- Beauty & Style
- Contact Us
Like Us, Follow Us
Your lifestyle, your quirk
The Internet can be a dangerous place. Surfing the Net on any given day exposes information about you to everyone, from your employer to the people who run the sites you visit. Based on your IP address, servers can store information on things including the content you're currently looking at, and sometimes even the content you’ve looked at in the past. Cookies (and I’m not talking about the delicious chocolate chip variety) can be used to track your location on an individual web site, and also to see where you have been, which ads have been displayed on your machine, and let businesses know your age, sex, name, and even address and phone number. Pretty creepy!
Anonymous browsing, as its name implies, allows users to connect to web sites, view their content, search, blog, etc. without letting the sites you’re visiting know anything about you that isn't necessary or provided by you.
Most anonymous browsing services use proxy services, which allow a user's web browser to connect via an encrypted link to a server at the service provider's location. That server then re-issues the request to the appropriate site. The site's response is then sent back to the user's web browser via the encrypted link. The whole session is completed without the actual destination's web server being aware of who the requestor is. But beware: some of these proxy services are launching grounds for hackers to gain control of unsuspecting user's PCs!
To keep your anonymity safe on the Net (at least as much as possible):
• Only visit sites you trust
• Avoid clicking links in suspicious emails (even if they appear to come from people you know). Before clicking an embedded link, always scroll over it to make sure the URL it directs you actually matches. I’ve gotten bogus LinkedIn requests that look like legit links but don’t have LinkedIn URLs upon closer inspection.
• Always set your browser's cookie settings to only allow cookies to be set and read by the domain that created them. Visit your browser's cookies, review often, and delete cookies that don't look reasonable.
• Run frequent virus and malware scans on your computer. I recommend www.malwarebytes.org – it’s free!
• Don’t fill out online forms unless absolutely necessary. Avoid listing personal information whenever possible.
In addition to concerns about having your history tracked though cookies and other sneaky spyware, some people are giving too much information about themselves away totally voluntarily – through blogs and pages on social networking sites. Be smart about the information that you put out on the Net; remember, once it’s out there you no longer control it! Make sure to keep your Facebook page private so only people you confirm as friends can see it (and don’t confirm anyone that you don’t actually know and want having a window in to your personal life!) but, as a rule of thumb, still avoid sharing anything you wouldn’t want a parent or potential employer seeing. Also, avoid listing excessive personal information like your address, phone number, full birthday (I always leave the year out), anything that could be used to guess personal passwords (for example, if you use your dog Max’s name as the password for your online banking account don’t post comments on Facebook about how Max is the most awesome dog ever – sorry, Max!). Don’t even use your last name if you can avoid it.
Remember, the Internet can be a great tool for work and fun, but being smart about how you use it and what you disclose will definitely help you in the long run!