Over 300 million people have access to internet in India making us the second most connected nation in the world. With the internet so easily accessible now, there is also more and more activity happening on social media platforms. Millions of updates are put up daily with thousands of photos and videos posted every minute.
There is no ‘free’ app
Most of us are attracted to websites or apps offering something ‘free’. They may not charge any amount of cash directly, but what they are actually are cashing in is the user data. Now what do they do with this data? Websites generate their revenue by using personal information, behavioral or location based data of the user to display advertisements or even sell the information to companies.
Keep in mind that your online information is governed by
- The information agreed and submitted through user profiles posted online and
- The terms and conditions governing the collection, storage and usage of the data
Every smartphone has built in security features such as passwords, unlock patterns or numeric PINs. Make use of them. A simple loss of a phone could expose all user information openly to a stranger.
Use and change your passwords periodically
Make use of unique and complex passwords for different digital apps and browsing websites. Updating your digital existence at least once in 3 months will help keep the information safe.
Think twice before posting status updates, personal information etc. online. Use paid full version antiviruses on your laptop and phone ensuring the antivirus is always updated.
Even so, your data could be hacked. A hack, or a breach in the computer system or network defense, wherein the ‘hacker’ looks to exploit weaknesses of the user for profit, information gathering or recreation can lead to loss of sensitive data.
For mobile apps, the hack could lead to loss of not only personal information, but also photos, videos, documents etc. We use mobile phones for digital payments as well. This could cause loss of financially sensitive data.
Always try and remember to switch off your WiFi when not in use. Do the same for Bluetooth. Avoid using unknown or public WiFi hotspots as information sent over an unsecured wireless network is information sent in plain sight – basically opening your phone to anyone on that wireless network
Implement simple habits like logging out of netbanking sessions, downloading files or apps from trusted developers and keeping your Operating System updated.