How to protect your data on the internet

Nowadays, everyone somehow has access to the internet and a plethora of resources available at one click. From social networks to on-demand streaming platforms, even banking transactions and diversified online purchases, the diversity of tools on the digital universe make it possible to understand people’s behavior and needs, tracking some data that they agree to authorize when browsing the networks or using certain services.

Just to get a sense of the grandeur of this, according to data from the Datareportal website, 5 billion people are regularly active on the internet, representing almost 63% of the global population and, in the last 10 years, this number has more than doubled. Brazilians appear as one of the most connected countries, spending an average of 10 hours a day on the networks. Among the most used social platforms today*, Facebook ranks first with 2.9 million monthly active users, followed by YouTube (2.5 Mi), WhatsApp (2 Mi), Instagram (1.4 Mi), Wechat (1.2 Mi) and TikTok (1 Mi) .

Given that internet access can be practically universal in some societies, the exposure of the population to the risks of the digital world is also considerable. In Brazil, the increase in cases of scams on social networks increased by 16.8% compared to 2020, which totaled 4 million scam attempts recorded in 2021*. And when it comes to exposed data leakage, an action that contributes to facilitate coup attempts in the country, 24 million Brazilians had some type of personal data exposed, leaving the country the 6th place**.

For all that, worth knowing some tips that are fundamental to make it difficult to leak data and expose yourself in fraud attempts. Check it out below:

To avoid having your data leaked

  • First of all, check if you have ever been exposed to data leakage here. On this website, just by entering your email address, you can get an idea if any of your data has ever been exposed (yes, it’s reliable!).
  • Change your passwords regularly: on average, every six months, update your passwords for social networks, emails and the like. Thus, you avoid that in a possible data leak, your access information is exposed for a long time.
  • Use special characters: mixing lowercase and uppercase letters, special characters ($, @, #, &) and numbers in a single password are smart strategies to make it difficult for suspicious people or bots to access.
  • Avoid saving passwords, especially in the cloud: with a possible data leak, information saved in the cloud can be quite a risk! So try to memorize your accesses, or write it down on paper or somewhere only you can access.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: In social networks, mainly, two-factor authentication is like a new layer of protection, asking for an SMS code as soon as you log in. If possible, always leave it on. If someone has access to your Facebook password, for example, they would still need the password sent by SMS in real time to validate access.

To avoid being scammed on the internet, especially through social platforms

  • Never share passwords or SMS codes: As stated above about two-factor authentication, data like this is too intimate to be shared. If someone calls you asking for this code, for example, stay alert. Everything points to the completion of a coup.
  • Do not click on suspicious links: if received by WhatsApp, or from an email in which you do not recognize the domain, or if you have a warning of an attempted scam of the same, never click!
  • Be aware of sweepstakes and promotions in which they ask you for access data: scams on WhatsApp, for example, have grown considerably under the promise of people who have been awarded something and, for that, they would have to share a code sent. This code is what they ask to try to access your WhatsApp and impersonate you. Just pay close attention, okay?

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Together we can make the internet a pleasant and, of course, safer environment.