Skip to main content
  • Net Good

Protecting your privacy online: the importance of your internet connection

By Mark Brownlee

Canadians love the internet. But they also value their privacy.

They want to share photos from their weekends with friends, not creeps. They want to keep their banking information to themselves, not give it away to cyber criminals. They want to keep their credit card info between them and their favourite cake maker, t-shirt store or action figure seller, not a fake phishing site.

But when it comes to protecting privacy, thinking about what we share is only half the battle.


Re-thinking how we protect our privacy online

Most of us don’t really spend too much time thinking about our internet connections.

We sign up with an internet service provider, wait for the friendly technician to arrive with the right equipment and then move on with our lives. After all, it’s what happens after we connect—that latest documentary on Netflix, the newest dance challenge on TikTok, tonight’s big basketball game—that we really care about.

The problem is that how we connect to the internet matters for our privacy. Why? Because how we connect to the internet is a target for cyber criminals.


Why our internet connections are a challenge for our privacy

Some of the most malicious cyber attacks trick us into parting ways with information we would never, ever want to give up.

Take, for example, a phishing attack. A cyber criminal might send you a link to a fake website designed to appear like it’s your bank, only to have you enter information about yourself that would be very compromising for your privacy.

It would be like posting your SIN, credit card and date of birth on Instagram. Crazy, right?

And that’s the thing. When it comes to privacy, Canadians are very careful about what they share online. They lock their Instagram accounts and carefully curate their friend lists on social media to keep the photos, posts and information they share out of the wrong hands.

But what many don’t realize is that not thinking about how you connect to the internet leaves you just as vulnerable as what you choose to share.


Online privacy: how your internet connection can help protect you

Your internet connection is a key tool for protecting yourself, your family and your business from cyber attacks.

Think of it like this. Even the most cyber-aware people sometimes make mistakes. Maybe they clicked on the wrong link accidentally or in a moment of exhaustion clicked on an email they would have usually recognized as malicious.

Making your internet connection more cyber secure helps to protect you against these types of mistakes.

For example: a DNS resolver offers an added layer of protection by blocking pages known to be malicious. If you or someone in your family clicks on a link they shouldn’t, the page will simply be blocked.

The best part? Switching up your internet connection to be more cyber secure is easier than you might think.

There are many options available, including DNS resolvers. CIRA offers a free DNS resolver for individuals and their families, as well as a paid option for organizations.

Other tools, such as VPNs, can also help secure your connection.


CIRA Canadian Shield: a simple way to protect yourself (and your family)

Ever drafted a killer tweet or Instagram post then, right before you posted, thought, “You know, maybe I’d be better off just keeping this to myself?”

You should be asking a similar question about your internet connection. Is the way you’re connecting to the internet really going to protect your privacy?

A small change—such as adopting a DNS resolver—can make a big difference.

CIRA offers a free DNS resolver that, unlike many other offerings, does not use or sell user data in anyway. Learn more about Canadian Shield.

DNS Firewall is the paid option for organizational protection.

About the author
Mark Brownlee

Mark Brownlee is a Product Marketing Manager with CIRA Cybersecurity Services. His work, which focuses on the CIRA DNS Firewall and Canadian Shield products, is dedicated to helping protect people and organizations in Canada from cyber threats. His background is in marketing strategy, communications planning and advertising best practices.