Your Privacy And Internet Service Providers

Many believe that when they surf the internet, that any information they submit, including comments on web sites, is simply sent into the void and then disappears after a time. But there are many threats to be aware of when going online, even with today’s technological and security advances. Although most internet service providers employ a number of excellent security tools to help protect their customers, you can still be at risk.

Take, for example, legislation that is currently moving through congress will require all internet companies to keep your data for one year. Bill HR1981 requires that all data be collected from all internet users, whether they have a shady past or not.

The bill’s goal is to have information on hand in the event that an internet user is charged with a crime. Having access to additional data may offer law enforcement personnel the opportunity to expedite court proceedings and process more cases over a period of time.

Bill HR1981 is currently being disputed by many individuals and organizations, so the possibility of it becoming law is, as yet, unclear. But there is the chance that government individuals could be watching your online actions. And if they can, who else could be monitoring what you do online?

Some people pay for the privilege of keeping their data secure. Online data tracking services offer security features like computer scans, either done by the company itself via software customers install, or a web site that customers can visit to complete their own scans.

Some data tracking services have been in the news recently for what are thought to be questionable data collecting methods. One such company is currently in proceedings over whether its practice of collecting data from customers and selling it to businesses is ethical.

A good idea when going online and downloading files or filling out registration forms is to first find out how a company plans to use the data it collects from you.  Checking out their privacy policy is a good idea for those wishing to look deeper may investigate where your information goes once it’s collected.

Another way to prevent unwanted breaches of security on your computer is to keep as many of your personal details as private as you can. For example, just because a social media site gives you the opportunity to type in your birth date or place of employment, doesn’t mean you have to provide it.

Having a good firewall coupled with reliable antivirus software is another way to protect your information from being seen by unwanted eyes. But this software can only work to its maximum potential if it’s updated on a regular basis and scans occur on schedule.

Scanning web sites for hoax information can be another good way to protect yourself. There are a handful of reliable sites which display the latest email and web site hoaxes. Often, pasting the contents of a suspicious email you receive into your favorite search engine will display these hoax sites, and often take you right to the section for suspicious emails.

Should you get a computer virus, fear not: there are many discussion forums and other online resources which contain step-by-step instructions on how to eliminate the virus from your system. And these resources are largely free.

And if you’re wondering, “How do internet service providers in my area protect me?” most ISPs will make this information available in a special section of their web sites. A little bit of knowledge can go far in ensuring that your entire family can use the internet safely. And it doesn’t have to cost much more than your time.


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