Thanks to the Internet, e-mail, instant messages, and other amazing technologies, our planet is connected as never before. But there is a downside: We no longer have the same privacy as before. The development of new communication devices has led to an increase in high-tech crimes. Unfortunately it seems like the authorities are always one step behind these digital delinquents so it is up to us to take action to protect our safety online.
Did you know that when you surf the Internet, your Web browser broadcasts heaps of information about your computer, including your IP address, your physical location, and numerous details about your operating system? It’s unsettling but the potential exists for online marketers and advertisers to use this information to send you targeted advertisements or for hackers to acquire details about your system to aid them in their attacks. However, you can surf completely anonymously using anonymous Internet providers such as:
-The Anonymizer www.anonymizer.com
-Secure Tunnel www.secure-tunnel.com
-Bypass Proxy Client www.bypass.cc
-GhostSurf Platinum www.tenebril.com
Protect your identity further by remembering to protect your personal information when online. Don’t enter contests or sweepstakes, especially those sponsored by Web sites. Don’t give out your e-mail address to Web sites or go as far as creating separate accounts for Internet purposes so you can keep your personal e-mail, personal. Don’t reveal your social security number online and only give out accurate personal details when absolutely necessary.
It can be fun to chat online or use an instant messaging service but to protect your safety you must be careful, you can never be sure who is actually at the other end of your conversation. Try picking a generic chat nickname that doesn’t reveal too many personal details about yourself. Always remain anonymous unless you are chatting to somebody you know in real life. Avoid public or automatic log-ins to save the chance that someone else could access your information. Never meet people in real life that you do not know or open links and attachments that you are not entirely sure of the contents.
In recent years, online shopping has exploded in popularity. To ensure the safety of your e-shopping, you should practise some good habits such as looking for the padlock on a Web site, a padlock symbol located in the lower-right corner of your Web browser. This symbol verifies that the Web site has proper security and encryption. Take further safety steps by never shopping with your checking account. Only use a standard credit card with no connection to your back accounts. If you shop frequently you should look into the option of using a virtual account that is set up online for one use only so that you never reveal any of your actual credit card details.
The computer can be a wonderful research tool for children, but there are certain Web sites and activities that kids should be prohibited from participating in. You might want to consider setting up a separate “limited” account for your children to log in with. You can customize their account to protect them from harmful Internet content. Learn how to follow your children’s tracks by reviewing their Internet history so you can track ahead of time any worrying signs. Most importantly is to educate your children in safe online chatting so that they understand the dangers of opening Internet links or sending out personal information about themselves.