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Home / HowToTechnology / Extreme Online Security Measures to Protect Your Digital Privacy – A Guide | technology

Extreme Online Security Measures to Protect Your Digital Privacy – A Guide | technology

1 Secure Your Email

With Outlook and other email clients, you can install a personal security certificate that enables you to encrypt email so that only trusted recipients can read it or digitally sign your messages You. You can get your own certificate from comodo.com and it does not cost a dime. The catch is that your recipients must use a compatible email system – using Gmail on their smartphone will only annoy them if you continue to send them unreadable strings of distorted data. "It also means you need to protect your laptop," says Tony Anscombe, security evangelist at anti-virus company AVG. "If your laptop is stolen and your password is on a post-it note on the screen, what good is encryption?"

2 Get virtual

Running programs in a virtual environment rather than on your "real" desktop makes it harder for viruses to sink their claws into your computer, and when you get infected, it's easy to run the software to reset an earlier state. "It's a complex thing," warns Anscombe. "But there are benefits – if I wanted to download something I was suspicious of, I could do that in a virtual machine and then disconnect the VM from the network before I open it." However, virtualization is not a panacea. Many attacks are aimed at stealing your passwords and bank details; If you're made to reveal them, virtualization will not make a blind difference.

Keep a second, secure PC

Many computer infections are caused by people who unknowingly visit unreliable websites or downloading malicious software. Keep your bank and payment details safe by choosing a second computer – perhaps an old laptop – as your "safe" device and doing your games, emails and surfing the Internet elsewhere. Turn off the device when not in use. Even if an opportunistic hacker gets into your network, they can not access your most important information. If you do not have a free computer lying around, you can create a soft "wall" between your online accounts by installing a second browser on your main PC and using it only for secure transactions.

4 Clean your system

If you need to use Windows, it is important to make sure that only trusted software runs on it. Unfortunately, this can be difficult as new laptops are almost inevitably preinstalled with a metric ton of unwanted applications. These can get in the way of you, interfere with performance, and jeopardize your privacy and security by collecting personal information. The good news is that Windows 10 includes a new "Reset Windows" feature that puts the operating system in a newly-installed state, removing all third-party software. Do this for the first time when you buy a new laptop and you'll get rid of all those bundled items forever. Note that this deletes all personal files on the hard drive, along with any bonus programs you want to keep. A more surgical approach is to open programs and functions, browse the list of installed programs, and remove applications that you do not want to see or recognize.

5 Switch to Hipster Applications

It's not just the operating system's stops. Cyber ​​criminals can and will find vulnerabilities in applications of all kinds, so we are constantly being asked to install updates and patches. Just as you can avoid most viruses by switching away from Windows, you can reduce your risk by using less popular software that is less targeted: so you could switch to the Opera browser instead of Chrome. Instead of Microsoft Office, consider LibreOffice (which has the added benefit of being free).

Obscurity does not necessarily mean security, warns Anscombe. "If you see any unknown software you want to download, you may not know if it's no longer being updated, it may contain vulnerabilities that are not patched." If you opt for the less traveled road, make sure That your applications are properly maintained or that you are more exposed than ever.

6 Surf the Web incognito

You can use a virtual private network (VPN) service to surf the Internet from an assumed location. They are generally used to circumvent regional restrictions on streaming video services. using a private channel also hides exactly what you are accessing so that your online activity can not be tracked by your ISP, hackers or government spies.

For the ultimate in security, consider the Tor Web Browser (torproject .org), a free tool that directs your traffic through a maze of servers around the world, making it virtually impossible for you to monitor your activity or activity to pursue. Tor is loved by whistleblowers, political dissidents, and criminals, but it can be frustrating to use them: as all your connections are routed through China, Brazil, and any number of other countries in between, websites tend to load very slowly.

  Computer hackers (by model)

Hackers are searching the Internet for information about their targets. Photo: Alamy Stock Photo

7 Set Your Router to Stealth Mode

If a stranger can invade your wireless network, there is no end to the problems it can cause. The best way to stop them is to set a strong password, but you do not have to stop there. On the configuration page of your router you will find the option to hide the SSID – the name of your wireless network – so that only those who know their name can recognize it and connect.

You can also set intrusion intrusion into your network by reducing transmission strength so that devices in neighboring homes or out in the street can not connect well. "This helps to ensure that no-one else can use your router, but it could mean you can not," says Sian John, chief strategist for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at cyber security company Symantec. "The reduction in power makes life harder for hackers, but also for the person in your bedroom who wants to see Netflix at 2am."

A more solid approach is to dress the walls of the party with a few layers of aluminum foil to dramatically cut the signal strength to your neighbors. The security experts suspect that this is only for the truly paranoid. "If you want, you can put aluminum foil around your house," says John, "but it's probably the household equivalent to put a hat of pewter around your head."

8 Do not Use Windows

Microsoft has been ramping down the security of Windows for more than a decade by blocking old security vulnerabilities such as Windows Defender and User Account Control (UAC). However, the vast majority of hacker attacks and viruses target Windows: switch to a Mac, a Chromebook, or even a Linux system, and you'll be unmasked instantly. Do not be complacent. "Windows has more threats because everyone uses it," notes John. "The more people use Linux or Mac OS, the more the bad guys start targeting those platforms, and what we see is people switching to a Mac, for example, and they think they do not need security software get infected and the attacker gets full control over their system. "

9 Check Your Online Footprint

Whether you like it or not, there's a lot of personal and professional information about us all on the Internet. And there's a big security risk: a determined attacker could easily gather enough information to pretend to be you or a close colleague and gain access to things he should not do.

If you are worried about your online profile, Company The London Digital Security Center (londondsc.co.uk) will – for a fee – search the Internet to find out exactly what's out there and help you with it to remove sensitive objects. "It's the digital equivalent of a credit check," says David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. "If a few things have been exposed, that you might not want to get out, maybe a picture has landed somewhere and you do not know how, then that's something to think about."

However, prevention is always better than cure. "Focus on what you share and check the security settings on your social networks," Emm advises. Both Google and Facebook offer their own free "privacy check-up services" to help you make an Sharing Last Advice: "Google your own name and set up a Google Alert for you" so that you'll receive a notification when a new mention of your name appears online. "It's not vain to have warnings for your own name and address, it's amazing what you can find out."

  The Microsoft Cybercrime Center in Washington

The Microsoft Cybercrime Center in Washington was set up to be a criminal To fight hackers. Photo: Jason Redmond / Reuters

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