Having personal information online is often one of the biggest issues facing people who are trying to keep their data safe. However, the vastness of online information doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to just having this information out there. Instead, here are five methods that you can utilize to manage the privacy of your personal information.
1. Check on the Current Personal Information Available
Your first step should always be to check what pieces of personal information are available online about you. After all, that’s the only way you’ll be able to identify what you need to work on. There are public record search engines that offer this kind of information, but checking with a general search engine can be a great way for you to identify personal information as well.
2. Consider Using a VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is one way that you can work toward making your general internet traffic a little more private. Essentially, a VPN puts your browsing information through a secure tunnel, making it so that not even your internet service provider can see what websites you’re on. A VPN can keep your browsing history private, making it so that providers can’t even sell your data.
3. Change Your Privacy Settings on Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest ways that people end up having privacy issues. You might not even realize how much information is available through your social media profiles. For any social media profiles you either currently have or have used in the past, it’s a good idea to take a look at the privacy settings and see where you can improve.
4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication Whenever Available
Two-factor authentication is an easy way to make it even more difficult for people to access your accounts. With two-factor authentication, any time you log into an account, you also have to input a password, typically texted to your device. Two-factor authentication is a good way to maximize security for all your accounts.
5. Allow Some Public Information on the Internet Yourself
Most personal information leaks on the internet are unintentional. What if you set up a public persona online that people could instead find when they look for you? More and more frequently, potential friends, colleagues, and hiring managers are looking people up online. If you have a LinkedIn or Facebook account that’s there to give just a bit of personal information about you, you can control that information flow and help negate unintentional information.
Managing personal information online is part of having personal information online in the first place. Most people will have some amount of their personal information available online; the only other option is to opt out of an online presence entirely. However, if you’re smart and are able to manage the information that’s available online about you, it’s possible for you to have an online presence that doesn’t allow people to utilize that information against you.
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