Keeping Personal Information Private on the Web

When parents tell their kids the internet is a dangerous place, they aren’t just saying it. Online, the threat to our privacy is very real. If you bank online, there’s always a slight chance someone could get hold of your account details. Every time you post something on Facebook, you’re potentially revealing information to strangers that you wouldn’t face to face. There are ways to keep your information as secure as possible though – here are a few.

Keep Your Software Up to Date

Keeping your operating system, your browser, and your antivirus up to date will help with security. The latest version of any software will have the best security features. Because hacking software and viruses are constantly improved to get around current security measures, the security measures are frequently updated according to new threats. Having a good antivirus is also advisable, one that will also scan for malware and spyware.

Maximize Your Security Settings

Your browser won’t automatically have the security features maxed out, so open your settings and see what can be improved. Disabling cookies on your browser means there won’t be data drifting around containing passwords and other personal information you enter when accessing certain web pages.

On social media, increase the security settings on your profile to keep more sensitive information available to just your friends. If you don’t want anyone and everyone to be able to browse photos of your kids, locations you’ve posted or other personal details, make this information visible only to people you don’t mind knowing.

Public Wifi

Public wifi networks, especially open ones, are especially vulnerable. If possible, avoid using them. If and when you do use them, stick to Facebook and pinterest. If you’re doing online banking, email, or similar, you’re taking quite a risk with very important information.

If you do need to use public wifi, consider a VPN. Companies like offer secure Virtual Private Networks, which let you access private networks safely through public ones by encrypting data that’s sent or received. This along with other security measures makes your networking a lot safer.


Use secure passwords for everything, especially sensitive accounts like banking, email and social media. A good password should be more than eight characters and include numbers, letters (upper and lowercase) and special symbols. DON’T use the same password for everything. If you do, and one password gets hacked, they’ve all been hacked.

If you really struggle to remember passwords, choose one that you will remember and vary it slightly for different accounts. For a unicorn lover, I<3Un1c0rnsF@cebook and I<3Un1c0rnsTw1tter will work. Ideally, you should change your password every so often. Some companies require their employees to change their password once a month.

Identity theft, fraud and phishing are just some of the threats we make ourselves vulnerable to when we go online. Just a few basic measures could increase your security tenfold, and protect your privacy a lot better, so check your settings and change your passwords – now.