Ever since the incident involving Edward Snowden, people have started paying more attention to their online security and privacy. Unfortunately, issues like security are more challenging to straighten out than most people think. Many individuals have already sent a lot of private information to Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, and other companies. Here are some of the top signs that you are giving away much more information than you need to, along with a few tools to help protect online privacy.
You Have Not Disabled the Location Services on Your Mobile Devices
Both iOS and Android have systems built in that ping your location when needed. You may have noticed this when posting to Facebook, and it reads “near there” where “there” is your city’s name. Almost any device on a mobile network can ping your location – at any time. This means that most of your apps, and the companies that own them, know where you are located.
You can fix this in iOS, but the way you fix it depends on the version of iOS you are using. For Android, you can go to the Location tab in settings and turn off all options.
All Your Status Updates are Public
When posting something on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, you do so publicly, which means everyone can see it. This means everyone – friends, friends of friends, people in other countries, your boss, and anyone else can see what you are posting on your personal social media accounts.
You can fix this on Twitter by making your entire profile private. For Google+ and Facebook, just change the post a status box that reads “public” to “private.”
You Use an Easy to Guess Password
You would be surprised how many people have horrible passwords. There are still some people who use “password” as their password. If you are using passwords under 10 characters, with no numbers, symbols, or capital letters, you are in trouble.
This is a pretty easy fix. You just need to create a stronger password. Use a mix of symbols, capital letters, numbers, and letters. It does not have to be ridiculous, but it should be strong.
You Connect to Public WiFi without a VPN
VPNs are virtual private networks. They let you connect to the internet on private networks even if you are connected to local WiFi. This is important because when connected to a public WiFi source, people can access the digital packets that are going through the connections. The packets often contain things like private information and passwords.
If you use a VPNs or private proxies, it is much harder for others to access these packets, which means your data is more secure. Today, setting up a VPN or a private proxy is easy and there are several service providers to choose from.
Are You Protecting Your Privacy?
When it comes to protecting your privacy, there are several steps you can take. In some cases, working with professionals to develop a quality plan is best. This will ensure you get the privacy that you want and need and eliminate your worry about stolen data and private information.