What Is Online Privacy and How Can You Protect It?

Our privacy – both personal and online – is a basic human right and something we should guard carefully. Unfortunately, there are those who seek to breach that privacy and use our sensitive information for illegal means.

The recent rapid rate of technological development has revolutionised the way we live our lives, but it also means hackers are able to come up with new means and methods of carrying out their illicit activities.

Many of those activities surround online privacy – but what exactly does that mean,and what can you do to protect yours?

What Is Online Privacy?

The term refers to the fundamental right anyone has to keep their personal data, financial records, communications and browsing preferences confidential. This is information not to be shared without the owner’s permission, and a breach of online privacy has the potential to result in serious financial, emotional and reputational damage.

How Many People Are Affected by Cybercrime?

Various reports and studies point to cybercrime becoming increasingly prevalent. For example, it’s estimated that cases rose 31% during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, while malware infections have risen steadily over the last decade or so.

And a recent trend has seen hackers target people doing their jobs remotely. This is because employees working from home do not benefit from the same robust security measures that are in place within the typical office environment – something which criminals can take advantage of.

What Are Some Common Examples of Cyber Attacks?

Phishing scams have become increasingly frequent in recent years. This is where a victim is sent an email that on the surface appears legitimate, but actually contains a harmful link. The victim is encouraged to take urgent action by clicking the link, which results in a malware infection or the sharing of personal and/or sensitive data.

Malicious keylogging is also commonplace. Spyware is installed onto the victim’s device without their knowledge, and through that software the hacker can track keystrokes and therefore gain access to login credentials and other sensitive information.

How Can You Guard Against Those Threats?

You can get a VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network. Using a VPN in the UK creates an encrypted tunnel between your network and one in another location, so any data you send and receive while using your devices cannot be accessed by hackers. You should also make sure your passwords are as strong as possible, install the latest in antivirus software and avoid accessing any personal information when using public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

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