Keep Your Privacy on the Internet

By Komando, Kim | Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK), October 14, 2012 | Go to article overview

Keep Your Privacy on the Internet


Komando, Kim, Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK)


When you surf the Internet, everyone is watching.

Tracking companies, search engines and social networks try to learn your habits for advertising purposes.

On the other side of the law, there are scammers and hackers waiting to pounce on any opportunity to steal your identity and your money.

Many people believe there's nothing they can do to prevent such snooping, but it's not as hard as you may think to browse anonymously and preserve your privacy.

Hackers use viruses to exploit your computer and steal personal information. Your first line of defense is to always keep a clean machine and make sure your security software is up to date.

When you go online, your ISP gives your computer a unique Internet protocol address. Individual computers and Web servers need these addresses to exchange data.

An IP address doesn't identify you personally, but it reveals which ISP you use and your general geographic location. That's how Google brings up a list and a map of the nearest Whole Foods and Walmarts when all you searched for was "grocery stores."

Your ISP records your IP address and the IP addresses of the sites you visit. It could know your entire Web history!

Thankfully, there are ways you can disguise your IP address. A Web-based proxy server allows you to enter the address of a site you want to visit. The proxy service requests the website and displays it for you.

The site you visit can't see or track you. And your ISP doesn't know where you've gone, either.

Web-based proxies work entirely through your browser. There's no need to download software or reconfigure settings. …

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