protect personal information online

Protect Personal Information Online

The versatile use of the Internet continues to improve our quality of life as a blessing. The number of internet users is gradually increasing. As an internet user, you must know how to protect personal information online.

Almost every field including social communication, information exchange, business is now in our hands for the benefit of the internet.

Using the popularity of the internet, some endangered geniuses are harming the general internet users in various ways. As a result, ‍financial and social harm, including personal information protection is being done.

With a little awareness, we can be much safer on the Internet.

What is online safety and security?

Online safety and security is the process of trying to avoid potential harm online.

No process is 100% safe on the Internet. We can only use some procedures to increase security.

If we compare internet security with a house, then the security of that house will depend on what material the house is made of.

The impact resistance of a house made of concrete must be greater than that of a house made of straw and bamboo.

Why does cyber safety need?

Cyber security is needed to ensure the protection of personal information and property on the Internet.

Hackers are those who steal and misuse your personal information in various ways.

They use various viruses and malware to steal your information like bank and credit card information, photo galleries, email, and social media accounts, etc.

Which can subsequently tarnish the image of your social life, including money stealing.

How we lost our online privacy?

Hackers are constantly inventing new ways to steal information. Our ignorance is most responsible for leaving our personal information in the hands of others.

There are many more ways we can be victims of hacking. Here are some common methods and some possible ways to get rid of them.

Our ignorance about online privacy

We ordinary users are not very careful about using the internet. Hackers are taking advantage of this carelessness to steal our information.

Some common mistakes that we make while using the Internet are:

  • Disclosing of all types of personal information online. Such as date of birth, place of birth, full home address, mobile number, email address, etc.
  • Using own or loved one’s name, mobile number, date of birth, area name, etc. as a password.
  • Using an easy password. Such as 123456, 11223344, 854321, etc.
  • Using a password smaller than 8 characters.
  • Using a word that is habitually more pronounced as a password.

For example, someone utters Oh my God in words. And if he uses ohmygod as a password, then the hacker who knows him may easily guess his password.

How we can improve our online privacy?

  • It is best not to publish personal information online unless absolutely necessary.
  • Do not use your own or loved one’s name, mobile number, date of birth, area name, etc. as passwords.
  • Don’t use a password that anyone else can easily guess.
  • Use at least 8 characters as a password.
  • Use a combination of upper case (A-Z), lower case (a-z), numeric letter (0-9) and special character (-_ @ # $ etc) in a password.

Computer viruses and malware

Computer viruses and malware are a kind of malicious codes or programs that hackers create for stealing our information.

When viruses and malware enter a computer, it is automatically installed and our information is being sent to the hacker through the internet.

Some viruses cannot be removed by using antivirus. These enter the computer’s BIOS and steal information. In this case, it may not be possible to remove the virus by setting up a new Windows.

“Keylogger” is a type of virus, that steals strokes of our keyboard and sends them to hackers. That is, the Keylogger virus records what we have pressed on the keyboard as ID and password and sends it to the hacker.

There are also many other types of viruses. Some malicious viruses steal our browser’s cache, browser-saved IDs, and passwords.

Virus programs are mainly designed to harm others.

How do computer viruses and malware enter our devices?

  • Using a portable device (like Pendrive) that contains viruses.
  • If you curiously click on a link that contains viruses.
  • Downloading apps or software without any reliable source, etc.

How to prevent computer viruses and malware attacks?

  • Do not download apps or software without trusted sources.
  • Don’t click without being sure of any links that create curiosity or excitement.
  • You can get information by searching the internet before using any unfamiliar app, software, or link.
  • If the computer’s autorun option is on, turn it off.

To do this, first, open the Run (Windows key + R) option.

windows key run command
Run command [Image source: Google Image]

Enter gpedit.msc in the dialog box.

run gpedit
gpedit.msc command

Then go to Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> AutoPlay Policy -> Turn off AutoPlay from User Configuration.

From here select Turn off AutoPlay -> Enable and Turn off AutoPlay on: -> All devices and Apply and Ok.

How to avoid being a victim of identity theft?

Usually, ordinary users don’t understand whether the Keylogger is installed on their computer or not. So we can use a little trick while writing our ID and password.

Suppose, your password is MyPassword_1234.

Then when writing your password add some extra letters to it.

Such as My_1234_Password_1234. Then, before pressing Enter, select the extra letters (1234) together and delete them with backspace. Then log in to the account.

Then the hacker will have very little chance of getting your correct password.

Being a victim of a phishing website attack

In this method, the hacker creates a clone of a site that you are using.

That is, create a website that looks the same as the site that you are using.

You will be asked for your ID and password if you want to use that clone site. Which will be stored in the hacker’s database.

Suppose you use Facebook regularly. Now a hacker wants to hack your Facebook ID.

Then he will create a site that looks like Facebook. Then he will send you the link to that site by email, message, or any other way.

If you want to enter the phishing site, you have to give your ID and password. And in this way, hackers can steal your ID and password.

How to avoid being a victim of phishing?

  • If you receive a verification email from a website (Facebook, Gmail, etc.) that you are regularly using, then check the link to see if the domain is OK.
  • First, log in directly to the website from which the email came. Then click on the link in the email.
  • If you are asked for your ID and password after clicking on a link shared or inboxed by someone, be careful.

Being a victim of a man-in-the-middle attack

You should understand what is a man-in-the-middle attack? In this method, the hacker hides between the user-side and the server-side and then captures the information that he wants by tempering the data.

When we visit a website by using a browser, a request goes from our browser to the server of that website. Then the server sends data to the browser based on that request.

In this communication stage between the server and the browser, hackers hack the information by hiding it.

If the information came from the server-side is not encrypted, the hacker can easily tamper with it.

How to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks on the internet?

  • Before providing sensitive information (bank account or credit card information, etc.) see if the site has an SSL certificate. That is, whether there is https:// at the beginning of the website. Otherwise, refrain from using this information.
  • It is better not to provide such information unless it is a trusted website.

Tips to prevent a man-in-the-middle attack

Sometimes we may need to send a very important file to someone else. In this case, we can send the file piece by piece without sending the file at once.

Suppose, our file is 10 MB. Then first we will split the file into 2 or 3 parts using WinRAR or any other archive software.

Then a part will be sent using an email. Other parts will be sent using another email or messaging app. In this method, every part will be sent using different mediums.

The sender must be told which software has been used to split the original file. This is because the same software may need to be used to reattach the file.

That is, if we split the original file using WinRAR, then we may need to merge the pieces again using WinRAR.

If you send the file in this way, it will not be possible to get the original file without all the pieces. And it is almost impossible for any hacker to hack every medium and steal all the pieces.

How to split files into parts using WinRAR?
  • You must have WinRAR software installed on your computer. If not, download WinRAR and install it.
  • Click the Mouse right button -> Add to archive … on the file you want to split.
winrar add to archive
WinRAR – Add to archive…
  • Write down the size of each piece in the Split to volumes, size box, and click OK.
winrar file split
WinRAR – File Split
How to recover and extract the split files using WinRAR?

Put all the files in one folder. Select all the files with Ctrl + A.Click the right button of the mouse. Click Extract Here. Then the original file can be found.

winrar file
WinRAR – File Extract

In short, how to protect personal information online

The responsibility of Internet Security has to be taken at our own risk. A little awareness can protect us from unwanted situations.

Privacy is most important to everyone. If you are concerned about personal safety online, then some tools like NordVPN or McAfee Total Security software can help you.

In short, let’s have a look at what we can do for Internet Security.

  • Not disclosing personal information online unless necessary.
  • Using a strong password of at least 8 numbers.
  • Not to use personal information of yourself or a loved one as a password.
  • Be careful when using a pen drive or any other portable device.
  • Don’t click a link without verifying.
  • Using trusted apps and software.
  • Not using sensitive information online without secure connections.
  • If necessary, split the file and send it through different mediums.

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