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How to keep your private information out of the hands of others

How to keep your private information out of the hands of others

Let's be honest: Most of us prefer not to think about who watches what we do on the Internet. What's the harm, some may think, if someone's looking at my family pictures on Facebook?

Well, there may be a lot of harm. Do you want everyone in the world to see pictures of your kids? That you're on a family camping trip and not at home? Do you want advertisers vacuuming up details from your family's social-media accounts? How about a potential cyberthief cobbling together enough of your personal information to steal your identity?

And that's not to mention the other snoops, from the NSA on down, who might decide one of your Tweets or Facebook postings is "interesting."

Scammers, hackers, marketers, spies and identity thieves - together they could make anyone want to surf the Web privately. Here are a few ways to live in our digital world without staying up at night.

First of all, you need to keep your computer free of viruses - programs you inadvertently download that could share your information with hackers. AVG or avast! are good places to start for free antivirus protection. AdAware and Spybot Search & Destroy target adware and spyware.

Next, note that every major browser has an "incognito" or "private browsing" mode. That's one line of defense against advertisers that track where you go, or snoops who get on your computer. In most browsers, Control + Shift + P will bring up a private browsing window. (In Chrome browsers, Control + Shift + N brings up the "incognito" window.)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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