This is your lucky day. No one wants to say no to an extra bit of money, do they? Especially when it’s millions we are talking about. Well, here we go.
Well, I am kinda kidding about the millions. But I do want to talk about something that is priceless. Privacy. I know, it’s a word thrown around willy-nilly these days, but considering how many people I know take it for granted literally gives me chills. On a minuscule scale, I might not be close to perfect at protecting my privacy, but I do try. It became increasingly difficult to steer clear of a few of these instruments of our deteriorating sense of oneness, for instance Whatsapp or Facebook. These have slowly become instrumental to getting in touch with your friends, colleagues, and loved ones. For me, it took a lot of courage to let go. Even though there are alternatives out there that are much better at protecting your privacy, given that most of them are not in it for the money and cannot afford to provide you with rivaling features, it becomes even more difficult to switch to such alternatives. Anyway, it is hard for most of us to imagine just how much control we are giving up. Here are a few things I do to protect myself as much as I can without providing too much PII(Personally Identifiable Information):
Use temporary emails:
A lot of apps and websites often need you to register yourself with an email just for you to try out a feature or browse around etc. It’s easier to just enter your personal email, and then forget about it, right? I used to do that. Now, I try my best to avoid it. One thing to do is to create multiple email accounts and categorise them for your usage. For e.g. use one email for your banking or highly important stuff, another for just shopping, a different one for food ordering, so on and so forth. Another thing I do is use ephemeral emails, like temp mail. Just search for temporary email on your favourite search engine and you are good to go. I feel this saves me a ton of unnecessary mails in my inbox.
Use a password manager:
Often people dread using a password manager because it seems like an inconvenience or they are a bit skeptical about having all their passwords in one place. The former is a bit of a personal preference or at the risk of sounding like a prude, a bit unfounded. The latter however is a genuine concern. But a crude online search will can easily alleviate this. With a password manager, not only does it become way easier to have different passwords for different sites, apps etc., it’s much more secure than using your brain to generate passwords which are based on your personal stuff(birthdays etc etc).
Enable MFA in as many places as you can:
I used to be scared of MFA. In the age of convenience and ease, it just makes it a bit harder to log in. But there came a time, when I realised I had been reusing my old passwords for a while and any breach could render a lot of my accounts vulnerable. I started changing my passwords using my password manager and also enabled MFA at as many places as I could. It’s highly prudent that we consciously choose to do so as often we can. It just provides you with an extra layer of protection against threats to your personal data and much more.
Use passphrases instead of passwords:
A lot of us tend to rely on basic character substituions to generate passoword like
P@sSw0rD , but such password for the lack of the length factor, are very weak. Also we often rely on personal details to generate them, for e.g. birthdays, our loved ones, our rides, and so on. The way most breaches work is that the attacker tries to get your personal information and uses that to find credentials to your accounts. Brute forcing a password like the one I mentioned above is less than an easy task once they get hold of your personal information like the name of the dog you had when you were a kid. What is recommended instead is to use easily memorable passphrases, for e.g.
ron-is-scared-of-computers-and-doesn't-trust-them . Now this is very memorable for me, because I love Ron from Parks and Recreation, but at the same time is very difficult to brute force or even phish because usually you would choose a scenario which is unlikely to spring up in regular conversation to come up with such phrases. Be as weird as possible with the passphrases and the attackers are that much worse for it.