While new technology comes with threats to your personal information, it can also provide you with methods to protect yourself from these malicious cybercriminals. Here are six types of technology that can help you keep your information safe from hackers.
1. Private Search Engines
Although Google has hundreds of millions of users all over the U.S., it's not one of the best browsers in terms of security. Google tracks and saves your search history in order to create personalized advertisements that best fit your interests. On the contrary, search engines like DuckDuckGo and SearchEncrypt use Secure Sockets Layer to protect users' privacy. If you're wondering what is SSL, it's a technology that keeps your internet connection secure while data is being transferred between two websites. This prevents cybercriminals from gaining access to this private information. Many private search engines offer browser extensions for common browsers, making them quick and easy to use.
2. Two-Factor Authentication
When you log into an account, you're normally asked to input your username and password. With two-factor authentication, however, you'll receive a PIN or push notification to your cellphone, which you'll then enter to gain access to your account. Although this can be more time-consuming than the traditional login process, it adds an extra layer of security between your account and hackers. Considering that 81% of security breaches are due to weak passwords, it's important that you strengthen your account to prevent potential attacks.
3. Messaging Apps With End-To-End Encryption
Messagingapps are useful for quickly communicating with other individuals or groups. Most of these apps, however, may not be as secure as you think. Popular apps such as Google Hangouts, Skype and Facebook Messenger use encryption in transit, which means that messages are unencrypted on the service provider's side and stored in its servers. Because these messages are unencrypted, they can be easily accessed by cybercriminals. On the other hand, end-to-end encryption prevents third parties from accessing your information. When you message a friend, this information is transferred using a secret code as opposed to insecure text. Some common end-to-end encryption apps include WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram. Keep in mind that many of these apps don't have end-to-end encryption by default, which means that you'll have to enable it yourself once you've installed the app.
4. Password Managers
It can be difficult to remember all of your passwords, especially as websites become more stringent in their requirements to include uppercase letters, special characters and numbers. Using a password manager can help you keep track of all of your complex passwords, and many of these managers are either free or inexpensive. All you need to remember is the password to access your manager, so be sure to write it down in a safe place.
5. Private Wi-Fi Networks
Although it can be tempting to connect to a public Wi-Fi network when you're waiting on line at the coffee shop, these networks are unencrypted. This means that anyone can connect to the same network and gain access to your information. If you need to connect to a public network, make sure that you don't input any sensitive information, including your credit card data, Social Security number or passwords. You can also use a secure VPN connection, which allows you to create a private network that'll allow you to remain anonymous.
6. Disabling Cookies
Cookies are small pieces of data that store information about your past browsing activity, such as your Google searches or items you've left in your shopping cart. While some websites have secure cookies, many don't encrypt their cookies at all, making them vulnerable to hackers. The good news is that you can easily disable cookies in the "Preferences" section of your browser. If you don't want to completely get rid of cookies, you can allow some for websites that you frequently visit, while blocking others.
Fortunately, there are many different types of technology available that you can use to protect yourself from hackers. Using these six methods can give you greater confidence that your information is secure.