Internet Privacy - Why You Should Hide Your Identity

Who is Watching YOU on the Internet

Internet Identity

Do you post your personal information and photos on websites, a blog, Facebook or other social networking sites? If you do you could be setting yourself up to be harassed, stalked, discriminated against or to have your identity stolen. I'm always amazed at how much personal information people put about themselves on the Internet. Some people even post when and where they will be at a certain time or day. If you had a stalker, they would know exactly where to find you. If you had a nosey employer or ex-spouse, they would know exactly what you are doing. What amazes me even more is that people post photos of their children on the Internet. Posting a photo of your child in a swimsuit playing in a pool is a pedophiles dream. If you also have your state and city posted on the same site you post photos of your children, you could be putting your child in danger. Read more of the reasons why you shouldn't post your identity on the Internet. 

Employers Are Watching

Internet Identity

Current Employers:

Are you posting personal photos and personal information on the Internet? Is so, keep in mind that your employer may be viewing it. I know someone who called her employer to say she was not coming to work because she was sick. The problem was that she wasn't sick and just wanted to go skiing for the day. She posted photos of herself skiing and was fired when her employer came upon her skiing photos. 

Potential Employers:

Are you currently looking for a job? If so, keep in mind that potential employers can, and do, check the Internet looking for information about you. If you have photos on your Facebook that you don't want a potential employer to see, that them down or change your profile settings to private before you apply for the job.

Protect Your Children

Why you should keep the identity of your children private

Be cautious with your internet identity

Pedophiles can, and do, search the internet looking for photos of children. Many of these photos can be downloaded too. Do you want your child's photos in the hands of a pedophile? Some people post way too much information about their family on social networking sites, such as Facebook. Some people even list the state in city they live in. If you are one of them, keep in mind that a pedophile can easily find your child. Don't post photos with captions such as, "Emma in her school play at Warner Elementary." Avoid posts that give away too much information. Don't post information like this, "Taking the kids skating at Miami Skate Park today."

Parents should also monitor what their children are posting on the Internet. You can help keep your children safe by knowing who they are talking to and what personal information they are posting on the Internet.

Password Keepers

To help protect your Internet identity, it is recommended that you use different passwords for different sites, and that you change your passwords often. Many people will use the same username and password because it's easier to remember. However, it is not safe when you do that. These password keepers make it easy to keep track of all your passwords because they provide a single centralized location in which to store all your online account login information. They are great for organizing information about your service provider, network settings, email information and passwords. 

Internet Password Organizer: Emerald
Innovention Lab
Amazon.com: $7.55

More Reasons to Hide Your Identity on the Internet

Internet Identity
  • Witness Protection Program/Restraining Orders - If you are in a witness protection program or have a restraining order against someone, you should avoid social networking sites altogether. You can easily be found. 
  • Custody Battles - If you are in a bitter child custody battle, keep in mind that your ex-spouse might try use the information and photos you post on the internet against you in court. 
  • Political and Religious Views - Political and religious views are two things that people take very personally. If you post your political and/or religious views on the Internet you could be setting yourself up for harassment from people who don't agree with your views.
  • Identity Theft - Don't give identity thieves a chance to steal your identity. The more information you post on the internet, the more there is for thieves to steal. Criminals are always searching the Internet looking for their next victim. 

Identity Theft for Dummies

If you have a name, a date of birth, and a Social Security number, you're a potential victim of identity theft. The Identity Theft for Dummies book helps you to recognize your risk and defend against identity thieves. This book explains what identity theft is, how it happens, how to protect your personal information, and how to recognize if you have become a victim.  

Identity Theft For Dummies
Michael J. Arata Jr.
Amazon.com: $15.39

Poll

How much information do you post about yourself on the Internet?

How To Protect Your Internet Identity

What you should and shouldn't do if you belong to social networking sites.

  • Don't post personal photos.
  • Don't state your full name, use a nickname or alias.
  • Don't list the city and state you live in.
  • Don't fill out every section of your profile.
  • Change your passwords often and don't use the same password for all your Internet accounts.
  • Don't download apps that you're not familiar with because you could be downloading spyware without even knowing it.
  • Use strong security settings or change your settings to private.
  • Don't accept requests from people you don't know. Your next "friend" may be looking for a potential victim.

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Comments

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60 leaves
1272 forum posts
Rochelle on said:
This article has been loved by a Zubassador. You make some very good points. I need to figure out how to separate any personal information from my online identity.
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9 leaves
229 forum posts
Paz on said:
Strange things are happening today, I left a comment this morning, now it has disappeared!! I will try again,
Good advice.
I use an alias when using social networking sites and I make sure that any personal information is kept private.
If your children have a Facebook account it is wise to have their settings restricted to only family and close friends.
I would suggest that parents do this with their settings when posting pictures of their children on Facebook.
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16 leaves
65 forum posts
Great advice here. I'm often amazed at how willing people are to share every detail of their lives online.
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54 leaves
310 forum posts
beckyf on said:
Excellent article. I can't believe some of the stuff I've seen posted on the Internet, on Facebook especially.

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