In the digital age today, many things have become simplified by the online world and modern technologies. For the most part, we are able to keep our entire life’s worth of information on one (or two) computer hard drives. This is an amazing feat—and a potentially worrisome one. While online and digital tools have made our lives significantly easier in many ways and it’s basically impossible to imagine life without them, the digital world has also opened up more threats to our personal information.
Online protection and security has been a hot topic for sometime now. With major companies leaking millions of customers’ personal information and Facebook privacy concerns cropping up over and over again, it’s no surprise that there are various tools and guidelines for better digital security available everywhere online today.Employers, admissions officers, landlords, and financial firms may use a background screening to evaluate you. These checks can be solely based on criminal record, but they can also explore public record, educational history, and financial history. Any of these areas of your recorded history can be threatened by digital malpractice. If someone malicious gains access to your personal information, your overall reputation can be put at risk. Consider these online tools and basic tricks to better protect your digital information from online and digital threats.
Have an Alternate “Junk” Email
Our email contains some of our most sensitive and personal information. Not only do we exchange personal communications through our email, but we also use our email address to sign up with online banking, social networking sites, purchase products online, and much more. For this reason, our email address and password are some of the most sensitive elements of our digital identity. As a general rule of thumb, it can be a very smart idea to use an alternate “junk” email address for sites and subscriptions that are not completely trusted. When mailing unknown parties, posting to web forums, mailing lists, chat rooms, and any other public spaces online use a separate email address that does not contain your highly personal information. This can better ensure that your email and subsequently other personal information won’t fall into the wrong hands. (This is also a great way to keep annoying spam from cluttering your inbox).
Consider a Password Manager
Passwords managers can be a really wonderful way to better protect yourself online and make your online experience more streamlined and simple. With numerous social media sites, various email addresses, online banking, shopping sites, and so much more, most of us accumulate more than a few usernames and passwords to memorize. This can be a pain to keep track of and we often resort to using the same password over and over or a variation of the same password. This method can be very dangerous for your online protection. Just one slip up on your part or on the part of one of the services you use and anyone can have access to all the sites you use that password for. If your banking password is leaked, your credit score can be affected negatively as can any thorough background checks done on you.Password managers are the way to go. Use a password manager to keep track of all of your other passwords. This tool is secured by one ultra-secure password and does all the rest of the work for you.
Protect Your Social Media
Today, our social media sites have in many ways become an extension of who we are. We use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others to communicate something about ourselves to the world and to our personal communities. In this way, social media is a wonderful tool for employers, human resource managers, and other authorities to use to run an unofficial background check on you. Obviously, you can use these sites to demonstrate your positive attributes, but it is also probably wise to keep a significant portion of the sites private. Even if your Facebook doesn’t display any worrisome information about you, it is probably wise to beef up your privacy and security options.Don’t let authorities (employers, professors, landlords, etc.) use your social media sites against you. Check your online privacy settings and be sure that everything is set the way you want it. It is advised to make everything private to only those who you have accepted as friends or followers. Sift through your privacy option to make sure that you cover all bases. Setting yourself as unsearchable is probably wise. This will make it impossible for people to find your page on Facebook without already having some sort of connection.