Keep Your Digital Safety in Mind When Online

There are many tasks you can perform online in this day and age. From surfing the internet to doing your banking, the internet makes the world a more accessible place to navigate from the comfort of your own home. 

As ease of access becomes a trend in our world, it is also vital to ensure that we are mindful of our digital safety. We want to make sure that we don’t end up in an unsafe environment online, make our banking information vulnerable, or disclose our location to just anybody.

While ensuring our digital safety is relatively easy, many people overlook the simple steps it takes to make it safer. It doesn’t have to be scary. Just follow a few easy rules to keep your digital safety in mind.

Keep Your Digital Safety in Mind When Online

Safe Surfing

There are many uses for a web browser. They enable you to read the news, check your social media accounts, and search for answers to any questions you may have. Built into each web browser are things that you are unable to see with the naked eye; such as behavioral pixels and cookies. If at any point you have postponed updates to your browser or device, it may become vulnerable to programs that can live in your data. There are a few steps you can take to guard your digital safety.

  • Consider using an encrypted password manager rather than saving passwords directly to your web browser. This will assist you in creating difficult-to-guess passwords for all of your accounts, leaving you with fewer things to remember.
  • Cookies are enabled to ensure that your favorite features of a website are tailored to your needs. To make sure that your online privacy is intact, limit the types of cookies that are being stored. Most web browsers have that feature. 
  • When visiting a website, always look for the padlock symbol located near the HTTPS://. Many browsers are capable of alerting you in the event that a website you are attempting to navigate to is not secure and, in most cases, will stop the site itself from loading. 
  • Always make sure that you update your device’s operating system. Many updates include security patches that will help to ensure that you’re protected from any new threats they identify. 
  • Before creating an account on any new website, read the privacy policy to find out what information you are giving to get a membership. 
  • If possible, have your browser set up to run updates automatically.

Online Banking

When you open up your banking app on your device, it is much like viewing a hidden vault of information. Rather than an armed guard, your information is protected by several different security measures. If you are one of the people who use online banking to send money directly to family or friends, it is especially important that you have security correctly set up. There are a few ways to ensure that your banking information is kept safe.

  • When downloading your banking app, make sure you are using a secure website or app store. This will help you to avoid fakes that are being used to skim your data. 
  • If you are finished using your app, make sure to log out right away.
  • Under no circumstances should you use a public Wi-Fi server to send money. 
  • Double-check every single individual’s identity before sending or requesting any money through an app. 
  • Check out your bank’s website or call their customer service line to find out if they offer any form of two-factor authentication for their online customers. Setting this up will require two passwords to increase the security. You will receive an immediate email or text message as well. All of this will help to confirm your identity before you are able to access the account online. 
  • If you find yourself a victim of fraud, act fast. Change all your passwords and respond quickly to set up fraud alerts with your credit bureau. Working quickly will help to limit what you are going to be held responsible for. 

Location Services

Traffic apps, and more, are able to update in real-time using location services. This helps to predict your route as well as any traffic holdups that may occur during your travels.

Sometimes, though, not all apps are clear about their reasons for monitoring your location, or they hide the reason they are tracking all together in help sections or in their terms of service. While the data that is collected may help to make an app easier to use, it could also be leaked or sold.

There is a way to balance who you disclose your location to without going off the grid entirely.

  • Check your phone’s settings to see which apps are accessing your location and remove permissions from those that you would rather not have access to them. 
  • If an app doesn’t request your permission to use your location, check out its reviews online and do your research. Most legitimate apps will make sure to get approval before tracking. 

Making sure that you are safe when using internet browsers, online baking apps, and location services doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. Taking a few simple steps will help to make sure that your digital safety remains intact no matter what you are doing online.

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