With all the recent hacking scams as of late it is now more important than ever to make sure your private information remains safe. There are some simple ways to help safeguard your Internet activity. One simple ways is to use the new two-step verification processes that is currently offered by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and a list of other companies. This process requires you to not only provide your password but you must also provide a code which you obtain either through text message or another authentication app which helps to verify your identity. This would require the hacker not only to have stolen your password but they would also need to have access to a piece of your personal property, for example the phone to which the code is delivered as well, significantly reducing the risk.
Another thing to check is the URL you're using. Be sure it reads https indicating a secure connection instead of just http especially when using a public Wi-Fi connection. Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera offer a program that you can install called HTTPS Everywhere that actually rewrites request to websites increasing the amount of protection you have.
Creating more complex and secure passwords is also another quick and easy way to prevent unauthorized access. The longer the password the better. Also a combination of characters, numbers and special symbols also adds to the complexity. Stay away from names and familiar patterns. For example pick a phrase or song lyrics holding meaning to you and take the first letter of each word. Be sure to create different passwords for different sites to prevent total compromise if one of your passwords are hacked. There are programs such as 1Password or LastPass that aid in keeping track of multiple passwords.
This even possible to make browsing the Internet more secure. Most search engines save information about you to help identify you and your likes for future use. Search engine do exist like DuckDuckGo that do not store any personal information and do not tie searches to the individual. Another option would be to use Google and browse in Incognito mode. This method is not entirely secure, however, it does have privacy benefits such as not recording your search history and deleting cookies once the browser is closed.
Another more complicated method of security is too used in encrypted email. Even though major webmail services like Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and Yahoo Mail have tried to increase their encryption standards they are still at risk to security breaches and you do have to go through a third-party when sending an email. To encrypt your email you're required to download encryption software such as Pretty Good Privacy or the open-source GPG and use compatible email clients such as Thunderbird which is a time-consuming and complicated process. Also these email interfaces are not very user-friendly or attractive, however, there are developers trying to create more familiar looking interfaces to use this type of email as the demand for increased security rises.
Email is not the only information you will want to protect, chat logs and cloud storage is also at risk. As with email encryption, programs are also available for chat logs such as Cryptocat or Pidgin. BoxCryptor and Cloudfogger are available to protect your information stored in the cloud.As hackers become more and more clever and more resourceful it is important to make sure you're in control of your security. Taking these preventative measures now can help avoid disaster later.