Protecting Your Privacy Online.
How safe is your Privacy online? Use a Firewall:
A firewall is meant to allow or deny network transmissions based upon a set of rules and is used for network protection to prevent unauthorized access. While it permits legitimate communication to pass, it blocks suspicious or unauthorized sources from accessing your network, hence your personal information. Normally, offices use hardware firewalls such as Pixs and/or a software firewall such as ISA (Internet Service Acceleration Server). Home users can easily benefit from the built-in Windows firewall or get one from a repository of their operating system provider (e.g. Ubuntu users can use the Ubuntu Software Center to find and install a firewall). A firewall is important in the Internet world because it serves to prevent one computer from compromising another computer. Currently there are 2 types of firewalls used:
- Software Firewall: A software firewall is a computer program running on a computer which performs it’s duties on that computer. They are just bits of code on a computer.
- Hardware Firewall: It is a physical piece of equipment designed to do firewall duties. A hardware firewall may actually be another computer or a dedicated piece of equipment which only serve as a firewall.
Firewalls keep out malevolent hackers and people who intend to do damage to and take over other peoples’ servers. Firewalls really serve no other purpose. Firewalls seek to limit the access to a server or computer and let in only the people who need to be there.
Whenever a packet of information triggers one of the filters, the firewall prevents it from passing through in the attempt to prevent damage. Of course, firewalls sometimes block wanted traffic, and through a continual process of refinement, the filters can be customized to improve their efficiency.
Always remember to keep your private information to yourself. It is easy to give away too much personal information online without really meaning to. Sometimes this can help online criminals and identity thieves but, on a more everyday level, you wouldn’t give personal information to strangers in the street, so why do it online? Here are some tips for protecting your anonymity online:
- Think twice about disclosing any personal information.
- Avoid using your real name online.
- Set clear guidelines for children about when and how they can show information (see Talk to your kids about online safety).
- Be especially cautious of ‘fast friends’ who you have just met online but who ask you to show personal information or want to meet you offline.
- Be wary of disclosing personal information on a work or personal web, site.
- Use a disposable, anonymous email account for websites that demand an email address to register. There are lots of sites that offer free email addresses. If you need to enter an email address but won’t get any email from the website (sometimes sites need you to check incoming email for login details), you can use “firstname.lastname@example.org” as an address. This is a protected email address that will never reach a real company or user.
- Always read Privacy policies when it applies to you.
Please protect yourself be safe online.