Internet security is at the forefront of many tech discussions these days, particularly with new concerns over just how much the government is peering at our surfing and data. Whether or not you particularly mind government intrusion, however, the fact remains that many of us unintentionally leave our personal information vulnerable – to hackers, data mining, etc. So here are a few tips for how to protect personal data like account passwords, payment and shipping information, and other things online.
Approach Social Networks With Caution
These days it seems like there’s a new social network gaining popularity every month or so. For example, the hot new network of the summer has been Vine, the service that allows users to send and share 6-second video clips (think Instagram, but with videos). Regardless of which social networking crazes you partake in, however, it’s important to be careful about the information you share. Just this summer, news broke that a bug in Facebook had leaked the personal contact information of over 6 million network users! To some extent, most networks require that you provide a bit of personal information to sign up – but try to keep it minimal, and remember that anything you put online can be exposed beyond your friend network.
Secure Your Communications
Naturally, when you’re emailing, messaging and sending files with friends, co-workers, family members, or other people you trust, you will let your guard down a bit in terms of personal information you’re sharing. However, it’s also important to take steps that ensure your communications are going only to the people you intend, and that they will only be able to be read by trusted recipients. Sharefile provides a number of file sharing security options that are popular in business environments, but can also help you with your personal communication security needs. Consider these services to ensure absolute safety when you share personal information online.
Avoid Saving Passwords & Information
“Would you like to be remembered?” This is a common message that we’ve all seen – or at least seen some variation of – after entering personal information, passwords, etc. on various websites. Whether it’s renewing your Netflix subscription, ordering a product from Macy’s, or just about any other kind of payment or use of an account online, the option to store a password and username is certainly tempting. However, it also means that that account is essentially wide open from your browser and device, which leaves you and your information vulnerable. Try to avoid saving your account information.
Of course, your greater Internet security efforts need to go well beyond these steps. Things like choosing the right passwords, implementing cloud storage, and securing your devices are paramount for protecting all of the data you create and store online. But with specific regard toward maintaining anonymity and protecting your most personal information, the above steps are a crucial start.