People normally overlook the most common security measures, especially the no-brainer types which should not take about 5 minutes to implement. We decided to scribble down some tips to help you avoid running into potholes during online and offline activities. Whether the appended proved to be useful or not, you can share your experiences through our comments section.
Do not leave footprints behind while searching for something on the internet:
The official ‘Do Not Track’ motion has been facing various obstacles ever since some recent calamities occurred. Therefore it would be best to make do on your own. You know how Google tracks your information; their user agreement practically defines how user information gets tracked by default. Though, there is a way to opt out of this SNAFU, an easier alternative would be to switch to another search engine.
Technically, for a complete secure anonymous browsing experience, a set of VPN services is required. People obviously cannot afford it; therefore their IP addresses and web activities are practically naked online.
The only reason most of the people use Google Search Engine is because they have developed a habit of doing so. Google SE’s results appear to show up faster; maybe it is true, maybe it is not. In fact, I myself use Google. But at times when you are in need of a quick fix to avoid getting tracked, you can switch to other services, such as; Bing, Excite or Ixquick – all of them work fine.
To opt out of Google’s tracking and web history option, you will have to log in to your Google Account through the search engine’s option. Uncheck the ‘Track Web History’ option through search settings and then click ‘Save’. This should do it.
Password strength does matter; characters length does not!
Over the period of time, security experts have dabbled in discussing what defines a strong password. A combination of numbers, your favorite movie name, lots of alphabets in small order ‘n Caps and etc. To take this discussion a little further, some of these experts even suggested for us to write down our passwords, while some think that writing em’ down is the worst thing ever.
Moving on, there are password management programs for our easy assistance. However, they are just a combination of commands and instructions; nothing too difficult to hack through. Password managers are more or less the same set of programs that have their own security loop holes, bugs and issues to deal with. Yes, they do assist users with managing their passwords but it all comes at a very high price.
You can create your own pattern for strong passwords. Think of your favorite phrase and use every second or third letter to device a totally new set of characters. The trick is to follow a specific pattern of your choice. Eventually, you will realize that the passwords are coming off the top of your heads as easily as 1,2,3.
Input the newly created password at ‘How Secure is My Password’ website if you don’t believe in pattern based approach. You can compare your old passwords, program based passwords and the personal pattern password to see which one is the hardest to crack through. The results will be quite impressive.
Free VPN programs are a nice addition to online security:
Normally, private organizations create VPNs to provide their employees and clients with an artificially secure environment. VPNs are always going to be a nice alternative to security hazards because companies know about their plus points.
If you can afford a little bit of internet connectivity caps, and a tad bit of slow speed (normally due to heavy encryption modules), VPNs are not a bad option. The free versions of Private Tunnel, ProXPN, Anonymizer and many other online/ offline services are a nice way to give yourself a head start in online security ventures.
Smartphone security tips:
Mobile phones are increasingly becoming popular at the cost of reduced desktop PC preference. After all, when you have got a smartphone and a trusty internet connection by your side, who needs to carry PC or a Mac all over the place?
Probably because they installed a backdoor worm in your computer while you are waiting for the site to load.
With smartphones, you can get tons of resources at a moment’s whim. From tiny little suggestions for your meal plans, to hard core corporate meetings and management; everything has summed down to a palm’s width.
All the more, software security rules apply the same way to smartphones, as they apply to any other device in the IT industry. You can never be too careless with mobile devices as they tend to carry precious data 24/7.
Install a few remote data wipe applications, remote phone lock apps and tough password modules to help secure your phone’s data integrity. Even if someone manages to steal your device, you can at least wipe the data remotely to secure your sensitive information. Also, don’t forget to report your phone’s theft to your relevant mobile services provider.
Securing your online financial activities is mandatory:
Though we are at the brink of a new century, local bank rules still apply. There is this trend of maintaining banking information, online transactions and internet based shopping activities these days. They are all nice addition to facilitating and making our lives easier. But as long as critical financial sitting ducks in your hard drive, there is always a risk of compromising it.
By the way, there is this rocket scientist who has never used an ATM card in the last 40 years. The guy works with local banks and checks all the time. He is definitely a one-in-a-million example of old school bank clients, which is obviously not going to work with all of us. We need internet, we need to access our bank accounts online and do a lot of transactions remotely because it makes things easier eventually.
Don’t share your credentials with all kinds of so-called “trusted” sources. If you are working with PayPal; make sure that PayPal is the only platform that’s got your email and contact information. Always, always and always transfer your funds from online bank account to a local bank account as soon as possible. Online crooks are looking to steal identities on daily basis – it is time to toughen up the game for them.