As an online-security analyst and ID theft expert, I can’t say enough how important it is to take measures to protect your personal information online. So I’ve decided to sum up in simple terms what you can do to protect your private information and identity in the online world.
15 Ways to Protect Your Personal Data and Identity Online
Use encryption to help safeguard your data.
Use a fake name (and don’t enter your e-mail) when in your web browser’s setup, preferences or options menus.
Use a secondary e-mail address for public use such as posting to newsgroups, chat rooms, etc., and retain a primary address for trusted users only. If the secondary address becomes cluttered with spam, simply replace with a new one.
The browser’s cookie notice should be turned on, or use a cookie management software or an infomediary (a shield between the user’s origin and visited sites).
Don’t give personal information to strangers or even newly-met people. Keep personal information (such as your hometown and phone number) off your personal home page and even work-related page.
Stay off sites that offer rewards for giving out your personal information.
Never reply to a spam e-mail. This includes sending requests for opt-outs.
Consider an anti-spam filter.
Don’t keep personal data on your work computer and don’t use the work computer for personal use. When replying to an e-mail message at work, make sure you know whom it’s going to.
Be alert to web security. Make sure your connection is encrypted before sending out personal information. Don’t trust a company whose URL does not begin with https://.
Be on top of your home computer security. A 24-hour-run connection means keep your computer turned off when not in use.
Use firewall hardware and software.
Scrutinize privacy policies and seals.
Be alert to “spyware” that may come with various applications you install. Spyware spies on your virtual habits.
It’s best to do business only with sites that provide offline contact information.
Don’t freely give out personal information online any more than you would to a stranger on the street. Supplying accurate billing information is not the same as giving out non-essential (to the situation at hand) data just because it’s asked for.
Implement these 15 strategies for protecting your identity and personal information online, and you will make a big difference in the security of your personal data in cyber space.