There are no fail-safe measures when it comes to internet security and online privacy, but the steps listed in our previous article will make your accounts much harder to hack. Next you will need to update your internet privacy to limit public sharing of details about your location and personal life. This can be a security risk also, since access to personal data will help hackers get past the security measures you just put in place.
Online Privacy Makeover
- Check your address – professionals who own their domain name may find that their location and personal details are available online on Whoisnet. If this is the case, contact the service where you bought your domain name, and update your privacy settings, so your data won’t be visible. Other vulnerabilities in the UK include Freelectoralrolls.com and Companies House which may list your address online. You can contact your local electoral registration office and ask to be removed from the public records. If your personal address is available through Companies House contact them directly also, and ask that anything unrelated to your professional profile be removed. If you live in the US, there are even more agencies which could list your address (Spokeo is one example). To avoid being identified you will need to contact each one and ask to have your personal data removed.
- Check your online privacy settings – if you interact personally on social media sites, this can be a big information leak. Double-check your settings to make sure you’re not automatically sharing pictures or posts publically. If you have a lot of social media accounts, you will need to make a list and go through them all one by one to make sure you don’t miss any. Remember, if you click share on an article page, this will always be public. It’s much better to copy and paste the address into your post.
- Verify family members – it won’t matter how careful you are about online privacy and security, if family members don’t take the same measures. This is even more important for companies based on a family name since everything relatives do online will reflect back on the brand. Admittedly pushing your family to run through all the same measures listed in this article might not be easy. Once you’ve learned the ropes, try sitting down together and making a fun interactive security day.
Other security options
You’ve completed the basic security and privacy measures listed above, but you’re still concerned about what happens if your computer or mobile phone is hacked. If this is the case you can keep going with your makeover by installing programs that will protect you in the case of an emergency.
Little Snitch and Wireshark are two options that will show exactly what data your computer is sharing. These programs warn you immediately if your computer is hacked so you can take action right away. Another important protection for your mobile phone is “Prey,” a program that lets you wipe data in the advent that your phone is ever stolen.
None of these measures are absolutely necessary if you’ve already updated and double-checked your settings as outlined above. But they do add an extra layer of protection for individuals who have reason to be concerned.