Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has an “Online Safety Guide, Safe Use of Social Media,” which offers guidance on the risks one might face online. PTA also advises on how to stay secure and responsible to maintain a positive digital footprint. In this article, I will tell you the guidelines shared by PTA about How to protect your privacy online.
How to Protect Your Privacy Online? PTA Guidelines
Change Your Device Name:
Perhaps, you have “named” your phone, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth as your actual name. This means that everyone in the area can see your real name. Change the name to something less personal through the ‘Settings’ of your device. So that no one could know your real name.
Clear Your Location Footprint:
Your location can reveal important details about you, where you live and where you work etc. You may have your location switched off on your phone but several built-in apps may already track you and your activities. You don’t need to give location permission to any app.
To turn off the location, go to the ‘Settings’ of your phone and review each app’s permissions and turn off location services.
Remove Random Apps on Your Phone
The apps on your phone are collecting your data with/without your knowledge. Review permissions assigned to apps and check your phone routinely to see if there are any apps that you are not using and remove them.
Always Use Safe and Secure Browser:
Mobile phones and laptops usually have pre-installed browsers that may not protect your privacy. A secure browser helps you stay safe online and prevents your data from being exploited. Search for a secure browser that
suits your requirements while also protecting your privacy and shielding you from trackers. For protection, against malware, ads, and tracking, you can install extras known as “addons and extensions”. These are
easy-to-install mini-programs for your browser that can make your online activity more private. Always install extensions from official web stores and pay attention to the permissions they require.
Check if the App or Website is Safe
While visiting any website, make sure the website is secure. To stay secure, look for the Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) URL and icon, and make sure the URL in the address bar is correct. If your antivirus or browser flags a site as fraudulent or it shows you many pop-up ads, it is best to stay away! You can also check the reviews of the website or app online through a simple search online.
One thing to remember here is that always download apps or software from official stores or websites. Getting software from third-party apps/website severely compromise your security.
I hope that this article will help you to stay secure while being online.