Knowing how to increase your online privacy means using various methods and technologies to control what you reveal about yourself, because in Nigeria, the internet has become a place where people can share and collect information easily

Due to the recent increase in Internet activity in Nigeria, online privacy has never been more important. If it isn’t manage properly platforms like Jumia, konga, Facebook, Instagram etc. can reveal unwanted information about you.

We will first of all highlight the various vulnerabilities that can occur due to poor online privacy, then we will discuss how you can minimize or prevent these attacks.

Why you need to increase your Online Privacy

Cyber Bullying:

Cyber Bullying is an intentionally aggressive act or behavior aimed at bullying or threatening a person, it is usually carried out by a group or individual using electronic forms of contact such as email, social media, forums etc.

The Cyber Bullies exploits on the victims Privacy in order to perpetrate the act

Hacking and Identity theft:

Most hackers need your personal information to carry out a successful attack, for example

• Hackers can use your easily accessible personal information to commit crimes in your name
• They can take over your social media accounts and impersonate you, then send messages to your friends asking for financial help, thereby using your reputation to trick people into sending money to them.
• They can open up a Bank account or Financial wallet in your name.

What you should do to Increase you Online Privacy

The first step to having a strong online privacy is to always know that anything you put on a computer (online or offline) can be read by someone else. Please read on to find out ways you can improve your online privacy.

Review your Privacy Settings:

If you are registered on Social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn or Forums like Nairaland, it would be wise to review your privacy setting, you may find out that your personal information might be visible to all (the public) and not restricted to just your friend or yourself alone.

• For Facebook users, this support page will help you review and setup your privacy settings
• For Google+ users, this support page will help you review and setup your privacy settings

Use Strong Passwords:

Never use passwords that are easy to guess like you birth date, nickname or pet name, if possible use a password manager to create and store your passwords, never use the same password for multiple accounts because if one account is hacked, all other accounts will follow suite. Finally if convenient for you, use two factor authentication

Beware of Public Wi-Fi:

Free Wi-Fi provided by schools, companies etc. are usually a hub for hackers, they use tools called sniffers to perform “man in the middle attacks”, as such they can see information you send across unprotected networks (Websites without an SSL certificate). If you are using a public WIFI, always ensure that you are communication on a website that encrypts your information

Watch out for Phishing threats:

Phishing occurs when you receive an apparently legitimate message from a reputable company, usually leading you to a clone site that asks you for sensitive information, to avoid being a victim of Phishing crosscheck the link before clicking to ensure that it is from a genuine source

Conclusion

The internet has made access to information very easy, it is a wonderful invention, but every advantage also has a disadvantage and we should not trade our privacy for services, below are the shortlist of what we need to do to improve our online privacy

• Review your privacy settings
• Use strong passwords
• Beware of Public Wi-Fi
• Watch out for Phishing threats

Thank you for reading, start securing yourself online today