Keeping It Offline: How You Can Maintain Your Privacy in the Land of the Net
We are willing to bet that you’ve heard this line before: once it’s online, it’s there forever. Privacy in the land of the net seems to be highly difficult but not entirely impossible. Today, we wanted to give a spotlight on the concept of privacy because this is something that a lot of people tend to take for granted nowadays.
The net has made it a lot easier to share information regarding our lives and our personal information. We share them quite freely, thinking that since we are sharing them with our friends and family members so our information should be safe. What a lot of people do not account for is how secure the accounts of their friends and family members are.
There are people whose accounts can already be compromised and are being used by people who are trying to harvest personal information of people in their friend lists. There’s a lot we unwittingly share online like:
- Our present location
- Where we’re going
- Where our house is
- Where and when we won’t be at home
- What are usual activities are
- Who we are usually with
- Where we work
- Who the people in our family are
- Our spending capacity
And so many more! This is why big companies and criminal elements want to get access to our social media and other online presence. When it comes to being private or ensuring one’s privacy, there are a lot different things you can do. Things like:
Make Your Profiles Private
Your social media accounts all have a privacy setting which you can set. You should always try to see what the setting of your profile is. Facebook always has a “view as” option so you can see what someone who is not on your friend list sees when they go to your profile. You can make that a fairly regular exercise as Facebook tends to tweak settings without really telling their users.
For other forms of social media, there are ways to check if your profile is presently set to public or private. It would be good if you make it a point to do a diagnostic of how private your accounts are. If they aren’t, you should tweak your privacy accordingly. That way, you can always be sure that your accounts are safe from harmful elements and individuals.
Be Selective of Who You Add
In the world of today, it can be tempting to add as many people that you know unto your social media profiles. It could be because you don’t want them to feel alienated regardless of how tenuous the link between the two of you could be. While there is nothing wrong with having a lot of added friends on social media, you need to ask yourself: are they really your friends?
There are a lot of people that try to add you because they wish to find out more about you so that they could use it against you. Terrible, to think about, but it is something that has happened countless times before. So when it comes to your social media, it is important to be very picky of the people that you add. You can think of it as a dry run for your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.
Remember that one relative that just pries into your business all the time? That would be like handing them a first class seat to your activities—giving them more ammo to use against you.
Rethink Before You Post
Social Media has made it the norm to share photos and videos of yourself and others regardless of whether it was something that other people may not appreciate. While a lot of users generally think nothing of tagging the location where they presently are—particularly if they are off on vacation—not a lot of people realize that this is a rather big security risk.
When you share information about where you currently are or where you are going to be staying, you’re pretty much making a big announcement of where criminal elements can come and find you. You’re also making it quite clear that you are far away from your home and therefore unable to protect it.
Whenever you feel that you want to upload a photo of yourself, always consider that you are not just sharing a harmless photo. Every photo you snap has micro information embedded in it like when the snap was taken, what it was taken with, and many others. Photo recognition software also makes it possible to track you through the net as long as they have your features.
Only Use a Secure Wireless Connection
The network that you use to surf the net I more important than you think. There are a lot of “free” and “open” network connections in public which are seemingly innocuous. So whenever people are out and about and don’t have their own connection, they tend to make use of free public connection.
Not a lot of people realize that connecting to unsecure wireless connection makes them highly vulnerable as anyone who bothers to know how can actually gain access to the gadgets or computers that are connected to the network. If you’re wondering what could be obtained whenever you go online using an unsecured connection, here’s some of them:
- Your email account
- Social media name profile
- Banking information
- Your phone contacts
So it would be in your best interest to always use a secured connection when you do your browsing.
A lot of the time, people generally overlook the power of the information that they readily share online. The small details that we share like the inside of our homes or the magnitude of our purchases can all make us a potential target for actual theft and even identity theft. There are a lot of things that we think is okay but is actually putting our personal security at risk.
We hope that today’s discussion will help you better secure your privacy. What vulnerabilities presently exist for your privacy in the land of the net?