How to secure your online communications in 2020
In this age of mass surveillance, it’s important to understand that your online privacy and security are under siege. Not only this but your personal right to online freedom is also being compromised. And so, you need to keep your online activities secure and private from hackers, governments, ISPs, advertising agencies, and organizations alike.
The real question is how? Fret not! In this post, I will provide you with some useful tips and tricks to keep your communications secure, anonymous, and private online.
Secure your devices
The smartphones that you use while communicating with your friends are largely responsible for you getting caught off guard by online pirates and hackers. You know that you have spent great bucks buying your smartphone. Now, it’s time to secure them. But security does not come for free. There is a cost associated with it.
There are many anti-virus apps available that can secure your smartphones including Android and iPhones, which can be downloaded easily. I will advise you to go for the paid options as they are more efficient than the free apps and come with more features to play around with. You can also dive into your device’s security settings and take advantage of the options available to you.
Secure your messaging
Now that you have secured your mobile device, it’s time to secure your messaging as well. Why do you ask? That’s because sending messages via a short messaging service (SMS) can backfire as surveillance agencies can intercept your SMS messages and phone calls at any point in time. Not only this, they can forcibly downgrade your cellular connection to unencrypted channels to snoop on you with ease.
Think for a second about the metadata (which is a vital part of government surveillance) generated when you send an SMS. I would advise you to use instant messaging apps that offer encryption protocols to safeguard your communications. While WhatsApp is a good option, there are others as well, Signal being one of my most favorite.
Secure your browsing
Secure and safe internet browsing is the need of the hour. I know that there are many people who browse the internet daily just to visit their favorite websites. All they want is to watch their beloved online programs, sports matches, and movies. However, they usually don’t realize that their privacy and security are susceptible to being compromised online. That’s right. Your browsing activities and communications are monitored without your authorization!
If you want to have a safe, private and anonymous browsing experience, you must take precautionary measures to denounce the so-called hackers and surveillance agencies. Otherwise, you are at risk of losing your private online space. And that’s what these advertising and surveillance agencies are after.
I would recommend that you opt for a reliable virtual private network (VPN) that will help cloak your identity online by hiding your IP address and encrypting your Internet traffic. This will give you the ultimate luxury to browse the internet with complete freedom and anonymity.
Use strong passwords
Whichever communication app you use – WhatsApp, Skype, or Snapchat – you must sign up for it. At the time of sign up, you must provide a username and password. Now, this is where you must be utmost care to use strong passwords. Your password must contain alphanumeric characters and at least one special character – so that your password remains safe and sound.
Why I am emphasizing so much on using strong passwords is because they are the first line of defense against online hackers, cyberbullies, and surveillance agencies. Never ever use a weak password, Otherwise, your online accounts will be breached easily by the so-called custodians of your data.
Say No to public Wi-Fi hotspots
Here is another important point. Never use a public Wi-Fi hotspot while traveling, or even in your home country. These hotspots pose a real danger to your privacy and anonymity as hackers can snoop on your communications to steal your data. It’s better to not use Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops or libraries without the protection of a VPN.
If you want to use a hotspot for communication purposes, make sure to use a trustworthy VPN service that encrypts your personal information from end to end. In this way, you can keep your online activities anonymous from the prying eyes of surveillance and ghost hackers.
Paid VPN or Free?
It’s better to opt for a paid VPN service that is reliable and has a reasonable price tag attached to it. Free VPN service providers are good not enough. It is a fact that nothing is available free of cost in this world. Even if you eat your daily meals, or travel from your home to office, there is a price that you have to pay.
And when it comes to anonymity and security, you have to bear the cost to ensure that your online presence remains safe. A reliable, trustworthy VPN service will always come with a price tag. If you want to enjoy complete security and privacy over the web, there is no better option than to opt for a paid VPN service.
With paid VPN services, you get a complete package with high speed, unlimited bandwidth, high-level encryption, ever-ready customer service and support team, optimized server performance, uninterrupted online streaming, and above all, freedom to browse any website of your choice with complete anonymity, privacy and security, thereby nullifying all the evil online forces.
Communication is the life-blood of our daily lives. However, with so many parties interested in knowing what you’re up to or who you’re talking to, it is mandatory to secure your communication channels.
The tricks I have mentioned above will allow you to carry out your communications in a safe online environment, cloaked against the evil surveillance organizations and advertising agencies and that are constantly after your precious data. Also, read 5 Ways to Hide your Location Online (Stay Anonymous)!