Data security is a hot topic right now. Crooks use data to fuel their campaigns of harassment, fraud, and worse. And because most of us happily share our entire lives online, it is remarkably easy for them.
It’s very easy to check how much data attached to you is out there. Visit Nuwber and type in your details. You can search by name, address, email address, or telephone number.
Publicly accessible databases share their information with data brokers, companies sell customer data, and hackers leak data into the public domain with impunity. If this worries you – and it should – check out the following apps, which are designed to boost data security.
Browser security should not be ignored. Google and Yahoo have made billions of dollars harvesting data from users. Each time you type in a search query, these companies use this data to build a detailed picture of you. This is then used to ensure advertising is more targeted.
If you want to take control of your personal data when you go online, switch to DuckDuckGo. Add the app to Firefox. It encrypts communications and blocks hidden trackers, keeping you safe as you browse the internet. As a bonus, it’s also free from annoying and intrusive ads.
A VPN is an essential app for online activities. VPNs mask your identity by acting as a proxy between you and the website you visit. Not only will a good VPN help you view geo-blocked content but it can also keep you safe from hackers and scammers. There are free VPNs, but these make their money from data, so it’s safer to use a paid VPN.
ExpressVPN came out top on the Tom’s Guide website. Download it to your device and take advantage of a 30-day free trial. You can even install this app on your games controller or Smart TV (recommended). Up to five connections are allowed per account, so get the whole family on board.
The average person has to manage hundreds of different passwords. From online banking to Netflix and Amazon – it’s a real chore trying to create hard-to-crack passwords and actually remembering them. And as we all know, using the same password for multiple websites is a seriously bad idea!
KeePass is an open-source password manager, which makes it free to use. All passwords are installed in an encrypted database. All you need to open the vault is one master password. Since fraudsters and scammers often need passwords to steal your data, using a password manager like KeePass is a sensible step. There are apps available for various operating systems, including Android and iOS.
Two-factor authentication makes website logins much more secure. This is why big sites like Amazon and Facebook have enabled it. But not all sites offer two-factor authentication as an option, so if someone has your password, they can log-in as you and steal your data.
FreeOTP Authenticator is an open-source authenticator app for Android devices. Download it to provide a second layer of security to your online accounts. This makes it pretty much impossible for hackers to log into your accounts, thus protecting your data.
Don’t dismiss data security as a time-consuming faff. By protecting your data, you are making is much, much harder for cybercriminals to steal your data, identity, money, and cause you a lot of hassle. With these four apps, your data is safer already.