Online Safety New Years Resolution
- December 29, 2022
- Bradley Taylor
New year new me. You have heard this phrase over and over again throughout the years. People usually say this when they plan on dropping some pounds or plan on quitting a bad habit like smoking or drinking too much. But what if you also used the new year as a reason to practice safer activities online?
In this article I want to share with you some great ways to improve your safety online and help prevent your identity or funds from getting stolen. These are real world practical habits that I use myself. All of these tips can be applied to your desktop, laptop or mobile device.
- Private Browser
If you are browsing the web with a regular browser then you are leaving a trail of yourself online. Privacy browsers typically don’t allow cookies or other tracking programs to work when you visit various websites. They also prevent your web browsing history from being viewed. If you are using Chrome, Edge or any other mainstream browser then there will most likely be a privacy browsing option. Simply go to the settings and choose to open a new privacy window.
These three letters stand for “Virtual Private Network”. This allows your real IP address to be masked. It also makes it look like you are located in a totally different city, state or country. Again, this program helps you leave less bread crumbs on the web and helps keep your private information hidden. A good VPN can be found for about $35-$60 per year. The free ones are garbage however.
This stands for TWO Factor Authentication. Enabling this option on every social media website as well as all of your financial websites helps keep you from getting hacked and/or ripped off. It usually involves the website you are trying to log into sending you a text message with a code. Or, it will ask you to use the Google authenticator app. This seems like a lot to take in but once you get used to using it then it truly becomes second nature.
- Cryptocurrency Storage
You probably have seen all of the crypto exchanges that have declared bankruptcy lately. People who had their funds in those account will end up only getting about half of their money back. If you want to truly protect your funds buy a “cold wallet” like Ledger. Your crypto will still be located on the blockchain but no one other than you can access it. Essentially your cold wallet stores your 12 word seed phrase and provides you with an interface to access the currency. Its very simple.
- Anti-virus Up to Date
Make sure you keep your virus definitions up to date on your anti-virus software. Then run a scan about every one to two weeks. You can usually set it to run a scan automatically while you are sleeping. There are free anti-virus programs but they leave something to be desires. I recommend paying money for a good program. You get what you pay for.