PETALING JAYA: Online privacy is a major concern as many of our online activities such as shopping, chatting, and travelling are being continuously monitored and recorded by different agencies and services.
According to a survey done by cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, 41% of its consumers are paranoid about being tracked online, but many lack the cyber-savviness to protect their online privacy.
Principle security researcher David Emm said consumers are uncomfortable with the fact that their online activities are being tracked.
"With tracking data, it's possible for advertisers, or even malicious third parties, to peer into the life of a person – from where they go to the sites they browse," said Emm.
He said that many users simply lack the know-how when it comes to protecting themselves from online tracking.
"They may be concerned, but do nothing about it. Even worse, they may not understand that they are putting their privacy at risk at all," added Emm.
Malaysians has 20.6 million active Internet users, which constitutes approximately 67% of the country's total population.
Kaspersky also listed six tips to ensure online privacy.
1. Change browser settings – e.g., disable automatic add-on installation, block suspicious web sites and pop-ups, make SSL certificate checks compulsory and block third party cookies.
2. When installing new free software, untick the boxes that let the software install additional toolbars, plugins and extensions. Otherwise these can be used to collect consumer data absolutely legally..
3. Use HTTPS sites wherever possible. HTTPS means that the traffic is encrypted. Avoid using mail providers, social networks or e-commerce sites without an HTTPS connection.
4. 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 an individual user's identity.
5. Use VPN traffic encryption.
6. Use special private features such as the 'Private Browsing' features on certain web browsers or Internet security software.