The internet can be a scary place without security, particularly if you make online purchases using your card details, or share private information online. It is important that internet users have both privacy and security, but what is the difference? Privacy relates to your personal information, and making sure you have control over it and how it is used. Security means having your personal information protected.
Some people might regard privacy and security as the same thing because, and at times the two may overlap. However, they are not the same, and knowing the difference can help protect you online.
How can this affect an internet user?
To demonstrate the differences between privacy and security and how it can affect you. Here are three examples of different possibilities and how you could be affected by simply opening a checking account at a bank.
Possibility 1: Both security and privacy are maintained.
The bank uses your information to open the account to provide you with services and products, and they continue to protect the data you gave them.
Possibility 2: Your security is maintained but your privacy is compromised.
Your personal information falls into more hand than you had realized, as a data company or agency buys your information from the bank to use for targeted marketing purposes.
Possibility 3: Your security and privacy are both compromised.
A data breach hits the bank. The banks database is penetrated by cybercriminals in a security breach. Your data is unprotected and could possibly be sold on the dark web. You are now a potential victim of identity theft and cyber fraud.
What is a VPN?
To provide safety and security internet users really should be using VPN’s (Virtual Private Network). Most people know what a VPN is, but not everyone uses them or realises the value of them. A VPN is a security product that works as a protective tunnel for your information to travel through, encrypting the data which is sent or received on a device. It is the online equivalent of using a computer with your back against a wall to avoid people looking over your shoulder.
With the rise in awareness of these threats, recent years has seen a jump in brands providing VPN and security services to choose from including NordVPN, ExpressVPN and PureVPN. To find out which of the brands would best suit you, it’s important to read some reviews of others that have bought their products.
The two ways NordVPN and the others can help you:
- Security: VPNs can prevent other people gaining access to your personal data and information.
- Privacy: VPNs can help by blocking internet browsers, cable companies, internet service providers and websites that try to track your information and browser history.
Tips for Internet Privacy and Security
Naturally, some businesses will value your privacy more than others, and they may take their own precautions to protect your information. Even if they do, here are some steps you can take to improve your security and privacy online.
1. Limit what you share online, especially social media sites which often have applications that collect and sell personal information
2. Protect your Social Security number. Keep it in a safe place and try not to use it for identification
3. Read privacy policies before signing up to an app or service. Understand how your information can be used once you have shared it online.
4. Before throwing important documents in the trash, make sure you have shredded them.
5. Keep your data and devices safeguarded with the help of a VPN, security software, a secure router and identity theft protection services.
Remember to ensure you online safety you should value both your security and your privacy.