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What do you do to protect your Online Privacy?

I read an article by AP News this morning, Study finds online privacy concerns on the rise.  I agree, more and more, websites expects you to hand over more information about yourself in order to use any of their services.  I never understood the insistence that they know where you are with their GPS.

My sister is a Human Resource administrator. She said that it is common practice for HR to search an applicant.  When I argued that that didn't seem right.  She said, "Oh they usually have nothing interesting online."  Nonetheless, here are some things you may want to consider.

  • I have three email addresses, one for business, one for personal and one for everything else.  The everything else email becomes particularly handy when you suspect the person asking for the email will spam you.  It is also the email I use for shops, stores or newsletters, even the legit ones.
  • Like the woman in the article, I have an  alias.  My kids do too.  I tell them it's their stage name.
  • I told the kids, they can fake their birthday but not the year because it is best if the company knows your age so they can put protections up.  With that said, they must ask mom or dad if they may join a site first.
  • I have given the wrong spelling of my name and when I get junk mail with it with the wrong spelling, I know where it came and I won't use them again.
  • I'm inclined to use a website if it uses paypal so that my credit card is not all over the web.
  • My GPS is turned off on all computers and tablets.

Do you have a technique to protect your online privacy?  I'd love to hear it.

Comments

  1. Great points. I am amazed at how many vendors want me to sign up so that I can look at their merchandise online - not going to happen. There's always someone else who has what I need and allows me to keep my information to myself.

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  2. I believe privacy must stay in the fore front of everyone's mind. There is so many tactics that hackers use that it is vital we are aware of protecting ourselves. These are great tips and I too LOVE to use my paypal over my personal credit card. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, I never thought of it as an ongoing battle but yeah I think it is.

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  3. Hackers are so clever in their quest to get information that we need to be extremely cautious. For every security measure, there will be another way to get around it. Great article and tips. :-)

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  4. I totally agree! Privacy has become a big issue over the internet. I'm especially more carful now when it comes to sharing certain information.

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  5. I keep separate emails for various areas, and I also use complex passwords. Beyond that, I am fine with being who I am in the public sphere of the online world. Any hacker who really wants to get a person's information can do so, no matter the effort the average person takes to protect themselves. I wonder what the odds are of getting hacked are as opposed to say getting struck by lightening or by a car?

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  6. I think we abdicated our privacy the very first time we used Google as a search engine. I like the workarounds that you have posted above...the misspelling of your name is brilliant! But I also believe that they are going to find us, no matter what. I think we have crossed the rubicon.

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  7. I rely on my son who is a computer security consultant in Seattle. He is regularly on Fox, BBC and now even MNBC. When he says something I listen. He told me YEARS ago to never click on a link in an email from a bank, or places like PayPal etc. He was ahead in his advice with all the phishing scams.

    I am so glad, I don't have young children who will be getting in the thick with all this.

    You have some great ideas, some of which I do.

    Over from LinkedIn group BHB

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  8. This is a good article. I need to do some of the things listed in the article.

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  9. Nice post! Some time ago, i too had multiple email accounts for different purposes but it became hard to follow and track everything - so i ended up importing everything to my gmail :-)

    I still use 2-3 different emails for subscriptions but... i find myself NOT giving away my email any more to websites which want it. There has to be something really really valuable that i must have (for instance HubSpot ebooks and blog posts) so that i give away my email.

    At first i was a bit worried to give my email to bloggers when i comment on blogs i don;t know (like this one, for instance - first time here! :D) - but i have never had any problems with fellow bloggers so, i guess no need to worry about it any more.

    Keep on writing and stay safe, both offline and online ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I'm finding these days to sign up for anything you need an e-mail account. I've got 5 email accounts. I'm happy to say I manage them fine but each one has a very distinct purpose, which helps.

      And I should mention, I don't collect the email addresses - but that's me. Annnnnddddd I have given my email address to people - actual people who I met and they put me on lists - now that angered me.

      Thanks for your comments and yes stay safe :)

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  10. When ordering online notice in the browser before you give out your credit card information make sure you see a lock and https://. This means that site is using an ssl certificate An SSL certificate is Secure Sockets Layer, SSL, is the standard security technology for creating an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private and integral. If you do not see this on a website where you are ordering online, don't order.

    I have an SSL encrypted certificate on my site. I have to pay to have this certificate to be installed. Just because you see PayPal doesn't mean your information is protected.

    As far as email goes, never email anything that you are concerned that someone else can see that is private information. I will not open any email I don't recognize.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes that is a good tip - I forgot that one. Thanks

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  11. Great post! I have an on-going discussion with my organizations privacy and security counsel about how much is too much to have online. You have some excellent tips for maintaining your privacy on line. I am still leary of Paypal for the simple reason that I have known many, including a non-profit I volunteer with, that have had their accounts hacked.

    Thank you for sharing!!

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