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online privacyWith virtual private networks, two-factor authentication, and encrypted remote storage, your organization can benefit from increased Internet security. Technology brings many security risks. You never know who’s monitoring your peer-to-peer activity, or sending malicious attacks your way. However, there are a few simple precautions you should take to maintain your privacy online:

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

One of the worst, most commonly made online security mistakes is connecting to an email, bank account, or other information over public Wi-Fi. In some cases, it’s unavoidable because you might have to spend a lot of time in hotels or airports. Consider using a VPN whenever you can which will significantly improve your privacy protection on public networks.

VPNs serve as an encrypted tunnel, preventing cyber criminals from stealing your login credentials or other sensitive information. However, some VPN services log all of your browsing activity, negating the purpose of using a VPN for privacy. If you’re considering a VPN, choose a provider you trust to respect your privacy.

Remember, VPNs won’t prevent websites such as Facebook or Google from logging your browsing activity. In addition, using your browser’s incognito mode won’t make your activity completely anonymous either, but it will block websites from reading the cookies and history in your browser and your personal preferences as well.

  • Avoid Storing Sensitive Data in Online Cloud Services

Online file-syncing services such as SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive are fantastic innovations. While these services are convenient, their data remains unencrypted. The data stored on these services is available to law enforcement officials when they’re given the authority, and hackers who can easily break into your account using social engineering techniques, weaknesses in your company’s server security, or by simply guessing your password.

For sensitive data, an encrypted cloud storage service is a much better alternative. Of course, you can encrypt your data before sending it to Dropbox or Google Drive as well.

If you can’t avoid using online file-syncing services, consider deploying password-building best practices, such as choosing a phrase of at least 10 characters that consists of an assortment of numbers, letters, and symbols.

  • Increase Security With Two-Factor Authentication

To keep your online services secure, the first line of defense is a unique password containing ten or more characters. For increased security, turn on two-factor authentication for Facebook, Google, and every other service that offers it.

Two-factor authentication requires you to enter your password, as well as a short numeric code before you can access your account. Most of your two-factor authentication codes will come from Google’s authenticator app for iOS and Android.

Two-factor authentication isn’t foolproof, but it does provide a bit of a hassle for anyone who wants to obtain unauthorized access to your account. It’s important to use separate email addresses and passwords for accounts; if one account is hacked, the cybercriminal can use the email and password for other accounts as well.

Keeping Your Data Secure and Your Online Activity Private

VPNs, encrypted storage, and two-factor authentication are great tools to ensure your data is secure, and your online activity is kept as private as possible. Protect your organization and your personal information by using the critical techniques listed above.

Published On: 11th October 2013 by Ernie Sherman.

IT Consultants Ottawa