Digital Privacy: Why it is important and 5 ways to maintain it

Young Man Sitting In Café Using Laptop. Photo by Tom Werner via Gettyimages 

Increased digital connectivity, sophistication in data collection and advertising, hackers trying relentlessly to steal your data and identity, malicious people tracking your every move online – and the list goes on. Maintaining your digital privacy in today’s so-called modern era can present a significant challenge especially if you lack the knowledge and skills to protect your online data and footprint. However, it’s not all hopeless – here’s how you can control and improve your digital privacy and data.

What is digital privacy? 

Digital privacy, internet security, online safety, internet privacy, etc. are some of the terms used to define online privacy and protection of digital activities. Just like the privacy of our activities in our daily lives, digital privacy refers to the activities we do while we are online using the internet, exploring different websites, engaging with different people, sharing our data on social media platforms, and so on. Digital privacy is your right, however, you will have to defend it. Like everyone, you have every right to keep your digital activities and engagements secret. However, it may not be that easy considering skilled hackers are continuously trying to steal your information, countless websites are tracking your location and requiring you to enter your personal information, while big tech companies are actively collecting and selling your data for marketing and business purposes.

Why is digital privacy so important? 

Everybody has some details about themselves that they want to remain hidden. This can include critical information such as your account login information, bank account details, credit card information, passwords that may be stored in your web browser, your private conversations on digital platforms, and so on. Of course, these must be kept private. Not making security-conscious decisions while using the internet and web applications can and will increase your risk of privacy breaches. Digital privacy intrusions can have catastrophic consequences such as data leakage, personal information misuse, identity theft, cyberbullying, embarrassment, etc. Such violations can also impact your social and personal relationships and daily lives as well. Therefore, to keep your data and digital activities private, it is critical to take necessary security and precautionary measures to protect your digital activities and data. Not sure how to get started? We have got you covered! Here are the best 5 steps that you can take to improve your digital privacy and data security.

1- Tightly grasp the zero-trust policy 

As the heading indicates, trust no one. Limit and aggressively control and decide how much and which type of data you will upload on social media and on other web platforms. Never rely on websites and companies to protect your data and information online. Take initiative and only share the information online that you are comfortable sharing with the world. Always know that once the information is online it can stay online forever because even if you delete your online information or data from a website, it may still be saved on their data servers. Likewise, apply a zero-trust policy in your daily life. Never sign in to your personal accounts using your friends’ devices, nor let them use your personal devices in your absence. Similarly, apply the zero-trust policy in every aspect of your life when it comes to protecting your personal information and data. That’s why Zecurity makes masking and spoofing your information online and offline seamless! Zecurity also keeps your most sensitive information on your device only, behind layers and layers of encryption. We develop our apps with privacy and security as our top priority.

2- Password Manager and Encryption

Do you know encryption is one of the only cybersecurity protection measures that hackers cannot break? Encryption mechanisms such as end-to-end and AES encryption have the capability to protect all of your personal data against even the most sophisticated cyber attack vectors. Hackers will not be able to see, access, or use your personal information as long as it is encrypted using a strong encryption mechanism. To store your private data online, trust only the websites and applications, such as Zecurity that are using such modern, sophisticated encryption algorithms to protect your online information and data. Encrypting all of your stored data protects it from being leaked or misused by unauthorized users.

3- Use a powerful VPN solution 

Websites constantly track your online web activities and target you with specific ads by using the data collected by your web browsers. Many websites allow you to disable the web tracking option. However, there is no guarantee that these websites will still not be able to track and collect your data secretly. Most websites can collect your search history, browser cookies, IP addresses, click-through history, etc. If that data is compromised, hackers can use your IP addresses and can execute malicious attacks targeting your devices and data. Using a highly reputed VPN can maximize your protection against location-tracking websites and malicious hacking attempts by cybercriminals.

4- Beware of the links 

There can be countless web links that you may open in a day while browsing the web. Hackers are clever, so their scams and hacking methods could be hard to detect. Cybercriminals can create real-looking but fake websites and web pages that may require you to enter your credentials or other critical information. Such web pages can steal your information and cause other serious implications. Likewise, hackers can also attach dangerous virus-infused files with a link and encourage you to download them. This is also known as social engineering attacks or phishing. Never open a link or download anything from a link that you stumble on the web while browsing or is provided by an unknown source promising unrealistic or attractive results. Before clicking the link, double-check it for authenticity.

5- Be mindful of your digital security 

Being mindful of your digital footprint and security means thinking and making decisions from a security perspective in everything you do while using the internet and digital platforms. This can include creating strong passwords, using a 2-factor authentication feature, not sharing excess information online, configuring strict privacy settings and permissions of social media, not using an internet connection from a suspicious source, controlling and limiting the permissions allowed to your mobile applications, password protecting your personal devices and data, etc. Making educated decisions based on best security practices can drastically reduce the chances of privacy intrusions and data leakage/theft.

Today’s cyberspace is rapidly becoming more hostile. Companies and individuals are continuously falling into the scams and tricks of cybercriminals. The incoming future is only expected to get worse with more and more devices, apps, and people connected to the internet. As technology evolves, the attack methods of hackers will also become more sophisticated and capable of causing massive damage. Therefore, learning the fundamentals of digital security and privacy today can assist you to develop the necessary skills to protect your digital footprint and data from the threats of tomorrow. ZV Security aims to assist the public and private sectors in the cyber world by offering solutions to these ever-growing problems. Apps such as Zecurity gives you the full power and peace of mind for a far safer and private life.