Simple Ways to Protect Your Internet Privacy


Would you hang a sign in front of your house with your name, date of birth, social security number and private family information in large block letters for anyone driving by to read and record? No, unless you want a ton of trouble.

Sometimes those using modern communication devices like a smart phone, iPad or portable computing device hang information about themselves out there for the taking. Kashmir Hill of Forbes magazine offers tips to protect your privacy.

  • Password protect all your devices. This keeps someone from casually reading your messages or documents. So many internet writers confess to reading other people’s messages when left alone with a friend’s device.
  • Use Google Alert to find out what others are saying about you on-line. It takes 60 seconds to fill out the form. http://www.google.com/alerts
  • Sign out when you finish on e-mail, bank sites, auction or retail sales sites or social media. This is especially important if you are using someone else’s device. Don’t leave the door open to your private information.
  • Use cash to buy things. Data mining companies know about your on-line and credit card purchases and sell that information to others. Next thing you know, you are bombarded with ads from embarrassing vendors who bought your name from a list.
  • Set your Facebook page to Friends Only. No need to share your private life with the world — or ID thieves.
  • Clear your browser history and cookies routinely. Hackers love to snoop to see where you’ve been on-line.
  • Use an IP masker to confuse those snooping on you. Check https://www.torproject.org/ for more information.

 

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6 responses »

  1. Very helpful – thank you!

    Another tip would be for those who use wireless internet or WiFi at home. Those folks should password protect their wireless access so neighbors aren’t “borrowing” their service. Not so much to protect the data on your computer, but if said neighbors use your internet access for illegal activities, it could be traced back to you.

    • If one is unsavvy about password protection, does turning off the modem when a homeowner isn’t on-line work (for those hours the modem is off) to prevent outsiders from using the homeowner’s wifi? Obviously when the homeowner is on-line, the wifi can be accessed. Some of us are unfamiliar with technical things.

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