Rihanna and Meghan Markle aren’t the only ones who have the right to privacy. You probably don’t think about it on a daily basis, but we bet that your internet use has the same effect on your privacy as a cross-country train trip in a thong…Here are a few good habits to practice daily in order to protect your personal data (as much as possible). Back Market is here, don’t worry.
Don’t be passive on social networks
Want to limit how much of your personal data ends up scattered to the four winds? The first step is to take a look at your social media use. Your activity on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is as public as it gets… unless explicitly stated otherwise. So keep in mind that anyone can fairly easily access what you’ve posted and liked and where you’ve been. More than just your profile, social networks are data collection machines. It’s their business model! So think carefully about how you feed them.
Rethink your passwords
You wouldn’t want a single key that opens your car, your apartment, and the padlocks to your bike, your diary and your suitcase.
So why would you continue using the same password you’ve had since 1996? Just like you wouldn’t secure the door to your home with a lock from the Barbie DreamHouse, it’s time to stop using your birthdate, your son’s name or your pet’s nickname as your password. Go for phrases, a mix of numbers, lower and upper case letters and special characters, and most importantly, choose a new combination for every site! We know, it’s a lot to remember, but these days many sites offer a password manager service (and you still know every word to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by heart, so don’t underestimate yourself).
Limit the trail of breadcrumbs you leave behind
Do you use free wi-fi? Chances are good that it’s collecting your data in exchange. Visiting high-risk websites? They collect all the data they can get. Don’t forget that your data is a commodity and is worth its weight in gold for certain sites that sell everything you give them under the guise of newsletters or other foolproof gifts.
Check your settings
Whether it’s on your smartphone or your computer, there are settings you can change to limit the damage in terms of access to your personal data, including your photos (especially the one you took of that weird pimple you wanted to show to your cousin in med school), contacts, etc. Take some time to explore all of the options, click on all the little cogs and tools – anything that will help you take back control of your data.
Don’t leave the door open for hackers (when possible)
Each moment of absentmindedness, negligence and lack of oversight is an invitation for hackers. The more you expose yourself, the easier a target you become for someone to get access to your banking information, identity documents (or that questionable photo of you from New Year’s Eve ’97). Use an encrypted messaging platform for sensitive subjects. Activate double verification (password and code sent by text, for example)… and if you visit any high-risk sites, make sure you use protection (we’re talking about private browsing, of course).