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A Guide To Personal Security In The Digital Age


Privacy and security in the digital age have been in the news for quite a while now. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that people now rely on digital devices and the internet more than ever before. The second is that the number of attacks on both individuals and corporations has risen sharply over the last few years.

Now, considering how ingrained technology is in your life, it isn’t possible to just walk away. Rather, you need to be aware of the specific steps you can take to ensure that you are secure every time you access a digital device. The following will show you how to manage this:

Automate Your Device and OS Updates

A majority of people delay their device and OS updates for as long as possible. This is understandable as these notifications can often pop up at the most inconvenient moment. Adding to this, the updates can take quite a while, making it difficult to find the right time.

Well, this is exactly what you need to start doing. While device and OS updates can seem minimal, they are incredibly important to your digital security. Understand, most of these updates are equipped with security patches. This means that they contain fixes to correct weak points in your current system. Therefore, by installing them, you are making it more difficult for hackers and malware to get through.

Reinforce Your Security with Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

Just a few years ago, not installing an antivirus program on your laptop would have been considered madness. These days, though, quite a few people are falling behind on this practice. This, of course, is because Windows Defender has really stepped up its game. As a result, this system is able to take care of many of your security concerns. Is it enough, though?

When it comes to your personal digital security, you shouldn’t be satisfied with the bare minimum. While Windows Defender will handle most of your problems, installing other antivirus and malware programs can go a long way. See, these external programs are often updated more quickly, ensuring that they can protect your device from newer forms of malware.

Use a VPN

Does the idea of being tracked every time you log into the internet horrify you? Well, then you should definitely download and use a Virtual Private Network. Whenever you access the internet, your computer or other digital device is assigned an IP address. This way, all of your online activities can be traced right back to that particular machine.

When you use a VPN, though, this IP address is masked. Thus, no one knows what you have been doing online or which sites you have been looking at. Instead, they will only be able to see encrypted statistics. Now, when you do this, you aren’t just protecting yourself from cybercriminals. You are also safeguarding yourself against advertisers, cookies, and search engines.

Beware of Online Acquaintances

These days, adults are just as likely to find friends and partners online as they are in real life. This is largely thanks to social media. But the digital landscape, as a whole is changing to accommodate this new way of life. There are even dating apps that have features for those looking for platonic company.

The problem with meeting individuals like this, however, is that most people can’t verify who their digital friend is. This sets them up for scams, theft of personal data, and more. This is why it is quite so important to be careful of the individuals you meet online.

One way to be certain of who you strike up a relationship or a friendship with is to check their details. With options such as available, you can do a deep dive on people’s online lives. This can make it easier to determine if they are who they say they are.

Toughen Up Email Security

If you are like most people, then you probably use a free email service provider. After all, these have the required features and have been around for what feels like forever. At the same time, these providers have had their fair share of problems, including being hacked.

So, if you really want to secure what is in your inbox, it may be time to make the switch to a paid service. These often offer up more security measures and have various contingency plans in place as well, should something go wrong.

This, alone, however, isn’t enough. You should also start encrypting your emails. This is because, although you may not realize it, there may be sensitive information in the emails you send. Thus, if they are intercepted, hackers will have access to this private data. If the data is encrypted, however, no one will be able to decipher the contents.

Consider Switching Your Search Engines

If you were to consider the search engine game, there is no bigger name than Google. In fact, this search engine towers above the rest so much so that it makes other names virtually obsolete. However, though Google might be one of the most useful tools available to you, it may not necessarily be the best for your privacy.

It isn’t any secret that the search engine compiles your information every time you Google something. It then either has the freedom to use these details for its own purposes or to sell it to a third-party. Now, if this is something you are comfortable with, you can go ahead and continue to use the search engine.

However, if you want a bit more security and privacy when you are online, you should consider an alternative such as DuckDuckGo. While this search engine may not be as versatile or as powerful as Google, it does have the added bonus of protecting your privacy. This means that none of your searches are shared with anyone else.

If you take your security seriously in this digital age, these are the guidelines for you. With these in hand, you will be able to take the necessary precautions when you are online or using a digital device. In turn, this will help you to stay safe in today’s digital world.

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