For many individuals in the information age, the concept of privacy protection has fallen by the wayside as a barrage of technical requirements and use of internet networks become the new norm for storing information. Gone are the days of the Rolodex and the filing cabinet. At this time in history, an identity thief with access to a security breach can discover everything from a person’s social security number to the details of their bank account with the flip of a switch.
Fortunately, there are many ways to protect our privacy at this time in history. Here are just a few ways that most of us might be compromising our digital privacy without knowing it, and how we can learn to protect our information and keep safe.
Because the use of the internet has become central to completing day to day tasks such as sending work emails and checking bank balances, we often forget that it is easier than ever for our private information to be accessed by the wrong people. Staying informed about these issues by reading news articles on “hacked” networks can allow us to prevent a potential invasion of privacy by knowing how to be prepared and what to avoid when it comes to information weak points. If a network you use has been hacked, be sure to check your credit report to make sure that no one has taken advantage of the breach to gain access to your finances, and don’t hesitate to reset your password if you find that a data breach has occurred in a network you use.
Fortunately for most web users, a good browser will alert us when a website we’re accessing is not securely processing our personal information. Using such warnings is vital if we want to protect our privacy: sending bank routing information or pin numbers over unsecured channels is a quick way to give strangers access to our funds. One surefire way to protect your information is to use a VPN.
While it may make it easier to remember a password if we use the same combination of letters and numbers to access sites we regularly use, we only have to imagine what will happen if an identity thief gains access to just one of those “secret” combinations. If the thief guesses which websites we are likely to use, or is granted access to a list of those sites, they will merely need to use our “universal” password to access our social media and bank accounts within a few minutes. Such an event could be disastrous to our financial well-being and our reputation!
While the use of laptops has made doing our work on the go easier than ever, we may find ourselves in a situation in which the loss of a laptop means that all of our banking records and personal information will be accessible to whoever finds our computer. So long as we keep our laptops secure with strong passwords or fingerprint identification software, however, our digital privacy is likely to remain totally secure.
For these reasons, making sure our private information is kept in perfect security in the information age is of great importance. Fortunately, there are a number of steps we can take to ensure that our privacy is kept safe, and that is the kind of security that can help us relax even when times are tough.