Gone are the days when one’s private life stays private – unless you are a celebrity. With the digital era, finding information about almost anyone has been made possible and easier because this can be done online. The internet becomes an essential resource, and almost everyone has online profiles which can be viewed even by those who are not in any way related to them.
Most of us are too careless with how we manage our digital activities and online personal information. Because of this, we become more vulnerable to stalkers, identity theft, and other forms of privacy invasion. This goes the same for business online profiles and activities that are negligently managed.
Any digital activity you do – logging into your email, visiting your social media profiles, making online banking transactions, browsing the web – leaves digital footprints that can be tracked and traced back to your identity. And if your personal or business information fall into the wrong hands, it can do you more harm than you could ever imagine.
For these reasons, you must be wary about protecting both your personal and business online identity. Here are four simple ways to help you maintain your digital privacy:
1. Get the Latest Antivirus Software
The latest antivirus software is an important program that protects your computer devices from viruses, spyware, trojans, and worms. Some of these malicious programs are designed to invade your privacy and steal your personal or critical business information, and only the latest and most updated version of antivirus software can help protect you from such. However, antivirus software only protects your devices and not entirely your internet communication.
2. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A virtual private network (VPN) is a good complement to your antivirus software because it protects you by masking your IP address and encrypting your digital activities. A VPN is a private network that uses a public network to connect remote sites or users together. This is best for businesses that have remote offices around the world.
The VPN uses virtual connections routed through the internet from the business’s private network to the remote site or its employee who works remotely. The use of VPN ensures security because data is encrypted for confidentiality. And because of this, any information that might be intercepted on the shared or public network are indecipherable without the correct encryption keys.
3. Control Both Personal and Business Information Online
There are several data collection sites that collect people’s data and sell them to marketers. These sites take public records, social network information, browsing information, and more to create a profile about you; and they may sell these information or keep them in a large database. Oftentimes, opting out of these lists can be a time-consuming and laborious process.
One example of data collection site is WhitePages, which has the largest database of contact information on Americans. If you want to opt out, you may click here to see how to remove your information from the WhitePages. There are paid services available that will delete your records from the listing sites which you can subscribe to so you won’t have to the long and tedious process yourself.
4. Make Your Social Media Accounts Private
As much as possible, set your social media accounts into private, so your profile can’t be viewed by random people, complete strangers, or stalkers. However, this does not ensure a fully secured privacy because you still have to be very careful in adding people into your contact list.
With this, be extra careful with what you post and share online and do not include too personal and critical information such as your contact number, home address, date of birth, social security number, and such. Further, disable your location-based posting and avoid sharing your current location even if your account is set to private.
Smart Online Presence
Be smart and take precautionary measures when performing different online activities. These days, it gets more difficult to maintain our digital privacy especially with the advancement of new technology. It’s actually possible that our online activities are being monitored and traced. However, being extra cautious and more prudent with what we do and share online will help benefit both our personal and business security and privacy.