As we live more and more of our lives online, digital security is becoming more important than ever. Data breaches, marketers tracking your every step online, and people looking to steal your identity are all potential threats that you should be aware of. Since you’re not going to get offline, here are three ways to increase your online security.
1. Use two-step verification
Two step verification may sound complicated, but in actuality, it’s very simple. Basically, when you log into your account and require two-step verification, you will be sent a text message with a code you then type in. Many major online services, such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter have a two-step verification option. While the extra step may seem like a little bit of a pain, it’s a quick and easy way to verify that it is really you logging onto those sites and not a hacker who has managed to steal your password.
2. Use a password manager
The second of the three ways to increase your online security is to use a password manager. Most of us know that our passwords should be a little stronger than “password” or “12345”, but remembering all the different passwords that have to match various requirements can be very difficult. Some sites require letters and numbers, some include upper case letters or special characters. It can be a lot to keep straight. One way to set different and highly randomized passwords across all of your on-line services is through using a password manager. There are a number of different services, but basically, they work the same. You just need to remember your master password. Most services have a simple set up that will work across different mediums. This means it can work on your smartphone and your laptop.
3. Use a virtual private network (VPN)
When you visit any website, your browser tells it a number of things about you and your browsing history. Marketers can use that information to profile you and target you with ads. While most web browsers have an incognito mode, it doesn’t really prevent such tracking. In order to really protect yourself, you need to use special tools, such as a VPN. This is an affordable service that can be set up on your smartphone or computer.
By using these three ways to increase your online security, you can feel more confident the next time you are browsing the internet.