How to Protect Your Personal Information Online

How To Protect Your Personal Information Online

Baby Boomers, just like all other internet users, are vulnerable to data breaches and hacks by criminals which can expose our personal and private information. Specifically, these hacks can compromise the security of things like bank and credit details as well as other information that may seem less important, like your name and address, but can be used for serious offenses like identity theft.

Read on to discover five things you should do to protect your personal information online.

1. Set Strong Passwords & Use Password Managers

Passwords are all that stand in the way between a criminal and your sensitive personal information online, so it’s very important to set strong, difficult-to-guess passwords. And you should never use the same password for multiple accounts, as doing so can lead to all of your accounts getting compromised if just one of them is breached.

Using a password manager can help you stay on top of all of your strong passwords without needing to write them down somewhere (which can be very risky and is not advisable.)

2. Use a VPN When On a Public Wi-Fi Network

We’ve all used public Wi-Fi before – perhaps at a café or in the airport – but doing so can put your personal information at risk, as hackers can intercept the traffic between your laptop or mobile device and the public Wi-Fi network.

So, if you need to use public Wi-Fi, it’s a good idea to make use of a VPN to re-route and mask your traffic to protect your personal information online.

3. Install Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware Software

Everyone should install a good anti-virus and anti-spyware software package onto their PC and mobile device, as these programs can protect you against criminals and notify you if a threat is detected.

Some of these packages can be quite expensive, but most good anti-virus software providers have ongoing promotions and offer significant discounts if you commit to a longer contract.

4. Be Vigilant

As a general rule, you should always be vigilant when browsing the web or checking emails. In particular, you should be cautious when it comes to clicking links or opening attachments sent via email, as doing so can result in spyware or a virus being installed onto your device.

Furthermore, you should even be vigilant when browsing trusted and established websites that you’ve used before, as it’s possible for hackers to briefly hack websites and install their spyware onto them. Also, be mindful of the threats posed by phishing attempts. Phishing emails or websites pose as trustworthy sources in order to get your sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and financial data.

5. Check Your Privacy Settings on Social Media

Social media is a great way for us to stay connected with our friends and family, but it can also be fraught with risk, especially if your accounts are public.

Posting seemingly innocuous pictures can help criminals figure out where you live or access your other personal information online, so it’s important to be careful whenever you use social media, irrespective of what platform you’re using.

A Quick Summary

  • It’s important to be careful when using the internet, as hackers are constantly trying to steal our financial and personal data.
  • Hacks can sometimes successfully compromise our privacy, but there are a number of things you can do to better protect yourself.
  • For example, using a VPN when using a public Wi-Fi network is strongly advisable, as is setting strong and different passwords for every account you have.
  • You should also install strong anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all of your devices, as they can help protect you from criminals who are trying to compromise your privacy.
  • Being vigilant whenever you’re online is also very important, as hackers are always coming up with new ways to try to get their hands on our private information. 
David Goldstein
David launched Boomer Buyer Guides with his wife Alice to provide Baby Boomers with trustworthy, well-researched information about products and services that Baby Boomers buy. Learn more about David Goldstein