The Dangers of Eavesdropping and How You Can Stay Secure

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Nowadays, information is so accessible to anyone who tries to attain it. It doesn’t matter if it was meant to stay private; with just the right amount of searching and digging, people can very easily poach details about your life due to the ease of technological advancements. Phones can be bugged and tapped, private messages can be leaked, and personal accounts could be hacked. Living in a digital age comes with an equal share of blessings and problems.

Eavesdropping and hacks can now take place in the most discreet ways possible. It can also happen to anyone: high-profile officials, professionals, and even teenagers. You never truly know who’s keeping track of your online presence, and if nobody’s listening in on your phone calls, so it’s best to take extra steps and keep your lines secure and private. Read on to find out which security method works best for you.

1. Check which sites you’re logged into.

Most websites keep a database of all accounts and their private information, and there are still debates on what they use it for. A lot of these sites, especially social networking sites, retain information even after you’ve deleted your account, so if you think that after deactivating Facebook or Twitter you’ll be starting on a clean slate, you might want to guess again. Log-ins and personal data can be used by some sites to determine which kinds of advertisements filter through. In some cases, these details can be used to trace your location. 

Keeping track of sites you log into is important so you know just how traceable you are online. Most of the time, people use the same passwords to log in, so what could show up on social media databases could also be used to access more private accounts, like digital banking sites.

2. Use a private network to browse the Internet.

Most of the Wi-Fi networks we connect to when we go out are public and not as secure. Our online browsing is can be easily tracked if the connection used isn’t private, so it’s best to use a VPN. Some browsers offer a free private network to browse with, but it’s best to subscribe to services that cater fully to making sure your connection is secure. There may be some fees to pay, but for the price of knowing that no one can snoop into your browser history, it’s worth it.

Using a VPN is also ideal for when you’re handling sensitive information, like client addresses or medical details. This way, your messaging platforms (email and otherwise) are safe from the risk of being hacked. The information trade is very real, and running the risk of having personal information sold to people online isn’t worth the ease of using any public connection.

3. Invest in a push-to-talk (PTT) device.

For people who work on the road frequently as guards, security personnel, or even journalists, getting a push-to-talk device is a good way to keep private information private. PTT devices offer that extra layer of security because some models offer encrypted communique and a talk group feature controlled by a command center. This means you know exactly who else is looped into conversations, and you also have the power to remove or add people to the network at will. Models like the military-grade Iridium PTT device also have the durability for when you need to go on rougher, more demanding trips.

PTT devices are virtually unhackable. A rule of thumb to keeping things private is to go further back in time; the more “on the grid” you appear, the easier it is for strangers to access information. Going back in time means using older-fashioned approaches to communication. A PTT device is essentially a more advanced walkie-talkie, so there is a lower risk for a leak in information.

4. Use communication apps that have end-to-end encryption.

For younger folks who are more fond of messaging and having group conversations online with friends, communication apps that offer end-to-end encryption are best. You’d be surprised at how much people like to snoop in younger people’s business, so apps that have features like “disappearing” conversations (where threads can be erased after logging out), and password-protected chats. Young adults are more likely to be targeted by information hacks, so it’s best to protect even harmless conversations.

Protecting conversations can also be helpful because predators also lurk in forums and public chat spaces that younger people can frequent. Apps that are encrypted can lessen that risk of danger and can shield them from being tracked and even stalked.

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