Protecting Your Privacy Online

With computers and the internet becoming a part of our everyday lives, privacy is becoming a big concern for anyone who spends any amount of time online. Hackers and identity thieves are taking advantage of those who are not taking careful precautions while surfing the net.

Password Security

When creating a password for any website online, it is very important to not use one that is simple to figure out. For example, using children’s names, or anything else that is easy to identify is never a good idea. Creating passwords that are difficult to crack, using capitals, lowercase, numbers and symbols will make it almost impossible for cyber-thieves to decipher. Keeping a notebook with all important passwords written down will prevent any confusion when needing it in the future. Or, using a program like Roboform which securely stores all passwords, can keep all information safe and easily accessible.

Working on Public Computers

Using computers in public places like the library or internet cafes can make sensitive information easier for thieves to access. Computer caches will store information about each site that is being viewed, making it visible to anyone who logs on after. While this helps to speed browsing on a private computer, it also allows for easy tracking on public ones. To clear the cache, click on the “Preferences” or “Tools” tab on the internet browser, and choose to “Empty Cache” or “Clear Recent History”. Each browser will be slightly different, but following the prompts will clear any sensitive information before logging off a public computer.

Giving Credit Card Information Online

Before giving credit card numbers for online purchases, the easiest way to be sure the site is secure is to look at the web address in the browser. If it begins with “https:” instead of the regular “http:”, then that site is using a secure, encrypted connection to protect against third-party viewing.

These are just some of the ways of securing information online. Taking some time to secure sensitive information can prevent a great deal of trouble down the road.