Learn the art of online camouflage

How many times did you have to give his address? Email your or your phone number to sign up for an online service, get on a website or app, to read the news or to log in to one of your social media accounts? To put it simply, our contact information is all over the internet.

It takes hard work to stay safe and protect our personal information online and especially every time we sign up for a new service or when we buy something online, says the global digital security company's team of experts ESET suggesting we take some time today to learn the art of… online camouflage!

Learn the art of online camouflage

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Temporary email address and secondary "mailbox"

Usually websites ask for an address Email to register and most of us will give to basic Email us. Why would we need more than one account anyway? The reality, however, suggests otherwise. When we do some registration or even when we just give it Email us to access content, most often we also agree to the transfer of our contact information from one particular service to another for marketing purposes.

But we don't need to do that. What is the alternative?

Strategy 1: Make a disposable email address – for things you don't really care about.

Some services Email disposables allow you to use a temporary Email which self-destructs after a set amount of time. This is particularly useful for example when you're asked to provide an email address to access restricted content, but you don't want to then be bombarded with promotional marketing campaigns and spam.

But you have to take something into account: it is not a good idea to use the services Email disposable for any communication that may involve sensitive .

Strategy 2: Create a secondary email address for links and important newsletters.

For all contacts with government agencies, banks and other important contacts, use an end-to-end encrypted email service like Tutanota. Do not use your personal email address for anything other than contacting your friends and family. This way you'll keep your inbox organized, spam-free, and protected from data leaks in the event a service you're subscribed to suffers a data breach.

Alternatively, you can also use a function like the Hide My Email of Apple to sign up for a service without revealing your real you Email. The Apple δημιουργεί μια μοναδική διεύθυνση που αποκρύπτει την σας διεύθυνση και την παρέχει στην υπηρεσία στην οποία εγγράφεστε. Στη συνέχεια, όλα τα μηνύματα ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου θα προωθούνται αυτόματα από τον καλυμμένο λογαριασμό στο δικό σας. Αν και το Android does not yet offer a similar function, there are some alternatives such as Firefox relay.

Use a prepaid phone number

Along with email addresses, the phone number is necessary to register and log in to various websites, to receive passwords that confirm your identity, or even for online stores to hand over your contact information to services courier.

In general, your phone number is everywhere, so it's no wonder that most of us already receive at Whatsapp messages from strangers and scam attempts.

Strategy 3: Get a prepaid card SIMs..

Συνήθως, πρόκειται για μια φθηνή κάρτα την οποία πρέπει να ανανεώνετε μόνο με λίγα χρήματα κάθε λίγους μήνες για να την διατηρείτε σε λειτουργία και, στις περισσότερες χώρες, δεν απαιτείται η επίδειξη για να τη χρησιμοποιήσετε. Ο σκοπός είναι να χρησιμοποιείτε αυτόν τον αριθμό τηλεφώνου για όλες τις διαδικτυακές σας ανάγκες: Μπορείτε να το συνδέσετε με λογαριασμούς στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, να το χρησιμοποιήσετε για παρακολούθηση δεμάτων, να το μοιραστείτε με πιθανά ραντεβού στο διαδίκτυο και να το χρησιμοποιήσετε για γενική ανωνυμία.

Meanwhile, your personal number should only be shared with family, friends and government or financial institutions. Because you use this number on Internet, if they call you, you can immediately assume it's a scam and, most likely, that some website you signed up for has had a data breach.

Single-use bank cards

Buying online can be really convenient, no doubt! We just have to go to the online store, choose what we want and we usually already have our card details saved from a previous purchase. All good. Unless there is a data breach that affects the information stored on this website and puts our card details at risk or we fall victim to a social engineering scam!

Strategy 4: Prefer disposable virtual cards.

Many banks, especially those based on mobile apps, offer virtual cards instead of a physical card or as an additional option along with the physical card. And most of these banks will also offer disposable cards that link to your real card. Just make a purchase with a single-use card, the bank's system will detect the movement, destroy the details of the card in question and automatically create new ones, ready for the next purchase. Because it's a random card, hackers won't be able to trace your real details.

In case you're wondering about refunds, sellers can still issue refunds via the same single-use card details on your account.

Two-factor authentication and one-time passwords

Most online services today allow – and recommend – the use two-factor authentication (2FA). That is, in addition to entering your password you may also be asked to perform an additional authentication step. That way, if someone steals your password, they won't be able to log in without code 2FA in his hands.

Strategy 5: Use passwords 2FA generated by applications.

Most of the time, the 2FA involves sending a message SMS to your phone number with a one-time password (OTP). All you need to do is type it where you are asked to prove your identity. Another - and better - way is based on the use of authentication applications, such as Microsoft Authenticator. Under their privacy settings, most websites offer the option to create one or alphanumeric code that can be entered into the application authenticator– in turn, the app will generate a temporary code that works just like one OTP.

This second method is something you might have to get used to – recently the Twitter stopped supporting 2FA via SMS for non-paying users.

Let's recap!

  1. Create temporary email accounts when you need to register to temporarily access content that interests you.
  2. Use a trusted email provider such as gmail or the Outlook, to create a second account to use for online services and website registrations.
  3. Get a prepaid phone number to avoid receiving SMS and scam calls.
  4. Use single-use virtual bank cards that self-destruct after just one use.
  5. Use one-time codes for two-factor authentication along with using one strong and unique password.

Finally, among the things we as users can do to prevent malicious activities - is the use reliable digital security software which protects us from other possible dangers and attacks.

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Although the press releases will be from very select to rarely, I said to go ... because sometimes the authors are hiding.

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