Digital Genetics

Protecting your online presence

by on Jun.14, 2011, under Internet, Security, Society, technology

Imagine you were one of the millions of account holders which were recently compromised when sony’s security was breached by hackers! It was not simply credit card details which were stolen, but personal details as well. Unfortunately, events like these are becoming increasingly common.

Protecting your online presence extends beyond simply thinking about what information you share on social media sites.  So what exactly can each of us do to ensure that we protect our privacy online? the answer to this is simple:

  • Limit the personal information you reveal. Just because a website is asking for personal details, that doesnt mean you are obligated to provide that information. In fact, you make it easier for identity thieves when you make lots of information about yourself public.
  • Think about how you are disposing of your personal documents – A shredder is a cost-effective way to safely destroy personal documents, and the resulting waste can be easily recycled or even used in the garden as mulch.
  • Avoid making online purchases or checking banks or investment websites on a public Wi-Fi network (ie. free internet at mcdonalds or your favourite coffee shop, internet cafe’s etc).
  • NEVER use the same passwords between websites. If the details from one website or organisation is compromised, then your banking and social media accounts such as facebook or twitter may also be compromised as well.
  • Check online privacy settings so you are aware of how your information is used – Find out what someone else intends to do with your information, exercise your right to choose who sees your posts when social networking and ‘opt out’ of receiving marketing material from third parties (if you choose to).

For help choosing suitably strong passwords for your favourite websites, checkout the following youtube video titled ‘How to choose a strong password – simple tips for better security‘.

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