The general views of internet privacy and security is increasingly shifting from a fingers-crossed “it won’t happen to me” dynamic to one in which virtually everyone has either had their identity stolen, their information exposed in a massive hack, or knows someone who has. In light of this, people are getting better about not having predictable passwords and being sure only to give payment information to secure sites and the like.
Online Profiles You’ve Stopped Using
There’s no other entity that inspires billions of people to willingly share their personal information, workplace, whereabouts, interests, appearance, habits, and often candid thoughts and opinions with, potentially, millions of other people than social networks. That makes them a dream come true for hackers, stalkers, identity thieves, privacy-ignoring corporations, and data brokers. As people come to recognize that, their social network use has often become more cautious and more guarded.
But what about that social network profile you set up years ago, maybe in high school or college—the one you haven’t looked at in years? What sort of pictures did you post there? What’s the likelihood that you made claims or shared opinions that would be an embarrassment to you now? And how would you feel about your friends, family, kids, coworkers, or boss reading them now? That’s the thing about the internet: anything you post there, however long ago, there’s a good chance it’s still there. The best practice is to delete any profiles that you no longer use to remove the risk of an account hack likely to go unnoticed, or your personal information being shared.
Defeating the Data Brokers
The previous section mentioned “data brokers.” Despite the brokering of data being a multi-billion dollar business, a lot of people are entirely unaware of it. While they may be aware that companies leverage their basic information, Google searches, and purchase history, etc. for advertising or research purposes, they would likely be shocked to find out just how personal and intimate much of the data collected by the data brokers is.
Thankfully, there are organizations out there that will remove personal information from Google for you. It’s also possible to look up the online data brokerages and manually request that they delete your information, though that can be a fairly tedious process. Fortunately, a reputable data removal organization can do it for you. The best of them will also offer a subscription service so that your personal information will remain private and stay removed year-round. Make sure they provide an accounting of the information they have deleted as well for added peace of mind.
Most workplaces are generally decent about it, but if you’re using hardware or devices paid for by the company, chances are that they are allowed to monitor you on it. The same usually goes for the use of a company’s software or networks on your own device. Your workplace may also have strict guidelines or policies around bringing your own device (BYOD), the networks or Wi-Fi connection you use, etc.
Based in Boston, DeleteMe has established a national reputation as the premier private and personal information-protection organization. They have accomplished this by leveraging the expertise of their identity theft, consumer protection, and privacy teams to establish a comprehensive suite of privacy solutions that are both effective and user-friendly. If you’re concerned with password protection, payment security, removal from Whitepages, and whatever else protects security, personal and financial, you’ll find that DeleteMe is the preeminent security solution.
Guarantee that your information remains yours alone, at www.joindeleteme.com.