We live in a world where everything is online. Online banking, online shopping, online dating, online bill pay — we could go on and on. We have multiple email accounts, multiple social media accounts, multiple passwords, multiple security questions — again, we could go on and on. Why are we putting all of this information online? Because it is convenient. It’s easier to log into our online bank accounts and transfer money or deposit checks, than making a trip to the bank. It’s easier to automatically pay our car payment than actually mail in a check. It’s easy to share pictures of our children with friends and family in one place, instead of sending 38 text messages — and yes, at least 38 people want to see how adorable our children are! 🙂 But in all seriousness — this has become a problem.
We, without a second thought, put some of our most personal information online without thinking twice about it. We’ve shared our social security numbers, birth dates, credit card information, and even our tax data. And, this doesn’t even include all of the answers we provide to security questions. We’ve handed out our mother’s maiden names, streets we grew up on, our best friend’s name, our first dog’s name, where we met our spouses — and more! The problem is, we share the data and trust the site to protect the information. But after reading security breach after security breach, one would think we would be a bit more hesitant to share the information. But are we? Not so much. So, here are a few, hopefully new, tips you can use to keep your information as private and secure as possible.
- Internet Privacy
- When answering security questions, instead of using your mother’s real maiden name, or your real street address, etc. make one up
- Use a vault to keep all of your passwords secure and encrypted
- Use a secure internet connection for online activities — especially when making online purchases or using online banking features
- Social Media Privacy
- Ensure your social media accounts are set to “private” instead of “public”
- Be cognoscente of what you’re putting online — I could easily go through almost any random person’s Facebook account and tell you who their kids are, where they work, where their kids go to school, who their children’s babysitter is, what televisions shows they like to watch, who their best friends are, where they grew up, and the high school they graduated from. Excessive — yes, but could I find the information out — it’s highly likely.