Data Privacy

There is a lot of talk about data privacy and protecting yourself online. It is a very important subject, but also a little difficult to understand with all the technical talk that is out there. On top of this, many of you (my readers) also like to enter giveaways which changes things a bit.

For those of you just doing your own thing, you can secure things a bit more if you like. For those who like to do giveaways, part of that ‘something for nothing’ is actually releasing some of that privacy when online in order to participate in the promotions sometimes. For all of us, some increased ease of use and functions go along with being a little loser with your privacy also. There is no right or wrong answer in which settings you opt for, it is on a case by case basis.

One big step you can take is to keep your browser up to date. Regardless of which browser you use (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) when you keep the updates going it allows the fixes for known security issues and other tools to be installed for you. The browser I primarily use is IE9 (yes, you heard me) and for the occasions when I have trouble viewing a site with that I use Chrome. I think everyone needs at least two browsers installed. You can see just be looking at the differences between IE7, IE8, and IE9 how many changes have been made.

If you are also using IE9 make sure you check out the Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) where you can “add” yourself to help keep yourself from being tracked. The gist of this is though that for those TPLs you “add” while in IE9, your browser will let sites you visit know to not track you based on the criteria stated. This is one of those things that goes on in the background and you really do not have to actively worry about it on a day to day basis.

Internet Explorer also offers InPrivate Browsing. This will help prevent your browsing history, temporary internet files, for data, cookies, and user names and passwords from being saved by your browser. This is a good practice if you are using shared public wifi and must check accounts from those unsecured wireless sources.

For those of you who are still of the belief that Internet Explorer is just too risky, there really have been significant changes to IE over the years as well as Microsoft as a whole. I suggest reading Microsoft security – you’ve come a long way, baby on c|net and Internet Explorer 9 Takes the Browser Security Crown on Forbes.

DISCLOSURE: I am currently a member of the Windows Champions program and receive various benefits from Microsoft as a part of that. Opinions about the products and services are always my own. I am truly a long-time fan of Microsoft and their products.