Published On: Fri, May 11th, 2018

5 Practical Ways to Protect your Privacy on the Internet

Have you ever accidentally walked into a huge spider web? That white cottony stuff is almost impossible to get off your face right? In a very short time you might even begin to feel trapped.

When Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet, he aptly labeled it the ‘World Wide Web’ and with good reason. The internet is the one place that holds almost every bit of information in this world. Millions and millions of files all trapped in this intricate web that traverses the entire globe.

photo/ Jan Alexander

Of Privacy Issues and the Internet

While there is a good chance that billions of us would simply be lost if we did not have access to the internet on a daily basis, this wonderful tool also has a sinister and dark side. It has robbed us of our privacy!

If you think this is a hoax, all you have to do is type in your name into websites such as Pipl.com and see just how much information about you pops up. From your:

  • Facebook profile
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Website (if you have one)

Sometimes, you may even find phone number, home address and income on there if you are not careful with that kind of information. That is how little privacy we have these days.

The worst part is that with the kind of high-tech data resiliency that many of these websites have, this information could stay up online forever.

Why Protecting your Privacy Online is Important

So why is privacy such a big deal? In the age of social media and everyone ‘going live’ online advertising their locations for the whole world to see, you might think that data privacy isn’t that much of a priority. The truth, however, is that keeping your information protected online is important because:

  • Scammers might use it to steal your data
  • Identity thieves might use it to steal your money
  • Burglars might use it to rob your house when you are not around
  • Hackers might use it to scam people in your name

If you think identity theft is just a myth or something that happens to people who like shopping online, you are sorely mistaken. Last year, almost 60 million Americans fell victim to identity theft. That goes to show that it is more rampant than you might think.

Concerning enough, identity theft is only possible because people do not take very good care of their information online. So, how can you protect your privacy when online?

Practical Ways to Protect your Privacy on the Internet

These simple, everyday practical steps will help you keep your information private and out of the hands of people who may seek to use it for fraud or to do you harm.

Use a Reputable Anti-virus

It is not unheard of for hackers to infect your computer with malware or viruses that give them access to your data. In fact, it is very common for black hat hackers to lock you out of your own files and demand a ransom to grant you access. Using a reputable anti-virus  to keep your computer clean is the best way to keep these viruses and malware out. Set your anti-virus to auto update to ensure that you are always protected.

photo/Darwin Laganzon

Stop Filling out your Social Media Profiles

Think about it this way: why does Facebook and other social media websites need to know your birthdate, email address and phone number? Do you really want to advertise that kind of information to everyone online? The people who value that kind of information about you already have it. So do not fill out those profiles and give out all your information voluntarily.

Password Protect your Hardware

People assume that you have to be online through an unsecured internet link and an unprotected computer for your information to be stolen. Sometimes, people can get your information just by getting onto your computer at the coffee shop or even library. Always password protect your computer and set it up so it asks for the log in detail when it boots up or wakes up.

Make Use of the Two-Factor Authentication

Most of us do not like creating different passwords for all our platforms. Although it is not advisable to do so, many of us use the same passwords for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Apple ID. If you are this kind of person, you would be better off served by the two-factor authentication procedure .

This is where the platform will send you a message with a code that you are supposed to feed into your login page after you have input your password. Since the code comes directly to your phone, it is very difficult for hackers to get it.

Be on the Lookout for Scams

Emails from unknown people with links or images or messages telling you to go to a certain website for free money are typical examples of phishing scams that are used to infect your computer and gain access to your data. Always be on the lookout for something that looks out of place.

You online privacy and protection begins with you. It is your habits that will determine how easy of a target you are for scammers. Keep your private information protected and always be on the lookout for fishy links.

Author: Richie Hedderman

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  1. 5 Practical Ways to Protect your Privacy on the Internet – creditfreeze.info says:

    […] Source: on 2018-05-11 22:26:15 Read More At Source Site […]

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