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article imageEight tips for consumers to take to protect their privacy online Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 27, 2021 in Technology
Concern over personal data privacy continues to grow as many globally continue to work from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As attacks increase however, some users are unaware of the importance of setting up their devices correctly.
With Data Privacy Day (held on January 28th each year), assessing how your data is used and by whom and for what purpose is important. To mark the event, Digital Journal caught up with Daniel Markuson, Digital Privacy Expert at NordVPN.
Markuson explains that many consumers are still unaware of what is happening with their data, noting: “Unfortunately, few people realize that mobile devices are even better at spying on them than computers because we use them to all means possible: payments, communication, recording, etc. That means mobile devices are the honeypots for hackers and keeping them unprotected poses greater risk of being hacked.”
Markuson offers eight smart ways to set up your devices and protect personal data from attacks.
Review permission for mobile apps
Some of them use unnecessary data, which might be later on given to third parties. In order to protect your privacy, it is always recommended to have a look through mobile settings to ensure you are not sharing too much.
Use cybersecurity tools, including a VPN, to protect your mobile online presence
VPN encrypts traffic and makes it invisible to anyone eager to eavesdrop or cause harm.
Be vigilant while downloading apps
Only buy apps from legitimate sources. Even when you’re downloading an app from the official store, double-check what you are getting. Does it have good reviews?
Don’t ignore software updates
Updates usually include critical fixes that repair security flaws and vulnerabilities that hackers might have already exploited to target others. Having the latest software version means you are using the most secure version.
Secure your apps with a strong passcode
Keep in mind that passwords should be unique and not used on any other account. A list of the most vulnerable passwords has been revealed in NordPass’s recent research. In addition, set up a password manager. It is a great tool for both generating and storing passwords.
Get a microphone blocker
It helps to prevent people from hot mics when recording is switched on without a speaker knowing it.
Use antivirus
It will help you catch malicious apps before they cause any damage to your phone. Moreover, install an anti-theft and recovery app that can locate your phone, lock it remotely, or even wipe your data if it gets stolen.
Recognize suspicious messages
Do not click any suspicious links in SMS or messenger apps or reply to messages that seem strange. A “smishing” attack can be as dangerous as an email phishing attack, usually in the form of a text message urging you to click on a link, which can install a malicious app on your smartphone, or you trick you into giving up sensitive data.
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