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How to Protect your Data and Privacy Online

Samantha Lloyd on June 27, 2019
protect yourself online

It seems like every other day there is a trending news story about another privacy breach, a company using your data inappropriately, or a company getting flack for their privacy policies. As a consumer, it can be difficult to know who to trust with your data. You can’t not have any online presence or avoid using the Internet altogether but you should take the necessary precautions to protect your data. See our suggestions below for how you can better protect your accounts and your data online. Here at Hover, we care a lot about your data security and privacy. We want you and your domain names to stay safe!

Create Strong & Unique Passwords

You should always be using a unique password when creating online accounts. It’s peace of mind if any of your accounts get breached to know the rest are safe. This is a tricky one, as people tend to have multiple accounts between their professional and personal life and it means remembering a ridiculous amount of passwords. You can use apps like 1Password or LastPass to help you manage your passwords and help you create unique and strong passwords for all your accounts. Consider using unique usernames as well, when a website requires usernames, as this makes it difficult for hackers to assemble a list of all the services you might use.

Set-Up 2-Factor Authentication

2-Factor Authentication (often referred to as 2FA) requires a “secondary password” to access whatever account you are logging into. Usually, a company will text you a code, email you a pin, or you’ll use your Authenticator App to enter this secondary password. Your secondary password times out and is unique each time you log in. Many companies, such as your social media sites, offer 2FA to protect your account. Hover offers Two-Step Sign In for all users as an additional layer of protection even if your username and password are known by a hacker. With Two-Step Sign In enabled, you are required to provide a special code generated by an authenticator app on your phone or sent to you via SMS along with your username and password to access your account.

Allow Sign In Notifications

Everyone loves to make fun of Google’s security feature surrounding sign-in notifications (and yes, in most cases, it is thankfully just you signing in from a new or private browser), but there’s a good reason they send those out. If someone who wasn’t you were to access your account, you’d get a near immediate notification of it so that you could quickly sign out of all devices, change your password, and protect one of the most vital parts of your online identity. Remember, if someone has access to your email account, they can likely reset the password of near every other account you have attached to that email address. Hover recently implemented sign in notifications as a default setting for your account. We decided your domain names were an important part of your online identity – it could be your company, your personal website, or your private blog that lives on there. We wanted our customers to feel at ease with

Anytime a company offers this, it’s worth using. Yes, the emails can be a bit pesky and may even be comical when it’s only you signing in but the assurance that your account is only being accessed by you is well worth an extra email.

Be Aware of the Policies you Agree to

You may not always have a choice of the services you have to sign up for in order to work or operate your business, but ensure the privacy and cookie policy is something you agree to. Many companies share your data with third parties – some to operate properly, others for marketing. If you’re in Europe, you’re protected under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and if you’re in Canada, we have Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Be sure the companies you interact with are compliant.

Protect Your Domain Registrant Data

This is admittedly domain name specific, but (we think!) it’s an important component to your data protection. Has this ever happened to you? You buy a new domain name, and what feels like only hours later you’re getting calls from long distance phone numbers and emails from people you’ve never met asking you if you would like a website built, SEO services, or similar products all surrounding your brand new domain name. Every conversation seems to start with “Hi, I’m so and so and would like to talk to you about your domain name XYZ.”

It can be frustrating to be endlessly and accurately spammed over a domain you just bought. You likely noticed that, in order to buy a domain name, you need to enter your name, address, phone number, email and other personal information. This data is, by default, publicly available in the Whois database. When you receive a call or email about your domain name, it’s usually because this data has been scraped and is being abused. With many registrars you need to purchase Whois Privacy in order to hide your data from public view but Hover offers Whois Privacy for free. We also assume Whois Privacy is your default, that you want your data protected, so we implement the free Whois immediately. This means that when you purchase a domain name with Hover, your personal information is protected. Wherever you buy your domain name from, be sure you also have Whois Privacy protection for your data.

These are just a handful of ways you can protect yourself online – and Hover is proud to offer a lot of different ways to protect your data! Always take the extra precautions with your privacy. An additional email or text may be a bit of a nuisance to receive, but it adds a lot more in security benefits.