The Web3 Rabbit hole
January 23, 2023

7 threats to your online privacy

There are things like internet browsing habits, suspicious emails, and online transactions, which can be threat to your online privacy.

7 threats to your online privacy

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“I’m safe until it’s not happening with me.”

We have forever lived with this thought that we are safe as long as something doesn’t affect us directly. ONLINE PRIVACY, CYBERSECURITY, and related threats are part of that illusion. But are we really safe when it comes to the online world? The short answer is a big NO.

As the world is becoming connected to the internet, the issue of online privacy has become more critical than ever. You may not even remain aware of problems that could impact your privacy and cause irreversible damage.

Curious about what these are? Let’s look at them in detail below.

Internet browsing habits

How safe are your web surfing habits? Your internet service provider, which has all your browsing information, remains vulnerable to CYBERATTACKS. According to a University of Maryland study, a CYBERATTACK happens every 39 seconds.

The web pages you visit remain traceable with the help of cookies. Browser plugins, too, can track your related activities. So how do you overcome this challenge?

Adjusting your privacy settings to avoid intrusion into your personal browsing space is critical. You can opt for “do not track” functions and not “accept cookies” even when websites force you to.

Internet tracking blockers also help. Staying mindful of how and what you surf online remains vital above all.

Suspicious emails

Receiving spam emails is a regular affair with everyone who uses an email address. There are over 3.1 billion suspicious emails sent out each day. Your email account contains essential details about your business and personal communication, financial transactions, and other information.

There’s no way you can afford to compromise with your email account. It is not difficult for cybercriminals to hack into it, though. They engage in social engineering and phishing scams to attempt to steal your information.

Not opening spam emails and clicking suspicious links is the best way forward. You can also report spam and block the sender to avoid receiving further communication from them.

It is also critical to ensure you do not register yourself on apprehensive websites with your email address.

Data hacks

Every ounce of your personal information online is valuable. There’s a reason why hackers remain interested in stealing that. According to a study, 71% of hacking attempts have financial motivation.

Hackers may steal your sensitive information like passwords and force themselves into your personal accounts. Due to advanced online financial security measures, they may not be able to steal your money directly.

Possibilities of other ways to cause you harm remain high. For example, someone might impersonate you and ask for money from your social network. These are the usual security threats that most people face today.

It is best to avoid using the same passwords across all your online accounts. You can also opt for complex passwords that do not give away anything about you. It is also preferable to report such incidents promptly to prevent future attacks.

Online transactions

Do you conduct monetary transactions even through unsecured websites? It will be an easy entry point for hackers to steal your financial information. Online transactions ask you to input everything from your card number to CVV number and related security codes.

Hackers often inject vulnerable websites and payment portals with codes that steal the input data of customers. They also employ other tools like malware to skim card data. Unsecured portals will never be able to detect and stop these activities.

When attackers steal your information, they have several possibilities to harm you. They can create clone cards, conduct unauthorised transactions, or even sell your data to others. Ensure that you always double-check the websites you transact on for advanced security measures.

Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are breeding grounds for cybercriminals. You may not know, but most mobile phones can connect directly with these networks if you have unknowingly kept Wi-Fi “on.”

It is always best to avoid using public networks, even if you casually want to browse a few websites. You should also strictly avoid transactions of any sort. If there are emergencies, proceed only with an encrypted connection.

Website URLs with “https” instead of “http” at the beginning are your best bet. You can also leverage VPNs (virtual private networks) to create secure connections.

Mobile apps

Do you download any and every mobile app you come across? Are you aware that you part with your private details as soon as you grant them the requested access to your information?

Everything from your name and email address to location and IP address will reach the developer. They can sell it online to third-parties and make a profit from your personal information.

Taking corrective actions starts with not installing random apps in the first place. Most of these applications ask for permission to “access your device data” or “manage your phone calls” at the first step itself.

It is best to avoid such apps that ask for excessive permissions. There is no need for most apps to know your location or manage phone calls. If you haven’t used certain apps in a while, it is best to get rid of them. You can update the rest to their latest versions to avoid security vulnerabilities.

You

When was the last time you really read the entire privacy agreement before accepting the terms and conditions to begin using an online service? It’s not a surprise that we are the biggest threat to our own privacy.

We are often guilty of using the same basic passwords across all websites. Visiting suspicious websites because they are luring and sharing more than the desired information on social media is usual.

You may feel you are taking adequate measures to safeguard your privacy. A closer introspection may reveal otherwise. It is best to stop using online services that ask for too much of your personal information.

Bottom line

It will take only one hacking incident to turn your life upside down. The situation will be even more vulnerable if your finances are involved. Safeguarding your online privacy is fortunately not that difficult.

It is best to leverage the best practices listed above and remain vigilant. Privacy tools are essential but remain aware that they may also fail at times. Your intervention and alertness are crucial.

The online world offers a world of possibilities. Make the best use of them without compromising your privacy.