Online Security & Privacy – Why it’s the first thing you MUST consider! (Part 1)

Now let’s not blame the current state for the biggest blunder people make in confusing security and privacy! They are not the same and unfortunately, many providers are simply billing their services as one in the same. In this article, I’ll be exploring the basics and then provide you with further articles on details that will be practical and based on tried and tested facts (see bottom of this article) . If you would like a more detailed review or look at your digital wellbeing, then I would welcome your discussion and to connect with me.

So let’s start with a couple of facts:

Don’t believe the hype!

Step one is to stop believing all those clickbait, do this now – nonsense that you see on social media and YouTube. Keep your approach simple and you will be fine. There is absolutely no need as a normal person to overload your tech with bloated security and privacy solutions.

There is NO 100% “Bullet Proof” security and privacy!

It doesn’t exist. Stop looking for it and believing these useless claims. If this was the case, then half of us would have digitally disappeared, Google and Facebook wouldn’t be hacked and your unsuspecting bikini clad pics wouldn’t find their way on UseNet groups. However, what you can do is get as close to 100% as possible.

Android and Apple/iOS are Unhackable!

Wrong. You just need to google the terms and will find a mass of articles on how hackers have managed to circumvent the once unhackable Apple core and Android. Windows is just a hacker’s best friend so we won’t go there. However, if you do use Windows, then this still applies.

All VPNs are safe and protect my Anonymity and Privacy!

Hell No! Not all VPNs are created equal and certainly their network infrastructure, privacy policies and other practices will give you a very good idea of just how private and anonymous you are. More on this later.

FREE services are the same as Paid ones

NO NO… a little common sense goes a long way. How can something just be free? What data is being collected in the background? What serious levels of protection are being offered and how can a free service pay for these? I understand the “good samaritan” proposition, but in an age where even accessing toilets costs a little money, there is no such thing as FREE security or privacy without there being compromises or catches. So don’t be fooled.

I use VPN and Antivirus so Google doesn’t track me

Seriously? You will be surprised at how much data Google, facebook, Instagram, TokTok and a bazzilion other apps collect about you and your habits. Imagine…you open the Amazon app and voila, it magically knows you need a new pressure cooker at a certain price range! Even if you had zero apps downloaded on your mobile, settings in your phone are enough to give both Google and Apple 60% of what they need. In a later article I will show you how best to limit this personal data outflow.

Don’t rely on ranking and review sites

Ranking and review sites that give you the “Best of 2020” are great but 9/10 are all affiliate linked and more often than none, they will all have similar rankings. The objective here is to get a commission on everyone they refer. This is fine and its acceptable practice. However, a deeper dive and you will find more or less the same info, same ranks and same software. Go independent. Sites that are willing to expose rather than promote. Sites that are all encompassing and not just purely focused on a product or service.

Online Privacy is simply ensuring that your data, images, docs and anything that belongs to you is, private. It also extends to ensuring you are not exposed online, remain anonymous and that any actions you do are secure and non-traceable. Think of it as simply a veil.

Digital Security is simply making sure that what comes into your devices (PC, mobile, etc.) and what goes out is safe, secure and that you are aware and authorized it to do so . No unintentional or malicious connections that will expose your devices, their content and allow for manipulation without your knowledge. Think of it as the Doors in your home.

So where do people get these two horribly wrong? For starters, they will install or assume a software will handle all in an efficient manner. Example, using a Firewall or Antiviral software and assume you are fully protected and anonymous. It won’t work and despite the availability of software that will do it all, it will most certainly fail in one aspect. So where are my tried and tested solutions.

“Understand that keeping yourself digitally secure and private applies to anything you connect to. The internet and even within a closed-loop network. Malware, Spyware and Trackers are just the tip of the iceberg”

Marc Aubry

With that in mind, pop into Part 2 to discover what tools I recommend for both your online security and privacy!

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