Teacher | Blogger | Mom
Your personal data is exactly that – personal. Yet everyday in the news there are reports of major companies breaching data regulations and selling information to others, without our expressed consent. No wonder 82% of people are unhappy about the sharing of their personal details to third-party corporations. Protecting your online data is of the utmost importance to make sure that you and your children are safe when using the internet for any reason, be it online shopping, communication purposes or social media.
Setting up your social media profiles
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are popular targets for online criminals. When you fill out that random survey asking for your favorite color, or the name of your pet dog, have you ever considered that this could not just be for a bit of sociable fun? The name of a family pet was revealed by Google as being number one in a list of the passwords that people use. Don’t give away this information to others on social media. Make sure that all your accounts are set to “private.” This means that only your expressed friends will be able to see your personal information and photographs. If you do accept friend requests, make sure that it is from someone that you know. Lastly, social media is for over 13 years only. If your children are using Facebook and Twitter, make sure that they understand the online risks too.
Use a Virtual Private Network
If you and your children are regularly online, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help to protect you personal data and location. This is a service that routes your internet connection through a server, giving you complete privacy when you are online. The VPN software can be downloaded straight to your P.C., laptop, tablet or iMac. It encrypts your personal online data, even before this information reaches your internet service provider. This means that no matter what you are doing online, from using financial and banking services to doing the weekly grocery shop, your personal data and bank card details are kept private and secure.
Look after your passwords
Make sure that you change your internet and email passwords regularly. Don’t use obvious combinations, such as 123456 or the name of your cat. Put a mark on your calendar once a month and systematically change yours and your children’s passwords. Don’t ever use the search engine or smart phone settings to store your passwords either, or these could be easily accessed if your phone is ever lost or stolen. If you ever find that you are getting suspicious emails, or there has been a breach, you can find out if your details have been compromised using www.haveibeenpwned.com.
Protecting your personal data when you are online is important for your whole family. Be careful with your passwords, always be wary if there are any strange banking transactions or emails, and never give out your details to a third party unless you are absolutely certain that they are legitimate.
About Jane Sandwood
Jane has been a freelance writer and editor for over 10 years. She has written for both digital and print across a wide variety of fields. Her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. And when she isn’t writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym or just spending quality time with her family.