As technology, platforms and online eco-systems continue to advance, controlling internet privacy and security are becoming more important than ever. With Choose Privacy week coming up in the first week of May, it’s a good time to reflect on what you can do to improve internet privacy and security for your team.
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Privacy Over Time
Over the last 20 years, the wealth of data being collected on each individual has massively increased. Starting with simple registrations for e-commerce and transactional sites, alongside primitive apps and tools. Over time, the need to identify and monetize users led to even the simplest sites, apps and tools requesting a wealth of data from their users. The data collected ranges from cookies which provide simple data around location, IP addresses and usage, through to first-, second-and third-party contextual data sharing (e.g., matching to Facebook and Google through an email address). Today, it’s almost impossible to use any tool, site or service without identifying yourself, and this means hundreds of different logins and passwords, which cause their own set of problems. Add to this the dangers of malware, hacking and data breaches across the most trusted services, it’s getting tougher to choose privacy options that truly secure your business.
How Secure Is Your Personal Information?
According to a Pew Research poll, around half of Americans (49 percent) feel that their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago. This sense of unease is more than warranted. Now more than ever, teams must remember complex login details, read (and understand!) cookie consent statements on every site they visit and try to appreciate which sites are sharing their information, and why. This is made more complex by dispersed teams working remotely throughout most of 2020 and into 2021. A best-in-class team password management tool is a significant starting point, but there are additional ways to further increase internet privacy and security in 2021.
How You Can Keep Your Internet Privacy More Secure
Being search engine safe.
Check that the site you’re using is running on a secure HTTPS:// page. All too often, search engines are being manipulated to send you to authentic-looking sites which will look genuine, but record your data and login information or even attempt to get you to buy something.
Use a team password manager.
Each member of your team must remember, store and use many passwords every day. We are all beyond using Password123, but people still use the same passwords repeatedly because it's easier. Using a password manager such as TeamPassword can significantly increase digital privacy effectiveness. Either through securely sharing passwords, login information and data between your entire business or allowing individuals to create highly secure, unique passwords for each of their tools, platforms and services, all should be securely accessible through their browser.
Use two-step authentication.
Choose the privacy-enhancing benefits of two-step verification for all your tools, service and applications. These are relatively simple to set up, provide a host of options for developers and offering excellent cross-platform compatibility. Be mindful, however, to use a trustworthy developer for this type of product; such as TeamPassword.
Ensure your antivirus is up to date.
Whichever AV your business is using, make sure that all your users are running the latest version. Whether it’s an off-the-shelf product or a wider security package, it is most effective when up to date.
Be wary of phishing attacks.
Phishing attacks via email are becoming more and more common. These occasionally even feature personal information, names or client details encouraging you to click a link or perform a specific action. Take extra care by carefully reviewing the sender's email address, checking for unusual requests and language, or you may end up with malware or spyware on your machine.
A safe Wi-Fi environment.
Especially important if you have a distributed workforce; working from home, from coffee shops or other workspaces not subject to your business’ security control. Public Wi-Fi is commonly used to steal data and breach security, so ensure that routers are using the safest security protocol available. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or, even better, WPA2 are the best options.
Internet privacy protection on social media.
Make sure that your team uses caution when sharing personal information on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram or even LinkedIn. Hackers can easily use PII to answer security questions and gain access to your platforms, services and data. Also, look closely at the privacy settings of the social media sites you use and think “does anyone really need to know this?”
Choose Privacy Week is a great opportunity to refresh the internet privacy and online security of your business. Using the tips mentioned here will ensure that you are more secure in the future. As ever, a great place to start would be to protect your passwords and generate ultra-secure new passwords your team can safely share and access. Take advantage of the 14-day free trial from TeamPassword, and start your internet privacy optimization journey today.