With the growth of technology in everyday life, more and more private information is stored on computers. This information ranges from baby photographs and secret recipes, to potentially more dangerous information like social security numbers and tax returns.
In order to prevent this private information from becoming public knowledge, average people can take steps to maintain privacy in the digital age.
Anti-virus Software and Firewalls:
The first line of defense the average internet user has against identity or information theft is properly maintaining and using anti-virus software and firewalls. Many new computers come with anti-virus software included, but there are also free anti-virus programs available from reputable companies, such as AVG Free. After installing an anti-virus program or firewall, it is important to keep the program updated. This involves checking for updates regularly, and allowing the program to install updates when it asks. It is also vital that a computer user regularly uses the program to run full scans of their computer. If an anti-virus program with a firewall is installed but scans are not regularly performed, it will be unable to have a good virus protection.
Social Media Outlet Safety:
Social media outlets are one venue where many people want some of their private information, such as name and photographs, to be available to the public. However, it is important to be able to control which information is visible to the public. Although a person might be comfortable with posting a profile picture, they might be equally uncomfortable revealing their phone number or home address. The safest bet is to not put any information on a social media website that you would not want available to the general public. Social media outlets, as they grow and expand, often change their privacy policies to make information more available to others, including marketers and the public. Companies might sell or reveal information, and it is also important to remember that their employees will be able to see any information you input.
Preventing Account Hijacking:
A common way that accounts are hijacked is through virus or phishing sites spread through emails. Refraining from opening email attachments unless necessary is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of such viruses. Even if the attachment is from someone you know, if their computer is infected, they could be spreading the virus. Another important step is to check the address bar of any website you are about to enter your password into, to make sure it is really the website you think it is. For example, internet criminals have made websites that look identical to popular banking websites, in order to trick consumers into entering their passwords.
False Accusations Of Internet Crimes:
If you are falsely accused of an internet crime you did not commit, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. In addition, try to remember any evidence or alibis that might be helpful so you can bring it to the lawyers attention. You should also consider contacting the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit group committed to protecting citizens’ rights on the internet. It is important you do not discuss the allegation or related matters until after you find legal help, especially with the police or other group making the accusation.
About the Author: Whether interacting digitally or physically, Aaron Gormley believes in the importance of protecting oneself, which is why he writes this article on behalf of a site that offers life insurance: http://www.kanetix.ca/toronto-life-insurance-on.