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Practical tips for protecting your identity online

Take care of your personal data online by taking simple but important steps.

Published: Feb 2, 2022 02:28:16 PM IST
Updated: Feb 2, 2022 03:25:51 PM IST

Practical tips for protecting your identity onlineImage: Shutterstock

Never has the risk of having your personal data hacked and stolen online been so great. In order to keep this sensitive data safe, the Mozilla Foundation—publisher of the Firefox internet browser (among other things)—has a few simple tips for users to follow, to help prevent the theft of their identity or any personal information.

Choose passwords wisely


The Mozilla Foundation believes that a good password is the first line of defense for online security. Whatever the service or site, it is important to choose a password that is not only different each time, but as complex as possible, random, and ideally made up of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters, in order to defeat malicious algorithms. Note that there are also many password managers that allow you to systematically renew your passwords, securely and on all your devices.

Enable multi-factor authentication


In addition to a complex password, two-factor authentication further enhances the security of your private data online. This involves adding at least one additional step to log into an account. This can take many forms, such as a text message or a personal question. This way, even if your password is cracked, it will still be difficult to access your account.

Set up various email accounts


When it comes to online security, it can be a good idea to create several email addresses so that all is not lost if your inbox is hacked. Indeed, an email address is often used to identify users logging onto a site or an online service. As such, it's recommended to use different email addresses for different purposes (one for social networks, another for shopping websites, etc.). Note that it is relatively easy to create alias addresses from your main account.

Switch off location sharing


Mobile devices continuously determine and record your location, and this data can easily be shared with friends, for example, when you're meeting somewhere or taking a trip out. But while your smartphone GPS is particularly useful for finding your way around, it is much less helpful when it comes to security. It is therefore preferable to switch off location sharing on all your devices, and only allow GPS access to applications that really need it.

Clean up your smartphone


On a smartphone or a tablet, it is advisable to regularly sort through your applications and delete the ones you never use. The same goes for the cache, the temporary information stored on the device. This can be deleted without risk.

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