The Internet has become a threshold for so many users all over the world. They use cyberspace so they can obtain information about particular topics. The Internet also became their own portal in buying and selling products and services. But then the question is, are you truly safe?
It’s not unusual to hear stories of men and women who are becoming victims of online scammers. Their identities are stolen, they had paid cash without getting anything in return, and they are made to believe something that isn’t true. How can you protect yourself from all these? Here are 10 ways to keep your online privacy:
2. Clean your cache. Oftentimes, after you’re done surfing the Web, all the pages you have accessed will be saved in your PC’s memory. Though this helps loading frequently visited websites load faster, it will also be used to trace any personal information about you. Thus, it’s advisable to clear your cache every time you surf, especially your PC with other people.
3. Encrypt messages for protection. E-mails are one of the most unsafe modes of communication. Your messages can be passed on from one person to another without you knowing it. Hence, to ensure the privacy and security of your e-mails, make sure that you have encrypted them properly. It may be wise to use programs that give you such feature, including Netscape Messenger and IE Outlook. There are also some software that you can utilize, but make sure they’re also safe.
4. Avoid sending messages through your company e-mail. Company e-mails are often monitored by the IT Department. Worse, they can be accessed by the organization’s heads or even your fellow employees, especially if the security system installed is weak. As much as possible, don’t send personal messages to anyone using your company e-mail. Wait until you’re done with your job and you can sit in front of your personal PC.
5. Protect your passwords as much as possible. Passwords can give access to personal files and messages. It is your responsibility to ensure that these are well protected, and no one will ever know about them than you. It will also help to employ 6 to 10 alphanumeric characters. They are very hard to decode.
6. Stay clear from personal websites when you’re at work. Like company e-mails, all websites you’re visiting when you are in the office are logged and monitored by the IT staff. Also, if you are working in an open space, where anybody can pass by behind you and watch what you’re doing, they can become subject of gossips and other unwanted attention. If you don’t like anyone knowing your bank account number or what your favorite lingerie is, stick to company-mandated websites when you’re in the office.
7. Personal purchases should be paid by your own credit card. There are some companies that may provide credit cards as form of perk or to be used when there are supplies that need to be bought in the office. They are not meant for personal use. So to avoid the ire of your accounting department and getting information of all the personal items you have bought, stop using corporate credit cards.
8. Check the security of online forms. Filling out online forms can be pretty dangerous as they can easily be hacked, and you practically don’t have any idea of their security system. Make sure that they are secured by going for those with encryption. This means that only authorized recipient will be able to decipher the information.
9. Only give bare facts. When you’re not required to give your credit card number or your home address, then don’t. It will reduce the risk of divulging too much information about yourself.
10. Use your common sense. In the end, it all boils down to using your mind wisely. The ways of hacking and security breach can change faster than you expect. When you are in doubt then perhaps you have sense something that you can’t trust. Ask, research, and make excellent decision.