The heavy use of technology in our society today creates many conveniences. Of course, technology cuts both ways. The same systems that make life easier for us can also create a lot of problems, including potential breaches of your family’s privacy. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect against unwanted snooping. In this information-based world, make sure you’re doing these four simple things to protect your family’s personal information.
1. Keep Personal Information Physically Well-Hidden
There’s lots of talk about cyber security these days, and with good reason. Be careful with your passwords, account numbers, and so forth, because there definitely are prying eyes out there that can get and use that information. With that said, don’t forget about old-fashioned security. Close the drapes or blinds in your home. Have car window tinting put on your vehicles so that identity thieves can’t see mail, checks, or credit cards that may be inside. Don’t make it easy for them!
2. Don’t Advertise Personal Details
Lots of families have those “Proud Parent of an Honors Student” stickers on the back window of a vehicle just a couple feet away from the family stick figure decals showing everyone’s name. That combination tells every passerby what your child’s name is and where he or she attends school–possibly just enough to give an abductor a foot in the door with your child. With that in mind, you should minimize the public visibility of who your family is and where they are.
3. Shred, Shred, Shred
We’re not quite a paperless society. There is still plenty of mail showing up in your box every day, much of it with sensitive information. Health records, credit card numbers, educational information, and much more are there for the taking if you simply throw those items in the trash. One bad dog gets into the bag on garbage day, and your information is literally blowing all over the neighborhood. Shred anything with account numbers or other personal data. If you aren’t sure if you need to shred, go ahead and do it. No harm done for a little extra protection.
4. Watch Social Media Settings
There are lots of vulnerabilities for families today, but a combination of low-tech and high-tech strategies can keep your privacy intact. These suggestions shouldn’t inspire paranoia, rather they are simple and practical ways to set up precautions. A little effort can go a long way. You can relax knowing that you are staying safe.
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