Beware when you publish personal data, privacy is sacred
What is personal data?
Name, surname, address, phone number, computer IP address are all personal data. Personal data and privacy protection is very important so try to obtain as much information as possible about protecting your privacy.
Your privacy online depends on your ability to control the amount of personal information that you provide, and who has access to this information.
Follow the practical tips provided below to help you protect your online privacy.
Think before you share personal information
Do not share more than you need to
- Do not post anything online that you would not want made public.
- Minimize details that identify you or your whereabouts.
- Keep your account numbers, user names, and passwords secret.
- Only share your primary email address or Instant Message (IM) name with people who you know or with reputable organizations. Avoid listing your address or name on internet directories and job-posting sites.
- Enter only required information—often marked with an asterisk (*)—on registration and other forms.
Footprints/How to stay anonymous
Often we divulge too much personal information online without thinking of the risk. Whenever you click on the internet you leave a digital footprint behind (search history, IP address, etc.). Sometimes our information can help online offenders and identity thieves in their actions. While we would not give our personal information to strangers on the street, why do it online?
Here are some tips for protecting your anonymity online:
- Think twice before you divulge any personal information.
- Avoid using your real name online.
- Give clear instructions to your children about how and when they can provide information online.
- Be especially careful with “fast friends” whom you know just online, but who ask you to divulge personal information or want to meet with you offline.
- Be careful with divulging personal data on various websites.
- Use a disposable account, an anonymous email for websites that require an email address to register. Hotmail, Yahoo or Google Mail providefree email addresses.
Look for cookies
Cookies are files that websites use to store information about you between sessions. Most of the time they are innocuous – carrying out tasks such as keeping track of your username so that you don’t have to log into a website every time you visit it. However, some are used to track your browsing habits so that they can target advertising at you, or by criminals to build a profile of your interests and activities with a view to fraud.
- Set your browser to warn you when a cookie is installed. Note that some sites will not work if you block cookies completely.
- Microsoft internet Explorer will let you enable and disable cookies on a site by site basis so you can allow them on sites you trust.
- Use an anti-spyware program that scans for so-called tracker cookies.
- There are also cookie management programs that can delete old cookies and help manage them. In addition you can use settings in internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to delete unwanted cookies.
Monitor what others post
Search for your name on the internet using at least two search engines. Search for text and images. If you find sensitive information on a website about yourself, look for contact information on the website and send a request to have your information removed.
Regularly review what others write about you on blogs and social networking sites. Ask friends not to post photos of you or your family without your permission. If you feel uncomfortable with material such as information or photos that are posted on others’ websites, ask for it to be removed.
Protect yourself from fraud
Watch for deals that sound too good to be true, such as notices that you have won a lottery, or urgent messages (“Your account will be closed!”), misspellings, and grammatical errors.
- Think before you click to visit a website or call a number in a suspicious email or phone message—both could be phony.
- Be cautious with links to video clips and games, or open photos, songs, or other files—even if you know the sender.
Look for signs that a web page is safe
Before you enter sensitive data, check for evidence that:
The site uses encryption, a security measure that scrambles data as it crosses the internet. Good indicators that a site is encrypted include a web address with https (“s” stands for secure) and a closed padlock beside it. (The lock might also be in the lower-right corner of the window.)
Use a phishing filter
Find a filter that warns you of suspicious websites and blocks visits to reported phishing sites. For example, try the SmartScreen Filter included in internet Explorer.
Parental control software
Parental control software lets you manage your child’s computer and internet activity without your intervention.
You can use it to restrict access to a particular program – for instance a computer game that has an unsuitable age rating. You could also limit computer access so that your child can only log on to the family PC at certain times of day or for a specific number of hours per day, or you can filter out certain types of inappropriate web content.
Parental controls are often included free with your computer. Otherwise, you can download such software for free, for example, K9 Web Protection (free).
Use parental control software to help keep your kids safe online The internet can be a homework research tool as well as a way for your kids to chat to their friends, listen to music or play games. But there are well-known risks attached to using it. If, like many parents, you want to enlist the help of some tools to limit use of the computer and stop your child being exposed to unsuitable websites, then this guide will help you.
In addition to inappropriate websites, there are many other safety considerations that parents need to consider, including privacy and security threats, online bullying, internet plagiarism and more.
As well as protecting your child, you’ll want to protect your data from being accidentally deleted or damaged by curious children.