Privacy is becoming increasingly precious these days. It is now often too easy to look up someone and have access to their important data just by using certain websites. Some companies even claim that they’ve got access to your income, address, family, phone number and more for a fee. Though it is true that not everyone who wants your details are bad guys, is that something you’d want to risk? We’ve asked the private investigation team at Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc. to outline some of the best ways to protect your privacy to ensure you don’t fall victim to someone stealing your information.
Leave Important Data Out of Your Social Media Profile
The people who need to know where you’ve been born, when’s your birthday, and what your phone number is already have those data. There is no need to share all of that in your Facebook profile. More so, these data can be used to hack into your other accounts, like your internet banking one.
Add a Password to Your PC
You may trust the people you live and/or work with, but what if your computer gets stolen or gets lost? The same goes for your smartphones and tablets. A passcode helps you prevent a stranger from accessing your personal data as long as you’re not using the worst passwords there is!
Your Social Insurance Number is NOT for Sharing
Unless you are 100% sure that you’re talking to your bank or credit company or someone who has a legitimate reason for knowing your social insurance number, there is no need to disclose even just a few digits of it unless you’re asking for your identity to be stolen.
Use Private Browsing
Some browsers can automatically save your password and log-in details as well as auto-fill forms, leaving you vulnerable to people who want to know your browsing history, preferences, and other data. By using private browsing in your browser, you automatically delete your browsing history, cookies, and temporary internet files after you close your browsing window.
Use a Password Vault or a Password Manager
Password managers can help you keep track different unique passwords as well as generate hard to guess ones for all your different accounts. This way, you’ll be less vulnerable to phishing attacks as well as hacking attempts.
Turn on Two-Factor Verification
Services and social media such as Twitter, Apple ID, Microsoft, Dropbox, Facebook, and Google now offers a two-step verification process that is triggered when you log-in or access your account from an unknown device (a device you’ve never used to log-in to your account before). Two-step verfication only allows you to log-in after you input the unique code that will be sent to your phone or email for every log-in attempt, thereby adding an extra layer of protection even when someone is able to guess your log-in details.
Make Your Social Network Activity Private
Check your Facebook privacy settings and make sure that you’re not sharing more than you want to. Do you know that Viber sends your location to whoever you are talking to unless you turn the location off? The same goes for Twitter. Even YouTube lets people see what videos you like unless you choose to make your history private.
Pay in Cash
Some credit card companies sell your data to advertisers, and they’re interested in what you’re spending on! Don’t give them any data at all by paying for your purchases in cash.
Google Alert is Your Friend
Want to know when someone is saying something about you on the web? Set up a google alert for your organization’s name, your business name, or your name. Google will email you when content gets published mentioning your search terms.
Use Incorrect Information When Setting Up Password Security Questions
Since your birthday, favourite colour, mother’s maiden name, and the city where you were born are often easily searchable through social media, using these data when setting up your password security questions can leave you very vulnerable to hacking attempts. The answer? Lie! The pre-set questions can’t be changed so simply create a whole new set of answers that only you will know, perhaps use a character from a book’s data to make things easier to remember.