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Protect Yourself Online [Page: 1 of 2] (TTID #294)

Author: eXtremeReviews.net   Views: 3,849 /  Created: March 23, 2004
* republished with permission from eXtremeReviews.net

Author: Michael Larabel
Editor: James Pardoe Updated By: Kevin of TACKtech Corp.


With most of our lives involving computers these days, Internet Security is becoming an increasing concern among many people. In this guide, we will be discussing some of the ways your personal and confidential information can be seen by anyone with an Internet connection, and how to secure this information from others.

Search Engines:

We all use search engines on a daily basis to find information on the internet, however some search engines may have gathered information, which you would not like anyone else to see.

You may not be aware, but with only a phone number, anyone can get directions to your home, find out your address, and your name if you live in the US . All they need to do is simply enter in a phone number (XXX)XXX-XXXX into Google, and then click search. Your name, telephone number, and address are immediately displayed with the option to get MapQuest directions to that address. By now, you may be stunned, if you are a parent and your child has their own telephone line or cellular phone, anyone they meet online or over the phone can now find directions to their home.

Luckily, there is a fix to remove your information from the Google PhoneBook. Simply click here and fill out the form. Google claims your personal information will then be removed from its systems in approximately 48 hours.

Google is not the only website where you can perform reverse look-ups; there is a whole slew of similar websites. Below are links to remove yourself from different websites that allow anyone to look up information on you.

AnyWho
Switchboard
WhitePages
US Search

There is also another way to find out how much information is about you on the Internet, you simply go to your favorite search engine and then enter your name in quotes, which is often referred to as ego searching. You may be quite surprised just how powerful search engines can be.

Firewalls:

Firewalls are a crucial element to a secure and reliable network. Firewalls control which ports are opened or closed to the internet. They allow certain programs access to these ports, resulting in un-authorized programs from not being able to run. If you are running Windows XP, you may have noticed a built in firewall, unfortunately, Microsoft did a poor job creating this firewall and it doesn't block outgoing ports. However, Microsoft has stated they plan on improving the XP firewall in the Windows XP Service Pack 2. If you have a router, you probably have a built-in hardware firewall, which is a good thing since generally hardware firewalls are better than the software alternatives. If you do not have a firewall, your ports will be open to hackers, which can then gain access to your personal data without too much difficulty. It is strongly recommended that you either download or buy yourself a firewall in order to protect yourself online.

Anti-Virus:

The severity of viruses has been increasing greatly and the chance of you receiving a virus is very high, millions of email accounts are bombarded with viruses every day, which cannot be detected if you don't have anti-virus software. They can cause serious damage to your files if not dealt with properly. When running your anti-virus software program, it is crucial that you select the auto-update feature so that new virus definitions are automatically downloaded regularly. I personally recommend Symantec's Norton but there are a whole slew of free ant-virus programs such as AVG and Kaspersky.

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Revision History:

11.23.2010 - Updated WhitePages and US Search links. - KG

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