How to Become Anonymus Online

October 2020 is the 17th year of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCAM). This year has special importance to this month as during the pandemic many aspects of our personal and professional life such as kids’ school, the way we socialize, the way in which we conduct business conferences, and daily activities as a part of the business. Now it is more important than ever that we protect our digital devices and steer clear of cybercriminals.

Why this awareness of privacy threats and protecting our private, personal data is important to us?

Take an example of how do we use the internet and share data knowingly unknowingly. Our day starts with checking our smartphone to see the scheduled business meetings, reminders of the tasks to be completed, and social media updates about our friends, family, and what is happening around. Our Smart homes are equipped with multiple digital devices, from the fridge to smart door locks all connected to the internet and provides access from anywhere anytime. We do shopping, provide health details to get routine check-up online. Kids are learning, playing, connecting to their friends online.

Data breaches and cybersecurity attacks are becoming part of our daily news. In the last few months, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the situation, and hence that attacks like Phishing, Ransomware has escalated to a large extend. After reading about these attacks fraction of the second we think about it and then push it aside thinking I am an individual who will be vesting time and efforts …

Now take a close look at the picture below, the data collectors are collecting every piece of information you share using your smartphones your home appliance, online health care, and shopping. The data brokers use advanced analytics technology to create profiles of our data that can be shared with multiple organizations with good or malicious intentions…

All this sounds either crazy, scary, or both together. Protecting your online privacy is your and only your responsibility. Your next question will, how I can do that, I do not understand all those technical mambo jumbos. Don’t worry, it is not all that difficult the way it sounds. Following are a few guidelines/tips which you can easily follow:

Maurice Gibson, an assistant dean with the University of Phoenix, provided us with some tips for how to stay safe from scammers:

  • Check out as a guest when making online purchases. Storing credit card information online can make online shopping more convenient, but it also can make it easier for cybercriminals to steal information. Instead, check out as a guest so that your personal information is not stored across multiple websites. Additionally, take a moment to remove all stored credit cards from online retailers.

Malicious actors can watch your traffic and learn how you communicate with your institution. When the moment is right, they can send an email posing as you to your financial institution authorizing transfers you know nothing about, until it is too late.

Following are the common mistakes you can avoid:

  • Not turning off photo geotagging, which hackers and thieves can use to find you and steal devices with your personal information.

“As far as best practice is concerned, Stay away from websites you don’t recognize. Stick with big names you can look up. Check the Better Business Bureau to make sure it’s a company that’s reputable,” — Scott Halibur, Special Agent for the FBI

  1. Check the privacy settings on your social media sites to ensure that your info is only being viewed by people you want to see it and avoid oversharing on social media.

Find more tips on Smart home security here.

Protecting bits to save humanity, Cybersecurity's Changing Gameplan