By Mary Johnson
While there are a ton of interesting and exciting things to do online, you’re also exposing yourself to a world of the unknown. Here are some key tips to protecting your privacy online.
1. Only provide information that is absolutely necessary, and be sure there’s a reason you’re providing it. With all the contests and polls out there, if you give away your phone number or address every time, you could end up being targeted by marketers down the road.
2. If you have to provide sensitive information, like a credit card number or personal identification number, be sure that the website is secure. There are several ways to check this – secure websites generally start their url’s with “https” and have an image of a locked padlock on the page.
3. Never send sensitive information over e-mail. E-mail accounts are notoriously easy to hack in to, so do not ever send information that could compromise your safety.
4. Any time you join a social network website, read their privacy rules carefully and understand how to adjust your privacy settings. For most networks, you can control who sees what information, so be sure to take advantage of that.
5. Learn how to clear your web browser. It’s usually a simple step from a drop down menu, but deleting “cookies” can be a useful tool in protecting your privacy. Some cookies help sites to load faster and better, but also have the capability to record information about you.
6. Be careful with photographs. As soon as you post a photograph, it is in the digital space. Even if you’re only sharing it with a few people, as soon as it’s out of your hands, you’ve lost your control over it. Don’t ever share a photograph with anyone that you might regret later.
7. At work, always assume that your e-mail and web activity is being monitored. Keep work life and home life separate, particularly when it comes to the Internet.
The internet is a powerful tool, but must be used with caution. These tips will help you to protect your online privacy!
About the Author
Mary Johnson is an editor specializing in computer technology, currently working for Nigerian free classified website TradeStable.com.ng and collaborating with some of the web’s most popular blogs about online security and newest technology developments.