Internet today is a place where you can find information on any topic from anywhere in the world. Internet is also fast becoming the most preferred medium for education and entertainment – recent reports suggest Internet is fast replacing television.

 

Surfing on the internet can be both fun as well as informative. But watch out, not everything on the internet is safe and fun. Internet can be a dangerous place if you do not take necessary precautions. There is a growing trend of identity theft on the internet, Is your personal information safe? What steps you can take to validate a website before you submit your personal information? Let’s examine simple steps you can take to protect your identity online.

 

First thing you should do before you submit your personal information on any website is to look for their privacy policy, make sure they are committed to protect sensitive information. Look for a contact address and telephone number on the website – serious businesses always encourage you to contact them and have no reason to be secretive of their existence. Be wary of websites with no privacy policy or contact information.

 

One of the most popular ways to validate a business online is through the use of security certificates.

 

A security certificate is a statement that verifies the authenticity of a person or a business online. A private key is provided to owner of certificate using which he will create digital signatures – which basically works as a digital identity card. So when you visit any secure page (pages with https) digital ID card is sent to your computer. Security certificates encrypt your information and only the owner of the certificate is able to decrypt it through the unique private key provided to him by the security certificate. Therefore your personal information cannot be tampered.

 

There are two types of security certificate – personal security certificate and Web site security certificate. Personal security certificate authenticates you as what you say you are. This information is used when you send personal information via the Internet to a Web site that requires a certificate verifying your identity.

 

A web site security certificate authenticates web sites as genuine and secure. It also ensures no other web site can assume the identity of this particular web site. Ensure web site security certificate exists and is valid before you submit any personal information on the Internet. When you download software look for a certificate to ensure it is coming from a reliable source.

 

How do I keep those prying eyes out my computer?

 

List of things you can do to ensure your privacy is protect online.

 

  • Make sure your turn Windows Firewall ON

 

  • Install Anti-Virus software

 

  • Validate Internet Web sites

 

  • Do not open email messages from unidentified addresses

 

  • Never post your email or contact information online or on chat rooms

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