How to protect your identity online?
Safety is one of the major concerns of today’s world full of online threats, scams, and cybercriminals, where the number of people who fall victim to cybercriminals is alarming. It’s true especially when remote work is widespread because of COVID-19. Every person is unique, our identities (both real and digital ones) are absolutely precious. As safety is one of the basic human needs, it’s vital to feel secure online. How can we do it? VPN is a worthy tool for your digital identity protection.
The question is, does VPN hide your identity? Certainly! You benefit a lot because:
- Your real IP address is hidden.
- You have risk-free surfing and safe browsing of the internet.
- Your personal data is protected and encrypted.
- It creates an anonymous and free-of-tracking environment.
Actually, digital identity contains a variety of data, including the user’s name, birthday, preferences, attributes, purchasing behavior patterns, etc. We might have different reasons for hiding our digital identity during transactions/interactions online, the same way we do with documents like Driver’s license, a Passport, etc. To know more about hiding your personal data, read here.
Reasons for identity protection
Communication suffered a massive shift as people use social media to communicate with each other around the globe. Living a virtual life in social networks becomes an addiction for many people who are obsessed with Facebook and Instagram pictures and videos. Others are on the phones talking for many hours, reading news websites, watching various videos/blogs. Online shopping is a huge advantage but quite risky. Why should you protect your identity online? Because your identity is unique and is associated only with you. The main point is that people have a natural need to feel safe due to a variety of reasons.
The main reasons for digital identity protection:
- To stay anonymous on the net by hiding the IP address.
- To have one’s personal data safe.
- To resists attacks and hackers.
- To prevent other parties from tracking and selling your information.
- To avoid stealing the digital identity.
Users’ ubiquitous connectivity, mobility and long hours spent daily online define new requirements to such security issues as spam, phishing, and even identity theft. It is dangerous because personal information (name, email, pictures) is used without a person’s consent for illegal actions such as fraudulent purchases, damaging one’s reputation, blackmail, and so on. Identity theft causes vast damages as criminals are smart and search for efficient methods. So, How are identities stolen?
Ways to exploit digital identity:
- Via a fake social media profile scammer pretends to be a relative or is just an attractive stranger who makes the acquaintance for no good reason. The victim is later asked for money and even threatened.
- Via e-mail when a victim gets an email from the criminal. The victim is asked about the personal information (passwords, user names, banking-related data) which is used to get access to bank accounts, carry out transactions, take credits.
- Using the IP address, criminals can get illegal access to users’ personal data mostly for the purpose of money transfers from victims’ accounts or illegal content download (e.g. pirate movies)
So, strong authentication and a reliable password don’t solve security issues as many users believe. VPN is individually tailored to meet safety needs and grant our identity security and privacy.
How to ensure the safety of your digital identity?
VPN protects your digital identity with an IP address hidden
Basically, we need to take good care and protect your online identity. Any electronic devices we use to access the internet have unique characteristics that represent people in the digital environment and our footprints are left everywhere. We can’t use the internet without having an IP address. It is crucial to keep your IP address a secret as far as other parties can get access to one’s personal data and contacts (e-mail address, contact phone, passwords), get a real address based on geolocation, know and track any actions online (search/browsing history, the most visited websites, credit cards data, activities on the social networks, etc.). IP address encrypted means your identity is masked and, thus, safe.
Personal data is the main point why ISP, hackers, investigating/marketing agencies and other interested parties are the most interested. When you enter different websites you are suggested to log in and enter your email/cellphone and a password. If you agree with a password saved automatically it means no security as it is saved somewhere on the server. All the data you submit is stored on the internet. How safe can it be? The data breach is one of the biggest concern in the technological era because personal information can be used in a number of illegal ways, like send emails asking for money or threatening ones, internet activity in Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn can be affected, one’s reputation can be destroyed, one can even be presented as a criminal unless able to prove data leakage.
Though VPN grants extra security to protect your private /business information from being abused by interested individuals, be careful with your data, think twice before sharing your personal information online i.e. phone, e-mail, real address!
Use VPN to get protected from online tracking
You can’t even imagine how many people are interested in your digital footprints and identity. Partly it is due to the spreading of digital identity and its multiple applications for financial institutions. Partly it is because of the deeper digitalization of our society. VPN is the right tool to avoid your digital identity tracking Anyway, a VPN offers versatile protection from being watched. A scrambled IP address and encrypted traffic make internet users subject to no vigilance/tracking by third parties (ISP, ads companies, cyber criminals). One’s internet connection is permanently end-to-end encrypted so that one’s personal data is protected from stealing; online advertisers won’t spam you with targeted ads.
VPN protects your digital identity from risks and cyber threats
Whatever you do online you need to be vigilant at all times. Anyone can become a vulnerable target for cybercriminals. Hacking and other technological intrusions are just some of the risks to which we are exposed as internet surfers. Digital identity is so attractive for cybercrime due to the digital form of interaction among people. Criminals are interested in digital identity theft at any stage: creation (stealing identity and creating fake accounts), operation (phishing, malware fraud, canary account), dormancy (activating previously created accounts that aren’t used anymore).
As far as there is a threat, we need to react accordingly – avoid it or cope with it. Remember! Staying online means constant worries about data breaches. VPN will take good care of your safety. The only thing you need to care about is a fair price for a great service. MacPaw's own ClearVPN makes sure you will remain protected when connected to ClearVPN. It uses military-grade AES256 encryption to protect your data from hackers.
Here’s how to get started with ClearVPN:
- Install ClearVPN on your device (we use macOS as an example in the picture below)
- Open the app and activate Browse Privately and Securely shortcut.
- That’s it! Your online journey is protected and private.
Here are some 6 tips on how to protect your identity online. It’s a matter of individual choice. But the best way is to use VPN and upgrade privacy settings
- Install a VPN to prevent it from being identified.
- Secure your personal documents (passport, social security card, etc.) using encryption.
- Use strong passwords to access different websites and update them on a regular basis.
- Check privacy settings to secure your social media profiles.
- Stay alert about bank details (accounts, credit cards).
- Avoid phishing scams (don’t open emails from unknown senders, reject suspicious money offers).
Additionally, a VPN will safeguard your identity by anonymizing your IP address, keeping your real email a secret, hiding the search history, granting access to geo-blocked websites, etc. Safety is in our hands; we have to be conscious and responsible for our actions. It’s common sense to strive to avoid vulnerabilities and protect one’s identity. Use ClearVPN to protect your identity
To wrap up
Life in the digital environment is strongly associated with vulnerabilities even if we keep up with some security protocols. There is nothing pleasant about being a target for the third parties willing to benefit from our personal information and digital traces. Thus, protecting one’s anonymity and web safety from identity theft, data breaches, ransomware are matters of common sense. Try a VPN to resist a wide range of threats. No one will take advantage of your digital identity.