By Jeff Tinsley
“Security” is a term we are all familiar with. Security comes with locking our cars, keeping valuables in a vault, installing alarm systems for our houses, and so on. However, our online security is just as vulnerable to theft. For instance, did you know identity theft is on the rise? Just last year, 14 million people were reported to be victims of it in the United States alone. Thieves are stealing credit card and social security numbers, opening phony bank accounts, making purchases, and filing fraudulent tax returns—all a result of a breach in online security. But it’s not just our financial information at risk; it’s our personal information too. For example, did you know complete strangers could have access to your home address, your email, your age, the names and ages of your children and even grandchildren? In most cases, all it takes is a simple Google search for this information to be found.
Who or what wants this information? Spammers looking to send emails in mass amounts, hackers trying to obtain financial and health records, and “cookies” tracking your Internet search habits, to name a few. However, the largest threat to your online privacy is YOU. That’s right; much of what puts you at risk online is a direct result of your own Internet habits. The good news is even if you have been haphazardly surfing the web for decades, there is much you can do now to regain control of the information you are exposing on the web. Here are some tips: [Read more…]