Privacy: 6 tips on how to protect yourself online

Data security: These tips protect you on the Net

Privacy: 6 tips on how to protect yourself online

Data leak: 20-year-old hacker arrested

Hundreds of politicians, celebrities and journalists affected by the data leak. But how can individuals protect themselves? Six tips.

Berlin. The great Data leak and the publication of masses of private information such as Chats and account data raise the question of how individuals can better protect themselves online.

One effect of the current debate: The leaked data show how negligent many people are in their dealings with private property.

Numerous guides with tips for more data security are circulating on the web. Our editorial team has compiled the most important tips that quickly lead to more security for users.

1. Share as little data as possible

Actually a binse, however it is worthwhile itself to realize this rule again and again: If you are too permissive with your data, you not only have to reckon with it turning up in an undesirable place on the Internet. It threatens in particular also Identity theft.

In order to steal and misuse another person’s identity, for example when shopping online, it often only takes a few pieces of information. The copyright portal iRights also warns against

Often this information is enough for data misuse:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • address

Therefore one should proceed sparingly with the data. As a general rule, data that has not been provided or disclosed in the first place cannot be stolen or misused. Of course, this is a truism and not often practicable in reality. Similarly, you could say: if you don’t drive a car, you can’t have a car accident.

What is feasible, however, is that anyone who wants to give their correct date of birth in social networks, for example, should at least provide this information Do not share publicly. And who organizes something, for example, should participant lists with personal data never put openly in the net.

Another piece of advice: before giving sensitive information on Internet sites, check how serious the platform, organization or company is.

2. overview of one’s data on the Internet

Even if it is tedious in view of the many online stores, accounts in social networks and streaming services: In order to be able to contain possible misuse quickly in the event of an incident, Frank Rieger constant control and an overview important.

You cannot control everything. But you can at least check your bank statements regularly. In addition, you can check what information about yourself can be found there by searching the Internet.

To do this, it is best to type in your name in different search engines. Among the most popular search engines are Google and Bing, also Yahoo and AOL.

3. Use long passwords and so-called passphrases

The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) gives tips for strong passwords.

For strong passwords you should pay attention to the following:

  • at least eight, better twelve or more digits
  • Use upper and lower case letters
  • also use numbers and special characters
  • avoid using names of family members, celebrities or dates of birth
  • the password should not appear in the dictionary

A weak password cannot be made secure by appending numbers or special characters. Read here: Top tips on the "change your password" tag.

4. More security through two-factor authentication

A secure password is good, a second security code is better. This is exactly what the Two-factor authentication (2FA), which is being provided by an increasing number of providers – including companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

After entering the password, a second code is requested. This can be transmitted via SMS or generated via an app (Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Authy or Lastpass) or a code generator.

A third way are Security keys on USB sticks, the password should be plugged in when logging on to the computer.

An overview of services in the net, which offer 2FA, gives the Website Experts advise using two-factor authentication whenever possible.

5. The e-mail account is particularly sensitive

The scammer – a 20-year-old student from Hesse – used it to authorize himself on other services like Twitter via mail. Users should therefore pay attention to which sensitive documents are stored in their emails.

And: While photo attachments make e-mails look pretty, they can also be misused. Frank Rieger, spokesman for the Chaos Computer Clubs (CCC), advises switching off both functions in the settings of your mail program.

Mails can then still be displayed as plain text, but privacy remains protected. Caution also applies to file attachments. They should be treated with suspicion and not opened lightly.

Also beware of the so-called Phishing: supposed bill from Amazon, a "problem" with the PayPal account, a "blocking" of the Facebook access – mail to the mailbox? In the vast majority of cases, phishing is a scam that only aims to obtain personal data such as user names, passwords or bank details.

6. Always keep the systems up to date with updates

Users should always update their operating system and all programs install as soon as possible. Otherwise, in the worst case, attackers can exploit security gaps to access data from the computer.

For basic protection against attacks and snooping malware a firewall and a virus scanner that is always kept up to date are also essential.

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