Sarah wanted to find love online. They found each other on craigslist, he seemed really interesting and they seemed to click so they arranged to meet up. What she didn’t know is that he is a predator and now she’s dead. Chloe was an avid texter and social media addict. She posted her every move, meal and endeavours. He stalked her on facebook. Read her every status and studied her lifestyle until one day he caught her did all the nasty stuff he had been planning from the start.
These are storylines in most crime T.V shows. They show the dangers of making your life too public and opening up to complete strangers. It’s scary just thinking of it happening to me. Having a personal blog is already publicizing my life in way but I still try to keep certain things private. So how do I manage my online privacy?
Limited Facebook friends
I only accept friend requests from people that I have met, talked to or at least had more than one conversation with. If I have never met you or heard about you from a friend then I’m not accepting your request. This has limited my friend list but it is a practice I stick to.
I try to restrict the information I put in my status updates. I don’t always succeed but I try not to put my current location especially when I’m alone. I never put my home address or my work address. I try not to mention any of my family by name unless they permit it.
I try not to put up a lot of selfies. Those have the power to irritate someone enough to kill you. I kid. But seriously, I think the rate at which selfies are being posted by people is quite disturbing. And to think that some guys have no idea how unflattering selfies make them appear is just sad.
Cyber crime is real and hackers exist. But for most of us the only thing we suffer from them is when our emails are used to send nonsense messages or when we receive spam. For others, money has been taken, identities stolen or worse. So I change my passwords quite often and I make them as strong as possible. I never use obvious things like 1234, my birthday (which is next month so start preparing your presents) or my middle name. I read somewhere that one of the most common password used was the word password itself.
Despite all this, I think that anyone who is hell bent on getting information will be able to access it no matter what I do. The only way to stay completely private is to stay completely offline. But in this day it’s quite difficult if not impossible to do that. So I cross my fingers and hope no one decides to pick me out and stalk me.
What do you do to ensure your online privacy? How do you keep yourself safe on the internet? I’d like to hear from you.