Did you know that every click on the internet, from websites to social networks, leaves personal information? Do you know if you can delete them and how?
Although the internet is a medium without which it is almost impossible to work today, on which we find important information, have fun and communicate with others, we often forget about the various dangers from which we must protect ourselves. But let’s go in order.
Do you know what the internet really is and how the internet works?
The Internet is a system that allows different devices to communicate with each other, or exchange data. There are two types of devices: server (computers on which there is data, which provide services to other devices such as Internet servers, e-mail servers, etc.) and client (those devices that connect to that network of computers and through which we read data). In order for all these devices to understand each other, there are also different protocols through which certain data travels and a common programming “language” through which devices recognize data.
We connect to the Internet through an ISP (Internet server), first to its network, and then to a global Internet network. Each device that connects to the Internet has its own unique name, or IP address, a kind of ID card. The IP address changes depending on the network through which you access the Internet (network at work, at home, in the library, etc.). However, it is through the IP address that certain personal information can be found out, such as the city from which you connect to the Internet, the postal code and the Internet server through which you connected.
Who sees our IP address?
The Internet server sees at all times who it is, from which device and when it accessed the Internet, even which website. He is obliged to submit this information to the police or other legal authorities upon request.
Owners of websites / various services / games and similar media that we access also have access to our IP addresses. However, they most often use them only as statistics on the general traffic on their pages.
What happens to the data we publish on the internet and what is that data?
Apart from the inevitable IP address, everything you post on social networks, photos that you have set as profile photos on various online accounts or any content (image, video, text) that you have ever posted anywhere remains on the Internet. This content remains recorded on Internet servers even if you have deleted it in the meantime.
This is a very important fact that is often forgotten: everything you post on the internet stays on the internet! Even if you accidentally post something and delete it immediately, it stays remembered on some server and stays there forever. That’s why you have to be careful what you post.
How to protect personal information when you are online?
1. Use complex passwords
Do not allow others to see your access data. To access any of your devices and online media accounts – use as complex passwords as possible to protect your data. This is especially important for email and social media. Don’t use a date of birth or a simple and frequent password like 1234. Rather, use a long combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and characters. Also, do not use the same password for all existing accounts. Be sure to remember that we do not leave passwords on pieces of paper in a visible place, such as a computer or on a desk in the office.
2. Take care of your devices
Do not leave your devices unattended! Does your mobile phone automatically connect to social networks, e-mail services and the like? Very often we have such an option included because it makes our daily routine easier. However, this is why be careful not to leave your device unattended. Therefore, when you are in the office and going to lunch or a meeting, lock the workstation, when you are in a cafe, take care of your mobile phone and be sure to use a complex password on it.
3. Be careful what you post
As we’ve already mentioned, anything you wouldn’t want everyone to see, even when you delete it, don’t post it online. Do not publish your own or other people’s personal data, try to avoid writing the exact date and place of birth, do not publish photos of personal documents, etc. Avoid posting pictures or videos of children and minors and addresses where you live or stay.
Do not post photos / videos of the interior of the rooms in which you live. Avoid sharing information about your vacation or time when you will not be home. When you’re on social media, be careful who you connect with in “friendships” and use the option to restrict the display of content you view or post. The content thus becomes visible only to your friends, rather than to all users of that social network or the Internet.
4. Be careful what you open
Before you click on an internet link, no matter who sent it to you, think twice! The various computer viruses are programmed so that it only takes one click to download them to the device you are using to infect it. Computer viruses can be programs that allow unhindered access to all the data you have on your device, even if a third party enters your Internet accounts and changes your password. Also watch out for messages in which anyone asks you to send them a bank pin, password, or other sensitive personal information.
5. Avoid public computers
Use public computers only to search for information and without connecting to any of the existing Internet accounts (e-mail, social networks, banking services, etc.). Public computers are available to everyone, so all the data on them is available to everyone: from search history to the information needed to log in to Internet accounts.