resources to learn to protect your privacy when not at home:

Plus, these essential privacy and security tools will also help you protect your online security:

Love streaming? Don’t want to miss your favorite media at any time? Check out these guides on how to unblock popular streaming sites anytime, anywhere.

Looking for more? PrivacySavvy.com is all yours!