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How to Ensure Online Security and Privacy

Online security and privacy are perhaps the major issues bothering millions of internet users across the globe. We use the internet for a number of purposes such as collecting information, shopping, banking, booking tickets and other such services. For all or some of these activities, you have to provide details like your name, email address, home address etc that are used by the website. But what you may not know is that this information could fall into the wrong hands and be misused, resulting in personal as well as financial damage to you. To prevent any damage at all, you should ensure online security and privacy.

Secure and confidential internet browsing

Online security and privacy is very important when you are shopping or banking online. At times you may also want to ensure that your browsing history on a particular search engine remains confidential. So here is what you should keep in mind to protect your information online.

Security when shopping online

Getting what you want is just a few mouse-clicks away, thanks to the number of e-commerce sites or online stores we have now. When you shop online, you have to provide your complete name, your address with zip code, your email id, your phone and mobile umber and also your credit card details. Some sites will let you make a purchase only after your register your credit or debit card on the site. But some sites let you make the payment through e-wallets, net banking or even by cash. In any case, you have to part with some of your details when you shop online.

But if you want to shop without being tracked, here is what you should remember –

ñ Choose secure sites for shopping. The best would be reputed and well-established ones like Amazon, e-bay etc that sell a wide range of products. In case of other websites, transact only if they have a “https://” before the URL (website name).

ñ Online stores that have been around for a while are usually safe. But before you shop on a new site, be sure to learn all about it and the company that owns it.

ñ Avoid sites that need you to provide too many personal details for a simple sale. Also, you should avoid sharing your Social Security Number on any shopping site, or any other site for that matter.

Privacy when using search engines

Information you feed into the search bar of Google or any other search engine is used by the search directory for targeted advertising and other forms of internet marketing. Along with the IP, search engines may store details about what you were looking for and the sites you have visited on a given day. To stay anonymous when searching for information, the best thing to do is use a proxy server.

Secure banking online

Banking has never been as easy as it is today. However, the convenience of online banking comes at a price, which is the risk of identity and monetary theft. Hackers and other online criminals use phishing attacks to obtain confidential banking information from unsuspecting internet users. In a phishing attack, the hacker sends an email containing the link to a site, which leads to a page that looks like the bank’s website. But the truth is that such links lead to fake sites, which are solely created to gain access to your user id and password, which in turn give access to your bank account.

To prevent falling prey to such schemes, you must avoid clicking on any links in emails from unknown senders. Remember that banks don’t ask you for your password details or send any links that need you to login or share confidential account information. To stay safe, enter the full website address of the bank in the address bar, every time you want to access your account online.

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