8 Tips Protect Privacy
8 Tips to Protect Privacy: from those using your computer or account
2013 has been a big year for privacy issues. There is a lot of talk about the government’s spying on citizens and usurping certain civil liberties. While this is definitely a concern regardless of what country/state you live in, a more immediate threat to your personal privacy are the people actually using your computer and or accounts. Friends, family and co-workers that are using the same computer you are using, for example, can do more damage just from seeing something they are not supposed to see. At the very least, it can just be embarrassing.
Whether they are just borrowing your system and you trust them is not the point. TRUST is not the point. Access is the main concern. After all they may ACCIDENTALLY see something they are not meant to see. Or a trusted friend might allow someone ELSE that you Do NOT trust to use your system. So it is really not a matter of TRUST but ACCESS. If its easy to access the data then you must assume that they already have or will access, copy, modify this important private data. If you value your data and if you are security minded then you must control access.
Here are 8 tips to protect privacy of personal data.
1. Create multiple password protected accounts
Your local system should have multiple accounts even if you are sure no one else will log-in directly to the system. Multiple accounts allow you to have separate roles. An administrator role to install, upgrade and configure and a normal account for surfing the web, creating documents and doing day to day stuff. You should not surf the web with your administrator account. Each account should be password protected. If you surf the web with an admin account you risk your system being compromised by malware that will run as the admin account you are using.
–> Create Users
2. Delete Browser History & Cache
Why delete you browsers cache and history? And how can deleting that info protect privacy? Your browser track all your browsing activity by default. So, if for example, your mom or dad jumps on your computer (and your computer is wide open with no accounts or passwords). They use YOUR account and YOUR computer to quickly search information about “dictionaries” As your mom/dad types “Di “ and the word “dick” auto-completes and is something you previously typed. An innocent search can reveal all the places you have gone if you don’t regularly clear the history and cache from all browsers.
3. Lock Mobile Device
As of 2013, cell phones, tablets, smartphones and some laptop are the biggest gapping whole in protecting privacy. Mainly because its fairly new to many people.
If you have a mobile device, chances are high that they have a direct access into your email account. You must put a automatic lock on your phone so that if you are away from your phone for more than a few minutes. Or if you lose your mobile device at least whoever finds it won’t have access to all your emails and online accounts.
4. Use Separate Emails for Separate Uses
To minimize the risk of professional life leaking into personal life (and vice-versa), use separate email accounts for work and home life. Especially if the email is tied to a social network. If you have a business, you should keep its email traffic separate as well. This keep contacts separate, social network posts and the professional and personal life in their own lanes.
5. Encrypt or Delete Files You don’t want Others to See
If you have nude photos of yourself its really none of anyone’s business but those you wish to share it with. Do you have nudes of your significant other? Do you have a drunken video of your BFF’s birthday party? You should put them in a folder that only you know about and encrypt them. Better yet, keep them off your computer and encrypted on removable media (thumb drive, CDROM etc). DO NOT send half nude selfies, titty pictures, nudes or ANYTHING like that over the Internet especially if you have a high profile job. You really cannot trust anyone to protect your data. No one cares more about your privacy than you. If you don’t mind others, your kids, your parents and coworkers seeing your amazing body, then its fine. Case in point, NY-Congressman Weiner sent very personal pictures of himself to twitter under a different name. Unfortunately, his opponents found out and used it to get him publicly shamed. He eventually had to resign as congressman. It’s best not to send pictures or sexually explicit text out to anyone.
6. Password protection
Don’t give out your password. Use strong password (at least 8 characters, UPPER/lowercase, special characters, numbers all mixed in). Change you passwords immediately if you feel it has been compromised. Don’t use the same password for every account.
7. Log off
You may need to log-in to your social media website or email from a public or work computer that others will need to use. You must get in the habit of logging off. If you can, set up the account to automatically lock or log out.
8. Auditing Your Accounts
Social network accounts allow you to audit the account and send you a message if someone attempts to access your account from a different location or if they mis-authenticated over and over. You need to know when someone is attempting to access your personal information.