The internet, in its entirety, has worked wonders for people from all walks of life. Many folks, however, do not know (or perhaps, they didn’t care to know!) that they’ve already sacrificed a great deal of personal and private information in exchange for universal and convenient access to numerous online services. Activities such as social media posting, downloading/uploading of applications, and research have coaxed individuals into divulging personal information over the internet. This information are easily collected and stored, adding to the growing concerns regarding online privacy.
Fret not. With a few disciplined steps, you can protect yourself from potential risks and adverse effects of this downside. For a start, you can take heed of the following:
1. Review Privacy Settings on Social Networking Sites Regularly. Make it a point to always check the privacy settings of the site and/or application that you are using or subscribing to. For instance, it is quite common nowadays for some applications to add geo-location to uploaded pics; somebody can use this to easily track your location.
2. Think First Before Clicking! Cautiously weigh-in the possible effects of your online posts. For instance, think of what a looming identity thief can get from the information that you share.
3. Lessen the extent of personal information that you provide. Whether you’re doing some online shopping or just joining some social networking site, you need to evaluate if the website or application really ought to get a lot of personal information just to provide you with their service.
4. Come Up With Unique Passwords. There are a lot of unscrupulous programs rolling thru the internet with the aim of breaking passwords. It should be incumbent upon you to come up with passwords that are difficult to decipher. (Just make sure these are also easy to remember!)
Tip: Use Different Character Classes – Letters ‘a-z’, ‘A-Z’, 0-9, and symbols are the four distinguished character classes. You can use ‘Gu1T4r’ instead of the plain ‘guitars’.
5. Read the Fine Print Carefully. It is important that you comprehend the terms and conditions of all Applications/Programs before you click the ‘Agree’ tab.