Once personal information hits the public domain it’s nigh on impossible to discard it, even if it is removed from search engines. As individuals we must take responsibility for protecting our personal data. Below are a few tips on how to best protect your online privacy.
- Don’t inadvertently reveal personal information – If you web browser isn’t configured correctly you may be sharing your details without knowing it. By going through the “set-up”, “options” or “preferences” menus you may be able to use a pseudonym rather than your real information. That way you will only share data with sites of your choosing.
- Turn on cookies notices – Web sites store cookies on your computer, in many cases to make things easier for you on sites you visit regularly. Some cookies however, carry out data-mining and will track your movements online. Ensure your browser makes you aware if cookies are in evidence and decline them if you feel that it’s a site you don’t trust.
- Keep your email address clean – On most email accounts there are options to create alternate addresses that you can use on sites you’re unsure of. Protect your main address and use it only in areas and with people you’re sure of. If your alternate address attracts piles of spam you can then simply kill it off without any impact on your main account.
- Don’t offer your personal details easily – There are many people online who seem genuine on the face of it but can be quite different in reality. Keep hold of personal information until you’re absolutely sure of who you’re dealing with. A common “social engineering” form of industrial espionage is to befriend someone online just long enough to get them to reveal insider information.
- Be careful at work too – Unless you work in the IT department you’re unlikely to know exactly what level of protection your company has in place. You should also be careful discussing sensitive matters by email at work too. How do you know if anyone else has access to emails within the business?
- Beware sites offering prizes or rewards – Many sites try to reel you in by offering rewards or prizes, in order to gather your information. It’s unlikely the prizes actually exist, but many fall for the scam and end up revealing their personal data too.
- Don’t reply to spammers – You can usually spot spam emails quite easily but don’t fall for the temptation to click the unsubscribe link or reply to them in any way. Any form of reply simply highlights that the email address is in use and before long you’ll be inundated with unwanted correspondence.
- Be careful with payments – Whenever you use a credit card for a payment online you should ensure that the connection you’re using is encrypted. Generally secure connections begin with https rather than just http.
The tips detailed here represent just a few of the things you can do to secure your privacy online. It’s worth taking time to do more research yourself about other things you can do to stay safe on the internet. Remember, you wouldn’t reveal personal information immediately to caller at your door, so why should you be any less vigilant online?
If you need help with any of your processes regarding data and hardware RecycleIT4U can help.
Recycle IT 4 U offer a wide ranging servicing encompassing secure hardware and data disposal.
RecycleIT4U offer a fast, efficient and friendly service to help recycle your unwanted electrical goods with a simple automated collection system. To book a collection you can either use our online form or you can speak to us direct during our normal office hours. Our collection booking telephone number is 01952 580814.
We will collect redundant PCs, laptops, monitors, servers, network products, printers, EPOS, Scanners, UPS, cabling, AV equipment, projectors, telephones, mobiles and fax machines using our own vehicles at an agreed date and time.
An official WEEE disposal certificate will be issued, quoting serial number, asset tag and description of all the items collected.
Hazardous waste notes will be issued for redundant equipment such as monitors and batteries that contain hazardous materials.
We can also ensure secure data destruction. The security of unwanted data held on file by way of magnetic media, computer hard drives, backup tapes, CD’s or floppy drives is controlled by the Data Protection Act 1998. All data bearing devices are dealt with by Recycle IT 4U in one of two ways:-
- Physical shredding
- Electronic wiping of DATA (only applicable if approved by you the customer)
Data held on hard drives is removed or eradicated using approved software and hardware in accordance with internationally recognised standards.
We also pride ourselves in refurbishing, reusing and recycling for spares and repairs as much as possible, so equipment can have a second lease of life.
Any equipment not suitable for our refurbishment programme or spares, is separated and then sent in bulk to our Strategic Partner, the world’s largest waste management company for further recycling and separation into glass, metal and plastics and reintroduced into the manufacturing chain as raw materials.