Are you wondering how you can keep your private life offline? Here are ten tips for personal privacy on the Internet.
1. Set the Ground Rules:
Make protecting your privacy a regular and important part of the online habits for your entire family. If you spend even a little bit of time thinking about the best ways to protect your personal privacy online, then it only requires a small amount of effort for you to prevent large problems from occurring. Create a written use agreement for the Internet and have your entire family sign it, so there will be less debate about what family members can and cannot do online.
2. Use Security Features:
Make use of the security features that your wireless network affords you. By taking advantage of these built-in security features, you can better control who has access to your Internet connection and when.
3. Control Pop-Ups:
Use the capabilities of your web browser to control the pop-ups and cookies that you are exposed to. Pop-ups may not be capable of causing harm by themselves, but they tend to also be associated with aggressive forms of advertising that can fraudulently attempt to obtain your financial and personal information. Use your browser capabilities to control what pop-ups and cookies you deal with while browsing the Internet.
4. Use Security Software:
Use privacy protection software applications, including anti-spyware, anti-virus and firewall programs. These kinds of programs are often bundled in when you purchase a brand new computer. Some are even offered by your Internet service provider for free. If you do not already have them, they are well worth the investment if it means protecting your privacy online.
5. Schedule Regular Updates:
Update your operating system and your privacy protection applications on a regular basis. These updates tend to be free to download, and can mean a lot for increased protection on your computer.
6. Use Strong Passwords:
Learn how to create the right types of passwords. Passwords should not be dictionary words, and should combine letters, numbers and special characters as well in order to be the most effective.
7. Keep Passwords Safe:
Keep a private record of the passwords, usernames and other vital information for every member of your family. Keep this information away from your computer, rather than storing it online where other people can potentially get a hold of it. I recommend using RoboForm, a password management software program - not only does it generate passwords for you but it will store them all in one place that you can access with a master password.
8. Don't Share Personal Information:
Do not volunteer any personal information for any reason. If it is not required of you, simply do not provide it.
9. Use an Alias:
Use online aliases and nicknames whenever you can. Unless inputting your name is legally required, there is no reason to use it. Do not give out your true name, your phone number or your address to someone online unless you absolutely must.
10. Keep Family Internet Use Transparent:
Review the activities of your family as often as you can. If you find out that a family member is practicing bad habits for online security and privacy, set them straight and change those habits before a problem is born. You do not want the wrong people to find out important information about you or your family, so act accordingly when you spend your time online.