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How Do I Increase My Online Privacy?

The best way to increase your safety online is by being informed. By knowing what you are doing when you are online and being careful, many issues can be avoided altogether. If you are worried about someone collecting details about you online, here is some information so that you can work on making your whole internet experience safer and more private.

Privacy Settings on Social Networking Sites

One of the first things you can do is log on to all of your social networking sites and change all the settings to private. Just about every site, including Facebook, has options to customize your privacy setting. Do all you can to make your profile and sharing abilities as private as possible. This will limit the people that are able to see your information to those that are already your friends. Another good idea is to block some applications that try to access your information.

“Do Not Track” in Firefox 4

If you are using Firefox 4, there is a function you can use to help with privacy. The “Do Not Track” function can be found in the options and settings. Check the box to turn this on. This sends a header with each page request stating “Do Not Track”. In the future, this function will help Internet user’s privacy rights. If you are on another internet browser, there should be a way to browse privately. After this is turned on, nothing is saved to the computer from the internet. This also means that people that are trying to track your movements will not be able to as well.

Masked Account Number

To help you keep your bank account number and debit card number hidden from online attackers, a masked account number can be used. Sadly, not all companies offer this. For those that can, you get fake numbers to take the place of the real ones to pay for services online and make purchases. These fake numbers link to your real ones. If you are victim of a theft of your numbers online, the culprit will not have your real account information.

Clear your Cache and Cookies

Many different websites track internet users with cookies. A hacker on your computer can look at your cookies to track your movements and steal your personal information. Every time you exit your browser, you should make sure and clear your internet cache, your cookies, and your history. Doing this could stop someone from stealing your personal information and emptying your bank account.

Avoid Add-ons and Applications

To increase privacy, you may need to drop some of the extra add-ons and applications that you are running.  None of these parts of the internet browser are mandatory while they could be opening up a weakness that allows someone to steal your personal information.


When joining websites or signing up for different things, avoid using your real name or address. Avoid using your personal information at all. You may also want to set up a separate e-mail account. You can have things sent to it instead of giving up your personal e-mail address and ending up with a mailbox full of spam. Avoid putting your personal information out there on the internet for anyone. Delete old accounts you do not use anymore. This process is fairly easy. You should not have to worry about your personal information being on the Internet for long.

Stay Away From Unsecured Internet Connections

By avoiding unsecured WiFi connections you can stop the owner of that connection from hacking onto your computer through the network while you surf the net. Always use secured connections. This puts yet another layer of security between you and the hackers. Run a virus scan and good firewall, too. This will help to get rid of other risks that you would not even normally know were there.

It is impossible to stay completely private while on the internet, but by following a few simple steps, you can help to protect your safety. By making your social media profile private, using masked account numbers, clearing out your cache and cookies, avoiding add-ons and other applications, using the wrong name when signing up for services, deleting old accounts, avoiding open internet connections, and running antivirus software, you should make a big difference in your privacy.

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