Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | October 16, 2007

Keeping Your Personal Info Private Online

Internet Security is a Big Issue these days. I don’t know of anyone off-hand who hasn’t had to cope with viruses, malware (even more bothersome, IMO!), or compromised personal info. On a smaller scale but somewhat of a nuisance anyway are spam and being added to others’ personal forwarding lists without permission.

What are some good ways to protect your personal info?

1. Keep your computer protected against viruses and malware, even if you use webmail that has automatic virus scanning. Investing in a good anti-virus program and firewall (if using a Windows machine on a high-speed connection) will save you a lot of trouble later.

2. Always read the Privacy and Opt-In policies for sites you register on. If you’re left with any doubts as to the security of your personal info, cancel. It’s helpful to use separate, hard-to-guess passwords for different sites.

3. When using sites that involve visible profiles, you might want to use a separate  address from your personal/business  email addresses. Another option: if using HTML in your profile is permissible, you can format your contact email address so that a certain subject line is inserted into the email. Example (must be typed in without the  underscores I’ve added):

<a  href =”mailto:youremail@youremail.com?Subject=Your Subject Line of Choice”>Email Me</a>

Another old trick I’ve learned from seasoned newsgroup users is to add your email address using a spam block. Add your email address, but with something added to it, like this: youremail@NOSPAMyouremail.com This allows other users who want to contact you to do so as long as they type in the address without the spam block. Spambots and other harvesters won’t be able to use your address this way.

4. The spamblock trick above can also be used in your email’s Reply To line, especially on high-volume email lists.

These are just a few helpful tips 🙂


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