There’s been no shortage of recent news stories relating to online security. From the Snowden revelations which revealed the extent to which our private data has been misused by the authorities, to the Heartbleed bug which has seen volumes of passwords compromised all over the web, there’s been enough coverage of security flaws to make us think carefully about the way we use the web.
Whether you’re the owner of an e-commerce site, or just an avid gamer and web-user, security online is probably a priority of yours. While the lengths to which we need to go to protect ourselves online will vary hugely with the kinds of information we deal with, a basic level of security is important for everyone. Here, we look at a few useful privacy tools.
One of the first rules of staying safe online is to stay clear of sites you don’t trust. Rather than limiting your web usage to sites that you already know, it’s possible to trust your connection to a site based on the presence of an SSL certificate.
Web site owners can gain a free trial ssl certificate which guarantees the encryption of traffic to their server. Online shoppers shouldn’t proceed unless they can see that the site they’re using has a trusted certificate.
Sometimes on the web, it’s useful to hide your identity. If you don’t want your IP address and potentially your location to be tracked, one of the best options is to use a virtual private network. A VPN can pass all of your web traffic through another site, cloaking your true identity and lowering the risk of your information being found.
If you deal with unusually sensitive information online, it’s important that you are able to look after it. While most of the biggest email providers are considered to be relatively secure, there’s nothing more effective than PGP encryption.
In effect, PGP encryption means that even if your emails can be intercepted, they cannot be read by any third party. It’s important to ensure that the people you are corresponding with have the same level of encryption.