If you’re like most people, the internet probably knows a little too much about you––your age, address, job titles for the past 8 years––a little too much for comfort. You’d think people would be concerned about the internet’s infinite knowledge of their lives, but they don’t seem too bothered. To be fair, most people can’t afford to go off the grid, because their professional lives require an online presence to some degree. 

So, how private do you want to be online? Consider these 7 steps to a more secure online presence. 

#1: Avoid public Wi-Fi.

Public Wi-Fi is a great idea in theory, and can also be really convenient in certain situations, but it’s risky. Hackers target public networks hoping to intercept personal information. Instead, opt for a family VPN or a personal hotspot. 

#2: Install an ad blocker.

Using an ad blocker in your browser can result in faster loading times, but the greatest advantage it gives you is the ability to protect you against malware attacks. If you hate being pestered by ads online, consider installing an ad blocker. 

#3: Leave less of a digital footprint.

Limit information shared on apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by setting social media profiles to private, deleting personal information, and avoiding oversharing. 

#4: Curate strong passwords.

When it comes to data protection, it’s important that you create a robust password to conceal personal information. Consider using randomized uppercase letters, and ample special characters. Google will even suggest strong passwords for you to use.

#5: Guard your Social Security number.

Legitimate businesses, doctors, college applications, etc. will ask for your SSN—but don’t share it online. Even if most organizations mean well, it doesn’t take much for one security breach to share thousands of people’s private information. 

#6: Turn off Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is a great way to share your favorite music—and the perfect opportunity for a hacker to compromise your device. Make sure you turn off your Bluetooth when you’re not actively using it. 

#7: Use secure messaging apps.

There are plenty of apps available in the App Store that have risky security features. Whichever you plan on using, double check its terms of data privacy and encryption. 

These are just a few small changes you can make to help safeguard your online privacy. Want to learn more effective ways to protect your data online? Contact Byte Size today.

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