Six Easy Methods You Can Use to Protect Your Identity

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“Roughly 15 million people have their identities stolen every year in the United States, with each person loosing an average of $3,500.” This is very crazy and scary number of people. It makes me kind of not even want to put any of my personal information online when shopping or paying bills online. Because it is an huge chance that someone can steal it. With the holidays right around the corner, more and more people will be shopping online. Be very careful on what you put on certain websites! Make sure you take the proper steps necessary to protect your identity.

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According to the article, that my fellow blogger posted on twitter that is shown above, there are 6 easy methods that can be used to protect your identity.

  1.  Password Protection: Try to make a password that is unique! Easy passwords like 12345 or 1111 are easy for people to figure out if they are trying to break into an account.  
  2. Choosing a Password: This method is just like the first method. Make sure that your password is unique. If you need another password for another site, try to switch the numbers up a little.  
  3.  Protecting your mail: If you have emails that contain any of your personal information like bank account numbers, try to delete them so that no one can get into your email and see that important information.  
  4. Beware of “Charities”: Never give your personal information over the phone or on the internet to a company that you never heard of. This can be a scam to get free money from you or get your information.
  5. Public Wifi Networks: Never use public networks. That is the easiest way to get hacked.  
  6. Disposing of Electronics: Erase all of your data from your old electronics before you throw it out or give it away.

Hopefully, you use these tips. As, Christmas is approaching this is the best time that scammers will try to scam you. Protect yourself the right way!

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THE GOVERNMENT IS WATCHING US!?!

Internet Privacy has always been a major concern. You never know who can and will hack into your computer to see your personal information. Everything is not meant to be seen. But you would never think that the government would be the people spying on you from the computer. government-spying

In the article, Download This Free Tool to See if the Government’s Spying on You, Adam Clark Estes reminds us about documents that were leaked a year and a half ago by a boy named Edward Snowden. The documents that were leaked showed evidence that the US government were watching our every move on the internet!! Personally, this is crazy to even think about think about. If anyone were suppose to protect us it should be the government. But obviously that will not happen and we need to take things into our own hands. That is the only way we will get the privacy that we deserve.

Author’s Solution: Estes suggested that we get a tool called Detekt. The tool’s website states that “Detekt is a free tool that scans your Windows computer for traces of known surveillance spyware used to target and monitor human right defenders and journalists around the world.” Everyone needs to download this APP immediately to protect themselves when on the computer. This seems like the only and easiest way to watch people’s prying eyes especially the US government. And the best thing about this APP is that it is FREE!!! So, there should be no excuses to not get Detekt.

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Tor Software: Anonymity Online

I recently posted this on twitter under the hashtag #tfebt and #tfwf14

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an article all about how to remain anonymous online at all times, in all ways. Something that is extremely important to do these days if you want to keep a good hold on your personal information while still being able to function in this technological world.

The article talks all about a software known as Tor. Tor is a software of networks you can download, that allows for people to use a variety of applications on the internet all while not compromising their security, privacy, and identity. Tor prevents websites from being able to track down is visitors, users, and followers. The website mentions multiple users of Tor and how they utilize it to keep their anonymity. These users consist of: people in the journalist profession, groups such as Indymedia and Electronic Frontier Foundation, and even a branch in the United States Navy.

The main function of Tor is to protect its users from a type of internet spying known as “traffic analysis.” This type of thing allows for people to discover who is talking to who over public networks. Tor hides this for you.The website does a great job at explaining just how Tor works.

File sharing has advanced greatly since the days of Napster, and it’s important to protect your online security. Especially when our culture today so strongly relies and uses the internet.

A recent article from digitaltrends.com talks about ways to remain anonymous online as well. Although the article argues that eventually we will all be monitored regardless over the internet for what we search, send and do, it mentions Tor as one of the first proxy servers mentioned to keep you safe and anonymous.

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Reviews mention that the networks is slow moving since it is still developing, but over time it has gotten much faster as it gains popularity and support!

Protect your online identity

It wasn’t until I read a recent article by Da`nielle Nicole DeVoss  and James E. Porter called “Why Napster matters to writing: Filesharing as a new ethic of digital delivery” did I realize just how connected we all really are through the internet. In the article, the two talk all about file sharing and the way files are transmitted from one computer to another over the Internet. Something that we KNOW happens, but we often don’t realize the severity of it. With the ability to be connected like that to so many people (anyone really) from all over the world, its no wonder identity theft online has become an issue. It almost seems.. easy?

I Recently posted this on twitter using the hashtag #tfebt (tweeting from everywhere but twitter) and article with tips and reminders about protecting yourself from online identity theft:

The first thing I noticed about the article (which really is a small poster with information on it) was the weird/random comment about Canada and the increased identity theft and online shopping.  Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing..

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No but seriously..

I thought it was a strange bit of information to open with, however, the article gives good advice and pointers to help maintain your privacy and security while online. It talks about social media, passwords, email, and even wi-fi. All of these things we deal with on a daily basis and in fact have become a common everyday part in our now technological lives.

Email:

Think about it, what do we even have regular mail for anymore? Even the old school way of mailing in the payments for your bills is beginning to go out the window. We use email daily for multiple forms of communication. A lot of important information is given through email, especially when it comes to online shopping. We often receive shipping and receipt information through email which can contain some pretty hefty information we wouldn’t want anyone to get a hold of. As complicated as it may be, it’s important to make sure you create a complicated password for all of your information. This simple preventative step will go a long way in keeping your information safe.

Fishy Scammer Websites:

People are sneaky! You’ve seen the television show..

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Michael Welsh even mentions it in this YouTube video “An anthropological introduction to YouTube,” authenticity is hard to come by on the internet. People are constantly pretending to be someone their not, for whatever the reason. But really.. isn’t that the beauty of the internet? However, some people have more evil intentions then others. It’s important to remember that people create fake emails and create ways to get people to visit their scamming websites, which may look a lot like the websites we all know and love! Remember not to give your password away for any reason no matter what website asks for it.

Wifi:

This is something we often don’t think about. Well, at least I never thought about it.. I’m always on the search for someones free wifi! Especially if I’m out at a store or away from home. But open wifi is dangerous. Its numerous people functioning under the same connection who can get hold of your information. NO ONLINE SHOPPING IN PUBLIC.

Social Media:

It’s important to protect yourself on social media, especially sites such as facebook. You often see many of these sites, including yahoo, other email/search engine type sites, asking for phone numbers as a better way to “keep you connected”, or to “ensure your privacy.” Social media is exactly what it’s name suggests, social. Whether you think your considered private or not under the terms and conditions of these websites, it’s never a good idea to post personal information such as your phone number or address.

Let’s wrap it all up: THE CELL PHONE

honestly.. the smartphone, is a mini computer. Anything internet related that you can do on your computer, you can do on your cell phone. I personally even pay some of my bills online through my cell phone. I can access my bank accounts through an app on my cell phone. I’m fully logged in and ready to go on every social media website there is, right on my cell phone. I can even access every bit of email from my 4 email accounts, ALL ON MY PHONE. Many people can run their entire business all through their fully functioning smartphone. It only makes sense that you would put a passcode and lock on your smartphone. This is alarming:

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It’s important for us as avid internet users to be aware of all of these things. Especially the way technology and the internet is advancing more and more today. We all think it will never happen to us, however.. you never know until it DOES happens to you.

Who Would Have Thought..

The article by Bush titled “As We May Think” was a look into our future in 1945. It was interesting to hear some of the ways certain mechanisms/technologies we have today, were predicted back then, such as the calculator. A machine like the calculator is so readily available to us today, it’s often forgotten that really not that in reality not that long ago, it was non existent and slowly developed by getting faster and more efficient over time. I also found it very interesting that Bush compared the what we now know as the internet to an “artificial process of the human brain.”. His prediction was even more accurate as he went on to talk about how it would actually be an improvement due because we will be able to permanently store records. Also, as I was reading his article, I found it fascinating how complex and detailed he structure of the “memex” actually was realizing all that has improved and taken for granted today.

The beginning of Douglas Engelbart’s video “The Mother of all Demos” from 1968 reminded me a lot of a demonstration of the beginning of word processing and storing information. It was interesting to see the way he maneuvered the mouse and things on the screen, a way that is unfamiliar to users today. The image of the machine he was using looked as though it had two types of what we now consider “mouses.” Since there was no hi-lighting and right or left clicking involved, I assumed one was used to navigate on the screen and the other was used to give commands to the words on the screen. It is also funny to see such a thing being introduced at a major convention as a major step for technology and the computer when we think about how available and efficient the machine is today. Who would have thought this initial concept would have evolved into what we have today. It makes you consider the fact that in the future people will be thinking the same thoughts about the technology we find so fascinating today.

In Julian Dibbell’s article “A Rape In Cyberspace” was not only quite disturbing but scary as well. I feel this article brings up a privacy issue very different from ones you usually hear about today. This particular issue taking place in 1993 was probably one of the first and major issues coming out of the internet, which lead to security and privacy invasions of many types, a big one being finances and money. This particular article makes me question: Where do we draw the line? Are our actions on the internet (especially in this case) different because they aren’t the actual physical actions at all? This also links to Sherry Turkel’s article “Who Am We” about how the internet gives us the ability to portray ourselves in a variety of different ways versus the one and only real life portrayal.