Maintaining Your Privacy on the Internet
By Marc Lafitte
Without a doubt, the Internet is the most versatile and indispensable
tool of our modern times. With a click of your mouse, a world
of services and information instantly becomes available to you.
But, did you realize that every time you surf, bank or shop online,
you could be leaving a trail of personal information behind you?
Obviously, you would not knowingly share your personal or financial
information with just anyone. But everyone from online retailers
to the people who share your computer can access all kinds of
information about your Internet usage, including what sites you
visit and what purchases you make, as well as personal information
you leave behind, like your Social Security or credit card number.
Many people are now reluctant to give personal information to
legitimate companies such as retailers, financial institutions,
and travel agencies to obtain your information online, due to
the fact that important privacy safeguards are not always in place
on their sites. So, how do you surf, bank or shop online and still
keep your private information private? We have put together a
common sense list of guidelines to help you navigate safely (and
privately) through your Internet experience.
Tip #1: Ask your Internet Service
Provider if they have a "no-share" policy. TOTAL/1 has "no-share"
agreements with its ISP carriers, which ensure that your information
will not be given out to third party vendors or retailers. This
step makes it very difficult for unauthorized individuals to obtain
your personal or financial information.
Tip #2: Make sure your ISP has
a firewall program installed. TOTAL/1 uses the Checkpoint Firewall-1
product, which ensures that no one will be able to "hack" into
your computer and access your private information.
Tip #3: If you share a computer
with others, remember to close out of all transaction screens
and exit your Internet program at the end of your session. Combined
with the proper Internet option settings, this will clear your
personal information from any screens you opened during your session.
Tip #4: Visit www.junkbusters.com
for programs that block "cookie-dropping" banner ads. Companies
the ads you respond to and note the purchases you make. These
companies then use the information to build a user profile on
you for their own use.
Tip #5: Set your “Accept Cookies”
option to “No”. This will give you the opportunity to check a
box that prevents the company from gathering information about
you and your online habits. Take advantage of this opportunity
and check it! For more tips and information about online privacy,
contact your TOTAL/1 Customer Service Representative.
Back To Top