In 2018, almost everyone has access to the internet whether it is via a smartphone or on a computer at home. While uploading photos to Facebook or Instagram may be fun, you need to keep in mind that everyone in the world now has access to your photo(s). It is essential to maintain a high level of security while writing or posting online.
Let us break down the top reasons why we feel you need to keep your personal information private. Personal reputation is how you are perceived by the world as an individual. It is the first thing anyone thinks about you when they hear your name or see your photo online. We all know that one friend that posts on Instagram 10x a day and updates his/her Facebook status regularly. You begin to form opinions about individuals that you have never even met by the way they carry themselves online. While most of this is under your control, you need to be cautious of what others do with that information you are publishing.
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Top Reasons Why Should Keep Your Personal Information Private
In this digital era, we are utilizing more online applications to manage our everyday lives. Ensuring your social media accounts and banking information is secure is not difficult if you follow some easy to learn steps. Identity theft is when an individual unlawfully obtains personal/private information about someone in order to impersonate them (mostly for) financial gain.
You can avoid these cyber-attacks by using different passwords on every website. This the most simple and effective way to stop identity theft. Many individuals use one or two passwords for everything. This is great for yourself and so you can remember but what happens when a hacker finds that one password, they now have access to everything!
Therefore, creating passwords that are alpha-numeric with at least 12 characters is the way to go. If you use letters, numbers, and special characters there are over 1 Trillion variations the hacker will need to attempt. Making this task nearly impossible and in turn, safeguarding your information for good. Change your passwords every couple of months.
The next step you should take to keep your personal information private would be to opt-out from any and all background reporting databases. These sites report your exact address, links to your social media accounts, and even friends and family members.
Removing yourself from these 40+ sites will make the task of finding your personal information even more difficult for any hacker. Lastly, make sure you constantly monitor all of your accounts for possible discrepancies. By monitoring your accounts, you will know instantly if something is wrong as you can resolve the issue before it gets bigger.
Future Job Opportunities
Next, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are morphing into your “second resume”. This is where potential employers can get a good sense of your personality, an easy way to gauge if you are the right fit for their company. Unless your profile is private, refrain from posting political or religion based posts as this may hinder any job opportunities that come your way in the future. Do not walk into your next interview blind, review your social accounts prior to applying for a position to have the best chance of getting the job.
This may seem fairly straightforward for many millennials, however, for the older users of the internet, this is very important. When you are online, there are some easy indicators you can see to instantly reassure you that the site you are on is secure. Most importantly find out if a site is ‘secure’. This is simply done by looking at the website address. When you type in Google.com, there is an https:// placed before the web address. This is the SSL telling you this site is secure “https://. If there is no ‘s’ that site is not secure.
As we start to drift away from cash to plastic credit/debit cards this opens new doors for cyberhackers. When setting up your cards, again make the passwords unique and change them monthly. In addition, use a PIN nobody can guess. This means to refrain from using addresses or birthday! As annoying this can seem it will benefit you in the long run by making yourself almost invincible to cyber attacks. Next time you are visiting your bank ask them about setting up secondary privacy questions, this will automatically lock someone out after too many wrong attempts.
Closing Thoughts on Keeping Personal Information Private
Nowadays it is very tempting to use every feature that social media offers, like the location for instance. Keep in mind that you are literally telling people where you are at that exact moment. These actions leave you prone to not only identity theft but other attacks like a home invasion! Your personal address does not have to be on Facebook, even if there is a field for it. Start by reviewing the privacy policies on each website and take every measure you can to safeguard your personal information. Be smart when you are online, we live in a very transparent world, therefore keeping your information private is imperative. Call us if you see something online you disagree with, we can help.
If you are seeking more information on how to remove articles from the internet check out our recent blog!