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7 Tips to Protect Your Online Privacy

It’s common knowledge that the world has moved online, and so has the bulk of our personal lives. The majority of us pay our bills online, we manage our bank accounts online, and some may even earn an extra or full-time income from the Internet. Even those who were once leery of that “Internet thing” are venturing online these days. With our lives so impacted by the internet, there is an increased concern about online security. The information that we leave unguarded online can easily be obtained by unscrupulous people and used in ways that could a make our lives a nightmare. Be very careful of the footprints that you leave when you are on the web.

The following are some of the measures that you can take to protect your online privacy.

  • Whenever you visit a website, be sure to take a look at the privacy policy. More importantly, make sure that the website even has a privacy policy. The privacy policy indicates how that site will attempt to collect information from you and what will be done with that information. There should be verbiage that reassures you that your private data will be kept safe and will not be sold to a third party. If you don’t see a privacy policy, then any information that you submit becomes public property, so be aware.
  • Make sure that all of your online passwords are very difficult for anyone to just guess what they are and make it a habit to change your passwords at least once a month or even more often than that.
  • Make sure that you teach your kids that it is unsafe to carelessly enter personal information on the internet. Children can easily be tricked into giving out information like your home address, social security numbers or other critical information regarding your family that could potentially lead to identity theft. Therefore, it is essential that you explain to your children the potential dangers of the internet and be sure to set boundaries.
  • Clear the cache memory of your system while browsing. Cache memory may be useful in making your browsing faster; however, it can have a great impact on your privacy, especially if you are using a public computer. Periodically, clear the cache memory along with the history, the cookies and other traces of your online activity.
  • Make sure that any online forums that you use or visit are secure in nature and clearly state that fact.
  • Always use an anti-virus and an anti-spyware program to search for key loggers, viruses, malware and spyware that may be lurking on your computer. These malicious programs could be collecting and sending your personal, private information to a third party.
  • Use your common sense. Sometimes, we allow ourselves to become victims of scams on the internet simply due to a lapse in judgment. For example, if you get a random email that says you have become a millionaire and they need your bank account number to transfer the funds, don’t let the vain hope of instant riches cloud your judgment. Phishing is still alive and well.
  • Use VPN Services to hide your real IP

As more and more of our daily activities are managed online, we will inevitably see more and more online crime. Take the necessary measures to keep your personal information out of the hands of the online, criminal element.

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April 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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