Internet privacy is becoming a common term, but it is important to understand what it means and why you need protection. The easiest definition would be the privacy and security level of your personal information that is published or available on the internet. It really is a broad term that can be used to refer to a lot of factors, technologies and techniques which can be used to protect private and personal information about a person.

Why is internet privacy a growing concern?

Our privacy on the internet and keeping information about us safe is a growing concern because of how much more our lives revolve around technology. There is a lot more activity on mobile devices and our lives depend on technology today. This means that if we are not careful, we are entering very personal or identifiable information about ourselves on sites all the time. More and more people are using the internet for convenience sake like making purchases, doing banking, and pursuing educational goals. For individuals and businesses alike it means there must be more effort given to protecting personal information.

What risks are associated with internet privacy?

Your information is constantly being collected and used if you are online. Information is gathered when you make an online purchase, spend time on a social network, play an online game, participate in a forum or just surf the web for something interesting. If your password is ever compromised, your identity can be stolen and used fraudulently. Some of the risks include:

  • Phishing – stealing your data
  • Pharming – hackers redirect you to a fraudulent site
  • Spyware – steals your data without your consent
  • Malware – damages your computer

How to Minimize the Risks?

There are ways to protect your online privacy and minimize the risks and damage. The first thing you should do to protect your online privacy is purchase an anti-viral application. These will help protect you from viruses, malware and spam. Never shop on a site that is not reliable and secure. If you don’t know for sure – don’t shop there. Never share your personal data on sites that have low security levels. Clear your browser regularly. Choose very strong passwords which contain special characters along with letters and numbers.