Privacy is a fundamental aspect of human life – both offline and online. But the way things are these days, it seems that surveillance is also an indispensable facet of life that is becoming alarmingly invasive. Hackers and identity thieves are just the tip of the iceberg. Governments snooping on their citizens and social media giants miusing profile information of users is big news these days. Internet safety becomes most important in this age.
Every account – be it personal, financial or professional – is vulnerable to scrutiny and surveillance. Thankfully, there are powerful yet ridiculously simple ways to protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
Let us take a look at 5 of these Internet safety tips to safeguard your precious data and minimize your digital trail.
1) Keep only minimal details on your social media accounts
In these days of selfies and groufies, when people are over-enthusiastic about the number of likes and comment their photos or posts collect, it is hard not to go with the flow and post every little detail of your life online.
For a minute, sit back and let this fact sink in – the more details you share on your profile, the easier it is for anyone to misuse it. Do not make their job easier. Here’s what to do:
- Fill in just the most essential details in your social media profiles.
- It would be a good idea to skip entering your date of birth.
- Never enter sensitive details such as your phone number or personal email address.
- Rather than sharing your photos online and then worrying about its privacy settings, refrain from sharing your every click. It’s as simple as that!
- Avoid geotagging your locations. You obviously do not want the whole world to know you will not be home for a few weeks.
Sharing every detail about your life online and then complaining about privacy issues obviously makes no sense. Simply curb the urge to share unnecessary details and you need not worry about privacy violations. Makes Internet safety under our control if we provide only minimal information as required.
2) Whenever possible, pay with cash
Corporate giants routinely collect your shopping details from credit card companies. If you do not want completely unknown people to discover how much you spend on say booze or cigarettes, choose the good old way of making cash payments.
3) Be wary about revealing your social security number
Your credit card company or bank may sometimes ask you for your social security number. Sometimes companies may request the number to conduct background checks before employing you. Remember that in all these cases, you are required to share only the last four digits of the number.
You must think twice before liberally sharing the number anywhere else. With the last four digits and some basic info such as your date of birth, smart identity thieves can easily impersonate you, apply for credit cards in your name and – in worst case scenarios – accumulate debts in your name.
To prevent identity thefts, always confirm the trustworthiness of the source before sharing your number.
4) Look before leaping on to open wifi networks
An ‘Open wifi networks available’ board works wonders in drawing crowds to a commercial space. Think of all the shopping malls where men can be seen logged on to the open networks while their female counterparts set off on their shopping spree. Or coffee shops where there are no longer engaging conversations, only individuals in their individual virtual worlds thanks again to open wifi networks.
So how safe are these networks really? According to experts, not much. Your personal details, usernames and passwords can easily be compromised on these open networks.
To be safe, stay away from using wifi networks at public places. If you really need to use it, at least ensure that the site you use begins with ‘https’ rather than ‘http’.
5) Consider opting for two-step authentication
Logging on to your accounts on Google, Twitter, Facebook or Dropbox usually involves providing your password. Activating the two-step authentication process requires you to key in an additional code that will be sent to your phone as text message. While some sites demand the code each time you log in, others may only request it when you try to log in from a new device.
Although some people may find the additional password cumbersome, remember that it works great in protecting your account from unauthorized access. If privacy is your priority, you must definitely try this.
When giving up your online footprint is simply not a solution for online privacy, it makes sense to play safe and take charge of ensuring that your private details remain private.
That’s all from us, like to addon more on Internet safety, Just drop your comments here. We like to know. Let’s all be safe from potential dangers.
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