Anyone who spends time online browsing website, checking email or shopping should take a few simple steps to protect their privacy. It is important that you ensure your online privacy to protect your information from being taken by other people.
One of the first things to remember is to protect your privacy when reading your email. If you share a computer at work, at home or at a public place such as a library, always log out of your account when you are finished. Sometimes just closing a window on a browser does not automatically log you out. That means the next person on the computer might be able to open up your email without having to log-in to the account.
When shopping online look for signs that the website is secure. There are several things that will indicate you have online privacy through the site when you are checking out with a purchase. First, there should be a small padlock that occurs at the time in the address bar or in the lower right of the screen. This symbol indicates that the site is protecting your personal information. In addition, in the address bar a “s” should appear after the “http” showing that the site is secure.
Another important thing to watch for protecting your online privacy are emails that request your personal information. Anyone who asks for your account numbers, Social Security number or other personal information by email are not legitimate requests. These messages will often direct people to fake websites designed to look like a bank or credit card company where they will have individuals provide their personal information. The sites then use the information people provided to them to end up stealing their identity. If you receive a suspicious message from your banking institution contact them directly by phone or in person to verify the information in the email to protect your online privacy.
Finally, avoid clicking on unusual pop-up advertisements that appear while you are browsing certain websites. These pop-ups can sometimes be linked to harmful viruses that will attack your computer and will steal your personal information stored on your computer. If something comes up warning you of a virus or other problem with your computer that is not from your current virus protection company (such as Norton, McAfee, AVG) ignore it. Close out the box and do not click on any links that it provides.