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We live in a world of uncertainties. There are several forces beyond our control shaping our lives and opening pathways. How can you ensure the protection of your online and offline existence? How do you make sure you and your loved ones are safe from threats of both the cyberworld and the offline reality?

First, let’s make something clear. There’s nothing individualistic about our society. We are all connected, and the interactions always leave a digital footprint in the age of smartphones and digital transactions. We are not talking about ways to rip you off from modern society and leave you untraceable in oblivion. It’s merely a matter of keeping our data and valuables safe and protected.

Keeping the digital life safe.

There are several tracking algorithms at play within your smartphones and gadgets. These are built essentially to offer a better experience to you as a user. For instance, Google sends info about the location, preferences etc. to its servers from your android phones, and Apple does the same. The best you can do to make sure your data is safe is to go through the privacy policy and settings of your phone and check out the permissions. In the case of apps, you can grant or disable permissions like location, microphone, data, GPS etc.

Another crucial step toward digital privacy protection is to use complex and hard-to-decrypt passwords. Your name or 123456 are easy to break and any hacker worth their salt can easily break into your phone or laptop and steal your sensitive info. Using services like VPN can help you keep anonymity while connecting to public servers like the coffee shop Wi-Fi. They are usually vulnerable spots that hackers particularly target because the chance of getting through to their next victim is high. When you visit any website, they use cookies to identify and mark you so they will know which other sites you visit and how often. Therefore, you see an Amazon ad on Facebook for the exact item you searched. Using VPNs and adblockers prevents websites from collecting your data.

Threats can also come from the inside. Be aware of attachments of emails and links you click on. There are hackers and malicious organizations that trick you into thinking it’s something entertaining or relevant and once you click on them, they gain access to your device and collect crucial info about you. Bank passwords, credit card information, personal files etc. are then sold on the dark web or they might even keep them encrypted to force you to pay a ransom. The best you can do is to mind the address of the sender and verify them. If you don’t trust an email, refrain from opening it.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe in the digital world:

  • Use VPN and be aware of what you do while being connected to public Wi-Fi.
  • Use ad-blockers and extensions on web browsers to keep tracking cookies at a distance.
  • Use a password manager like LastPass or bit warden to generate random passwords that are hard to crack.
  • Do not overshare on social media, especially sensitive information about your bank, financials, family, etc.
  • Don’t use the same passwords for multiple websites.
  • Do not give away all the accurate information unless necessary. Use fake names or spare email IDs for signing up for non-essential websites/services.

Threats from the offline world.

Technology can also be leveraged to protect your valuables and loved ones in the real world. There are several home security systems available on the market to help you secure your home and valuable assets. Similarly, you can also try using vehicle tracker to protect your car or bike. They use GPS to provide real-time data and you can easily know their exact location no matter where they are. There are also features like motion alerts and geo-fencing that let you know as soon as your car starts moving so you can seek help from authorities quickly and retrieve it as soon as possible.

Here are some more tips to keep you safe:

  • Use cardless transactions to pay if possible. You can opt for Apple Pay or even use cash to protect your credit card information.
  • Destroy or shred old cards and documents that have sensitive information.
  • Seek more information about whatever services they are offering and try not to give away your location or address.
  • Invest in GPS trackers and security cameras. It’s only a minor one-time expense that provides a life-long peace of mind.

Keep in mind that these are not comprehensive. Or in other words, these are effective but hackers or people with malicious intent can still get to you. However, these tips can keep you safe to an extent and ensure protection in most circumstances. So, the main thing you can do is to be always aware. Be safe and let us know your own tips and tricks to stay safe in the online and offline realm.

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Billy Goodwin A.K.A Skaidon (my gamertag). As you can probably tell I love gaming. You will more often than not catch me with my headset on yelling online. I also love blogging, especially about the tech industry, hence the birth of the blog ' Skaidon'. Feel free to get in touch with me anytime or if you fancy a challenge add me online using 'Skaidon'.