The digital frontier might present more threats than the physical world. You can readily secure the entrances from an intruder in your home through appropriate measures. That becomes much more complicated online since hackers always come up with new exploits to compromise your cybersecurity.
Installing a good antivirus and calling it a day is not enough. The FBI recorded more than 847,000 complaints about internet scams in 2021 alone. It was an increase of 7% from 2020. So, we know that the situation is far from ideal.
Let’s go through the statistics from 2021 and investigate the possible solutions you can adopt to alleviate the issues.
Not taking any security measures
While cybersecurity threats pose a clear and present danger, an alarming number of users don’t do anything to protect their online privacy. The Statista report shows that 29% of internet users don’t do anything to secure their private information online. The picture is quite bleak since, on average, a novice hacker can succeed on every third attempt, even if they don’t use a major exploit.
Parental control of children’s devices
You can’t stop your children from using the internet, no matter how hard you try. However, only 33% of parents monitor their kid’s online activities. That doesn’t mean hovering over them but using a few automated tools if they get a bit too curious for their own good. Additionally, there is excellent parental software for Windows that can help you safeguard your home computer.
Changing privacy settings
A mere 29% of Americans change the default privacy settings on their digital devices. It is a cause for concern since many of these manufacturers use backdoors to share your data with other parties without your consent.
Therefore, it becomes crucial to ensure that you control your device’s camera, microphone, and storage access. Only 18% of people restrict the use of such peripherals without their permission.
Protection from identity theft
According to Crowdstrike, 62% of all identity and data thefts occur from non-malware, hands-on activity. It means that hackers target specific people instead of fishing for unsuspecting victims.
Only 27% of people use active measures to protect their identity online in the US. It decreases the risk for them and their close friends or family members.
Third-party cookies on a browser
Approximately one in four people disable third-party cookies. It’s surprising, considering that the security risks from cookies were all over the news.
To disable third-party cookies, go to your preferred web browser’s ‘Security and Privacy Settings’ section. It takes just a few seconds, and you’ve increased your online privacy massively.
Remembering lengthy and complicated passwords is difficult. If you forget your password, you need the means to authenticate your identity. It is where multi-factor authentication comes in.
But according to Statista, only 26% of people use multi-factor authentication. It means that the majority are vulnerable to a lockout. Furthermore, they can’t track any unauthorized activity regarding their account.
Not using the full name on social media
Only 22% of social media users don’t use their full names for their profiles. It means that you can usually draw most personal information on someone by simply looking over their Facebook (News – Alert) or Instagram account.
It is a massive risk to the privacy of individuals who may not want undue attention. That is why 16% of internet users delete at least one social media account in a year.
Encrypted emails and text messages
Unencrypted messages can be intercepted and decoded over a Wi-Fi network. There are five different types of email encryption that standard web services use. For text messages, AES-256 is currently the most secure encryption that you can have. However, shockingly, only 18% of people use encrypted applications to send emails and text messages.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
You can use a VPN to mask your data and IP address when using the internet. Unfortunately, only 16% of people use such software.
Using such software is beneficial as your data and digital identity immediately become more secure. For instance, a VPN for PC at your home can be a game-changer for your daily activities. You can avoid being tracked by your ISP, data brokers, and other potentially invasive entities.
Anonymous payment methods
A mere 15% of all internet users have an anonymous payment service. It is a significant issue as many stores can use your payment information to incur illegitimate charges or sell it to other businesses. Moreover, to keep your payment methods anonymous, use virtual credit/prepaid cards.
Privacy monitoring services
Even if the above methods remain active, there can still be instances when your personal information slips through the cracks. Surprisingly, only 14% of internet users in the US look up or suppress their private information online.
Perusing customer records for personal information
Almost every company stores a record of their customers. However, only 8% of the customers ask about the nature of that data. Although the companies are legally bound to fulfill the request, the lack of inquiries means no severe consequences.
Most firms store customer information on their central servers. So, you can get in touch with their CRM team to request the same.
There is a lot to be done before fully assuring ourselves of a fair informational exchange over the internet. Remaining vigilant with our info is the most outstanding defense against cyber-attacks. We hope this insight proves fruitful and can help you better manage your online privacy.