Following the news about surrounding the Snooper’s Charter, David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab commented below.

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab:

David Emm” There are several steps cyber-savvy consumers can take to ensure their privacy online:

  • Firstly, change some browser settings – e.g., disable automatic add-on installation, block suspicious websites and pop-ups, make SSL certificate checks compulsory, block third party cookies and never opt to save passwords in the browser.
  • When installing new free software, untick the boxes that let the software install additional toolbars, plugins and extensions. Otherwise these can – absolutely legally – be used to collect consumer data.
  • Use HTTPS sites wherever possible. HTTPS means that the traffic is encrypted. Avoid using mail providers, social networks or ecommerce sites without an HTTPS connection.
  • Use two different browsers – one for primary online services (social networks, web mail, productivity tools, ecommerce), and one for web surfing, so that online activity cannot be matched to your identity.
  • Use VPN traffic encryption.
  • Be cautious when sharing personal information on social networks, any personal information that is shared on a social network platform is potentially vulnerable to malicious attack, for instance: spam and phishing campaigns.  Read the security and privacy settings carefully, to ensure that default settings don’t allow leakage of data.
  • Consider using an encrypted email service, such as ProtonMail, to ensure that emails cannot be shared with third parties.
  • Avoid linking online accounts. This will reduce the volume of data that companies can obtain and prevent the data from being aggregated.
  • Setup multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security, requiring a password, username and information that only the user has access to. This is especially important for your e-mail address, since this is so often used as a username for online accounts.
  • Use a strong PIN or passcode or enable the devices fingerprint scanner. Remember that this is all that stands between a criminal and your online identity if your device is lost or stolen.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for confidential transactions. If you have to, use a VPN.
  • Ensure to switch off location services on devices unless you’re specifically using it.
  • Finally, use special privacy features (such as the Private Browsing feature in Kaspersky Internet Security or Kaspersky Total Security), which remove personal information from Internet traffic, allowing people to browse privately.”
Information Security Buzz