How to Keep Your Personal Data Secure Online

The internet offers many opportunities and useful information at our fingertips. We download content, make online transactions and use social networking sites. While doing all this we are revealing personal information. The following tips will help you protect your personal data online.

  • Do not reveal personal information everywhere

Make sure you know who is getting your personal information. If a company that claims to have an account with you sends an email asking for personal information, don’t click on links in the email. Phishing is a scam designed to steal your personal information by tricking you into disclosing it.

  • Use only secure sites

When you carry out any financial transaction through internet, ensure that the site is secure. The web address should begin with https:// instead of only http://. Also, look out for a small padlock symbol in the address bar.

  • Use cookie management software

“Cookies” are tidbits of information that websites store on your computer, temporarily or permanently and can be used for “data mining” purposes, usually for marketing. To avoid this kind of tracking there are some cookie management software that can be installed.

  • Beware of sites that offer some sort of reward or prize

Some sites offer very lucrative rewards for just registering with them. This way they collect your contact information and other personal details for direct marketing purposes or sell it to other marketers. Be especially wary of sweepstakes and contests. You probably won’t win, but the marketer will surely benefit by procuring your information.

  • Don’t over-share on social networking sites

Sharing too much information on social networking makes it easier for an identity thief to answer security questions on your accounts. Set limits to who can see your posts. Never put important information like complete address, phone number or account numbers on publicly accessible sites.

  • Use alternate email account for subscriptions and registrations

Keeping two different mail ids for official or personal use and separate one for registering with different websites or entering competitions is an easy way to keep spammers away from your personal data. These ‘throwaway’ email accounts, which you can delete if the spam becomes unmanageable, should not have much important or accurate information about you.

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