Since the advent of smartphones, everyone practically is always online. We use several apps and platforms on a daily basis to stay connected with the outside world. However, this comes with a risk. While the onus towards building a secure digital environment lies on companies that build user-centric platforms, there are quite a few things everyone can do at their end which pay off high returns in the longer run. Mr Rovin Cutinho, who is the Chief Product Officer of Canvs, which is a tech-based design company spoke exclusively to HZ about how to ensure digital safety. He told that “much like most good habits, the lack of these practices has a much more pronounced downside than the observable upside of exercising these. At best you shall use the products as they are without losing anything that belongs to you.” In order to do so, Mr Rovin also recommended a few pointers to build a sustainably secure digital environment. 

Disallow Permissions 

Disallow Permissions

Applications often have the tendency to ask for permissions beyond what they require. Users should be careful around such permissions by disallowing all unnecessary ones. “In fact, in 2020, applications asking for permissions that don't make sense aren't exactly trusted or much used for that matter,” told Mr Rovin. 

Update Products

Update Products

For products like browsing and messaging apps that all of us happen to use every day and depend a lot on, try maintaining a habit of updating them regularly to their latest versions. “Teams behind such products are typically working on security patches for vulnerabilities they discover around the clock. It’s the best way to remain secure,” Mr Rovin revealed. 

Smaller Digital Footprint

Smaller Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint is essentially the amount of identifiable data we leave behind on the various products we use online. Reducing that means releasing lesser information to strangers. “Every day we share locations, signup to services, give credit card info, etc to new services. These actions happen so many times through the week that the sheer probability of one of them backfiring for us is considerable. Like most habits, exercising control on this is something we should act on atomically. It's easier to think twice every time you share some data with a new service than to dig out everything you've shared over a period of time to a multitude of products,” said Mr Rovin. 

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Trust Only Established Sites To Sign Up For New Ones

Trust Only Established Sites To Sign Up For New Ones

When given an option of signing up to a service that is new to you check for social signups via established products like Google, Fb, Twitter etc. This allows limiting security vulnerabilities to a single point of failure which is heavily backed by teams supporting millions of customers online on products that have abundant resources backing their own security. “It's easier to trust a Gmail than to trust an established chain of hotels whose prime concern isn't tech or security,” told Mr Rovin. 

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General guidelines like these take users a long way towards staying protected online. However, it's always wise to think before you click; it's hard to undo mistakes in the digital realm.