Data leakage is a reality that has become increasingly common in Brazil. According to a survey conducted by IBM in December, six out of ten Brazilians have already suffered from the problem. The alarming numbers point to the importance of the International Data Privacy Day, which takes place this Tuesday (28). The purpose of the date is to make users aware of the need to protect their personal information on the Internet.
READ: Ten tips on Windows 10 to protect your data and make your computer more secure
Although common, conduct such as saving payment data online, repeating the same password on various websites, using public Wi-Fi networks and taking advantage of social media profiles to log in can pose a data security risk. On the next lines, the TechTudo shows seven tips for protecting your information online.
Data Privacy Day: seven tips to protect your information online Photo: Pond5
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1. Do not save payment data
Cards saved in online stores expose consumers to data leaks and unnecessary expenses Photo: Pond5
While very comfortable, the practice of saving credit card data when shopping online is far from secure. Consumers who adopt this habit are actually putting their finances at risk. That's because even the most reliable stores can fail to protect customer data and end up exposing thousands of sensitive information online. It happened in 2013 with Ingresso.com after an error in the control of sessions on the site. In addition to the risk of data leakage, there is also the possibility of stores charging undue purchases.
2. Make privacy settings on social networks and other services
Make privacy adjustments in social networks Photo: Nicolly Vimercate / TechTudo
Social networks are real showcases. Users reveal details about their life and routine, which may not only attract the attention of purely curious stalkers, but also of malicious people. To do this, I need to go beyond restricting the privacy of the profile. That's because on Instagram, for example, there is a loophole that allows all private posts to be accessed and shared with people outside the social network.
On any platform, the best tip to avoid unpleasant situations is always to double your attention to the content posted. Do not publish photos and videos that expose sensitive information. It is also worth "clean up" the list of friends and followers and make sure that the profile is accompanied only by trusted people. Other tips involve disabling automatic tagging on photos, disabling location, and blocking uncomfortable users.
3. Do not repeat the same password on several sites
Adopting unique passwords for each site helps strengthen account security Photo: Pond5
Most people have the habit of repeating the same password on different sites. The reason is simple and even understandable: with the variety of online platforms, it would be very difficult to remember the combinations used in each of them.
Practicality, however, has a price: adopting the same code facilitates the action of hackers and opens loopholes for hacks. credential stuffing, that occur when criminals steal a website's credentials and use them to breach other services of interest.
Therefore, in addition to using unique passwords, it is important to make long combinations, with more than nine or ten characters and that mix upper and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols. To further strengthen the security of the code, try replacing letters with numbers. If you're having trouble creating the combination, try using online generators.
4. Do not use social media profiles to log in to other sites
Single login offers security risks Photo: Reproduction / Ana Letcia Loubak
When starting to register on a website, it is common for users to receive a proposal to log in from their account on another service, such as Google or Facebook. Although it saves time, "single login" is not a completely secure alternative, as it grants the site access to the personal information contained in the email account or social network, paving the way for privacy violations. Whenever possible, choose to register in the traditional way.
5. Review application permissions
Access your phone's settings to check all permissions granted to apps Photo: Bruno De Blasi / TechTudo
It is common for applications to request permission to access contacts or files on the cell phone storage, as well as to use the camera, microphone and geographic location. In fact, some of them do not work without these concessions, but there are cases of apps that improperly access users' privacy, usually for marketing purposes. Fortunately, with a few simple tips, you can prevent applications from having access to your data.
6. Enable 2-step verification
Two-step verification hinders the action of invaders Photo: Aline Batista / TechTudo
As the name implies, two-step verification makes it difficult for attackers to enter an extra phase in the login process. With the procedure, even if criminals have obtained credentials, they will not be able to access the account. To do this, they would also need to have the person's cell phone on hand, since the final authentication code is usually sent to the device. It is possible to enable two-step verification on services such as Gmail, WhatsApp and Instagram.
7. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
Criminals can use open Wi-Fi networks to intercept personal data Photo: Pond5
Attracted by the possibility of accessing online services outside the home and free of charge, many users connect to open Wi-Fi networks. However, this common and seemingly harmless attitude hides a risk: criminals can create fake public networks to steal data from users. From the login, hackers are able to track all visited websites and even steal passwords and other personal information provided.
To avoid criminal interceptions, always use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to the Internet. By encrypting the connection, VPN helps prevent third parties from accessing your device and capturing the data you send and receive. Never connect to Wi-Fi networks whose origin is unknown.
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