Did you know that the average cost of a data breach to a Canadian company was $6.75 million per incident in 2021? That’s the highest figure since IBM first began including Canadian businesses in the list seven years ago, signalling how rampant – and how expensive – online fraud and theft is becoming.
Obviously, the amounts involved are nowhere near as eye-popping when it comes to individual consumers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions to protect yourself online. With that in mind, here are our three top tips to ensure you browse, shop and pay more anonymously when partaking in the digital retail sector.
Use a VPN
If you haven’t already got a VPN installed on your computer, drop everything and do so now. This basic precaution is the first line of defense against opportunistic hackers, since it encrypts all data sent over the network and masks your device’s IP address from anyone wishing to take advantage of your online activity.
As such, it’s a great way to ensure that no prying eyes can access your sensitive data. Apart from the advantages of enhanced anonymity that it offers, it also comes with a whole host of other benefits, including accessing geo-blocked content, preventing internet throttling from your service provider and circumnavigating national censorship measures.
Are you familiar with the Incognito mode of Google’s browser? Equivalents do exist on rival browsers too, and they’re a fantastic way to stop your online activity being visible to those who you’d rather not keep tabs on your digital movements. Of course, it’s not a complete cure-all and there are those who can still see where and when you browse, including your internet service provider, the administrator of your network and some other parties.
However, it will prevent your device from storing cookies on it, which essentially deletes the digital paper trail of the sites you have visited. This is especially useful when shopping online, since some retailers recognise when you have browsed a product, then strategically raise its price the next time you check to encourage you to make a purchase immediately before it rises any further. With Incognito mode, no such negative outcomes can occur.
As well as the manner in which you browse the web, the currency you use to make purchases is also a great method of protecting your identity online. That’s because cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are underpinned by sophisticated blockchain technology, which not only adds a further layer of encryption to your data, but also creates a comprehensive ledger of all transactions. It’s watertight.
Of course, your crypto of choice is only as secure as the place in which you store it. That’s why it’s essential you do your homework to pinpoint the best Bitcoin wallet Canada has to offer. By storing your cryptocurrency in a safe location and using it to buy the goods and services you need, you’ll ensure you remain as anonymous online as is possible while shopping.
Keeping yourself safe while still enjoying some retail therapy is a luxury no 21st century citizen should have to give up. With these three tips, you don’t have to!