6 Smart Ways to Protect Your Personal Data Online

6 Smart Ways to Protect Your Personal Data Online

Are you actively thinking about protecting your data privacy when you are scrolling online?

It’s more convenient than ever to use our smartphones and devices to instantly do our online shopping, pay our rent and other bills, and more. However, for anyone using the internet to store personal information it is more important than ever to take every precaution you can to keep this information safe.  

For those of us who aren’t tech-savvy, we may think having a password with an extra few digits is enough to keep our information safe. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Every time you use the internet, you’re leaving a trail of information that, if put in the wrong hands, could lead to identity theft and more. 

Here are six smart ways for protecting your personal data until Ctrl.ly is available: 

1.   Decrease Your Digital Footprint

According to Pew Research Centre, 86% of US citizens have attempted to somehow remove or decrease their digital footprint online. This is great, but it’s important to take the right steps to maximize how much of your digital footprint you erase behind you. Here are only a few ways to do so: 

  • If you’re no longer using apps you’ve deleted, go back, and ensure that you’ve deactivated and deleted your accounts. Yes, that goes for online dating sites too.  
  • Delete your “cookies” as often as you can – especially when you’ve filled out online forms, etc. If you’re using Chrome, you can delete cookies by clicking the three dots in the upper right, clicking “Settings” then “Autofill” then “clear browsing data.” This removes all cookies, browsing history, and more.  
  • Unsubscribe yourself from mailing lists you don’t care about. All those spam emails from stores you’ve shopped at and given your email address to are storing information about you. 

2. Use a Password Manager 

Downloading a Password Manager app onto your devices allows you to strengthen your passwords and make them less vulnerable to being guessed or stolen. You won’t need to use the same passwords for multiple accounts because the Manager stores everything safely and securely for you. The benefits of Password Managers outweigh any fear of the Manager being hacked, which is almost impossible to do as your information is not stored in their databases. 

3. Use Multi-Factor Verification 

Multi-factor verification adds one or more steps to the login process. You can receive a code by text or email that you will need to enter before gaining complete access to your account. Other forms of verification include answering questions that you would only know the answer to. You can usually choose to only have it occur when signing in from another network or you can stay extra safe by using it every time you log in. 

4. Use the Cloud to Back up Your Data 

If you lose your device such as your smartphone, having your data backed up onto the Cloud ensures you don’t lose all your important information. And no one will be able to get into your accounts because you would have used the safe verification methods mentioned above. Make sure you always use a pin that you know to get into your devices so that your text messages aren’t readable.  

5. Update Your Operating Systems 

iOS systems have their own protections put in place to protect your data but if you continue to ignore the alerts that it’s time to update your device, you could be putting your valuable information at risk to vulnerabilities targeted by cybercriminals. Your phone is not immune to the possibility of an attack but staying updated greatly decreases the possibility.  

6. Pre-Register for Ctrl.ly 

Ctrl.ly is a software application that will help consumers control their data privacy. With Ctrl.ly, you choose which apps, websites and companies can track and target ads to you, and more importantly who cannot. 

Ctrl.ly’s Preamable states, “We are pro-technology, but we do not accept the monetization methods used by Facebook, Instagram, Google and other tech giants who allow the abuse of information without transparency on how it is used.” 

Keeping your online data safe is an incredibly important part of staying safe while using the Internet. The idea of data privacy is what sparked need for .Ctrl.ly after all. 

It’s great to be able to have the convenience of doing so much from a handheld device – something our grandparents only dreamed about – but it’s essential to do so smartly. 

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