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Keep your online privacy locked down

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Social networking, email and the like has seen us become super connected. But greater connectivity means you have to be extra vigilant keeping your private deets private. Before it’s too late.

The good peeps at Intel will show you how…

Once on the internet, always on the internet

First things first: when it comes to online privacy, the reality is you have absolutely no control over anything that’s published on the interwebs. That includes everything from your Facebook page to a news story. Not only can anyone duplicate content within seconds, web-based information also gets copied onto server backups and permanent, public records like the Internet Archive.

The only foolproof way to keep your info from being permanently available to the other WWW – the whole wide world – is to make sure it doesn’t get uploaded in the first place. Remember: those Schoolies snaps of you with sick in your hair might nibble you on the buttocks when you run for parliament further down the line.

Keep things secure on the home front

There’s little point fretting about your online security if you don’t first take some simple steps to secure your computer.

Keep important pieces of private information – like personal correspondence, bank details, and credit card information – on a need-to-know basis with the following security measures:

  • Install anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software
  • Use a router on your network
  • Set up security on your wireless networks

At Intel’s Computer Discovery Zone you can learn how to start securing your computer. Most of these steps don’t take a huge amount of time or money, so resolve to get started now:

Make privacy part of your day-to-day activities

The key to keeping your privacy intact is in the little, everyday things. Like when you create a password, make sure it’s a good’un. And don’t go sharing your credit card details willy-nilly on sites you’re unsure of. Also, buy a paper shredder, then actually use it.

Keep your own email address and those of others locked down. Spammers invest a lot of time and effort into scouring the internet for email addresses. Write yours in a way that’s easy for humanoids to understand, but hard for a program to pick up. Avoid forwarding emails with a long string of addresses in case it gets picked up by the spam food chain somewhere down the line.

Manage your personal information in the public domain

While it’s true that information can never completely be removed from the public domain, it’s worth knowing the following tactics for managing your personal information:

1. Google your name—find out what information is available about you

Google search indexes third-party web pages, therefore it can’t directly remove content from websites. Instead, contact the webmaster of the site hosting your personal information and request it be removed or blocked by Google. Once the webmaster has either removed or blocked the content from Google, it will drop off of Google’s search index the next time Googlebot crawls the site.

2. Monitor your online accounts—be aware of unusual activity

While most accounts are securely encrypted and otherwise fortified against cyber attack, being on the lookout is still the first best line of defence.

For optimum security, keep a written record of what accounts you have opened and what sensitive information about you would be exposed in the unfortunate event your account was hacked. Keep the list in a safe place off your hard drive so your computer can’t be mined for top-security information.

Close any accounts that you don’t need or use. Make sure you understand privacy policies for any new accounts that you open. Keep an eye out for locked symbols and URL addresses that start with ‘https’ when shopping online.

3. Enrol in an identity theft protection service – get 24/7 surveillance

Identity theft protection organisations monitor your credit report and send you fraud alerts. They also require businesses to confirm your identity when opening credit accounts in your name. Services range from monitoring information about you in public domain to monitoring your credit across all major credit reporting agencies.

Looking for a new PC with hardware-based security features to help keep you even safer? Look for laptops and desktops with Intel Inside for great computing experiences both at home and on the go.

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