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How to Stay Safe Online in Brazil

John Bennet
Last Updated by John Bennet on March 18, 2021

Brazil has one of the highest number of Internet users in the world and that means a lot of data flying back and forth as its residents shop, communicate, use social media, work, and build businesses.

But more data and more users also means more opportunities for cybercriminals and hackers to swoop in and swipe valuable information, sometimes without individuals or businesses being aware of the situation for weeks or months after it happens.

There is a lack of regulation in the use of personal data in Brazil, with privacy and data protection both seen more as loose concepts than actual established standards. What can cyber-criminals do with your information and what can you do to keep yourself safe when using the Internet in Brazil?

This article answers both questions while taking a look at the current state of Brazil’s online security.

What Cyber-Criminals Want With Your Data

Whether you use the Internet solely to email friends or you run your own business online, cyber-criminals are interested in hacking your system and stealing your data.

Here are some of the ways they use even the simplest bits of information that they can procure by spying on your Internet activity, hacking your social media accounts, and sending you to phishing website via fraudulent emails.

Here’s a partial list of what cyber-criminals can do with the following pieces of your information:

  • Name & Address: File fake tax returns, transfer money illegally, apply for loans and credit cards.
  • Email Address: Access your online attacks, expose you to spam and unwanted marketing; target you with ransomware and phishing attacks.
  • Phone number: Attempt phone scams and send you spam and unwanted marketing.

State of Brazilian Cyber Security

The biggest present problem for Brazil’s cyberspace is organized crime. Just like shakedowns and protection payments from years gone by, Brazil’s’ crime organizations now use malware attacks, ransomware and phishing to extract money and information from companies and individuals.

Cyber Security
By pooling their resources and their investments, criminals can attack larger targets, streamline their efficiency, and increase their profit-sharing as consumers and business owners struggle to keep up.

How to Stay Safe Online in Brazil

There are basic tenets that every online user should have in place when going online in Brazil. The simplest two of these are a virus scanner and a firewall. A virus scanner checks on every part of your computer on a regularly-scheduled basis, usually once a day, to ensure that all the files on your computer are there for legitimate purposes.

A firewall is even more important because it keeps unwelcome items from every getting to your computer in the first place. Think of a firewall as a huge net through which your Internet data travels. When unwelcome or threatening items attempt to access your system, they are caught in the net and restricted from traveling any further.

Both firewalls and anti-virus software have their limitations as new versions of malware and spyware are reduced by the millions every day.

The VPN Solution

A great compliment to firewalls and anti-virus software is to employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you go online for any purpose. A VPN give you the highest level of security available, especially when you using a public Wifi connection.

VPNs shield your Internet usage from any third party, including everyone from your own ISP to government organizations to the hacker at the next table who is using software to snoop on your system. VPNs use a third-party remote server to create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and one in another location.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)
All data you send to the Internet in the form of requests or uploads passes through this tunnel to a server hosted by the VPN. Once your data reaches the server, it is decrypted and assigned an IP address from that country. It then is sent on to the Internet sites of your choice.

As you request pages, data, and downloads, they are sent to the third-party server. The server encrypts the data and sends it back through your encrypted “tunnel” to your machine. Once there, the VPN client decrypts the data and makes it viewable at your end.

1. NordVPN

A great option for a fast and secure VPN experience is NordVPN which is based in Panama, has a no-logs policy, and offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

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2. ExpressVPN

One of the best VPNs when it comes to bypassing geo-blcoks, ExpressVPN which is based in the British Virgin Island, has servers in 90 countries and offers a 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee.

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3. IPVanish

IPVanish has 256-bit AES encryption for safeguarding data and more than 1,000 servers to choose from across 60 countries.

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John Bennet
John Bennet is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.