With the increasing amount of personal data that is being collected and shared online, many of us have become concerned about our privacy. From unscrupulous advertisers to hackers looking to steal our personal information, there are many threats that we need to protect ourselves from. The good news is that there are many easy and painless ways to safeguard our privacy. In this article, we will be discussing 13 ways to protect your privacy, as suggested by the ICWT: In Corruption We Trust blog.
1. Don’t Use Your Middle Initial
Did you know that using your middle initial can make it easier for people to find your personal information online? According to the ICWT blog, using your middle initial can make it easier to locate your name and address in public records or on social media. However, if you don’t use your middle initial, it can be much more difficult for people to track down your personal information. So, if you want to protect your privacy, consider ditching your middle initial.
2. Get a Non-Published Telephone Number
Another way to protect your privacy is to get a non-published telephone number. This means that your phone number will not be listed in the phone book or on any directories online. While this may not prevent determined individuals from finding your phone number, it can certainly make it more difficult for them to do so.
3. Get a P.O. Box and Use It
If you are concerned about giving out your home address to companies or individuals, consider getting a P.O. Box instead. This can help to keep your home address private and prevent people from showing up uninvited. Additionally, if you move frequently, having a P.O. Box can be a great way to avoid having to update your address with everyone you know.
4. Print Only Your Name and Address on Checks
Believe it or not, some people still use checks to pay for things. If you are one of them, make sure that you only print your name and address on the check. Avoid using your phone number, social security number or any other personal information that could be used to locate your identity.
5. Disable the RFID Chip in Your Passport
If you have a passport, you may not be aware that it contains an RFID chip that can be read from a distance. While this can be convenient for border crossings, it can also be a security risk. By disabling the RFID chip in your passport, you can prevent anyone from reading your personal information without your knowledge.
6. Buy Your Stamps and Mail Your Packages at the Counter
If you buy stamps and mail your packages online or at a self-service kiosk, your personal information may be stored in a database. By buying your stamps and mailing your packages at the counter, you can avoid having your personal information stored in this way.
7. Use Prepaid Calling Cards
Using prepaid calling cards is another way to protect your privacy. By using a prepaid calling card, you can avoid having your phone number or other personal information associated with your phone calls.
8. Avoid Filing Change of Address Orders with USPS
If you move, it may be tempting to file a change of address order with the United States Postal Service. However, this can be a security risk, as your new address will be added to a public database. If you want to keep your new address private, it may be better to inform your contacts directly.
9. Safeguard Personal Information Online
When it comes to protecting your privacy online, there are many things you can do. For example, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to secure your accounts, and limit the amount of personal information you share on social media.
10. Call the OneCall OptOut Number
The OneCall OptOut number is a service provided by the Direct Marketing Association that allows you to opt-out of receiving telemarketing calls from its members. By calling this number, you can reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive and help protect your privacy.
11. Use Private Phone to Protect Privacy in Online Auctions
If you buy and sell items on online auction sites, such as eBay, consider using a private phone number instead of your personal phone number. This can help to keep your personal information private and prevent unwanted phone calls.
12. OptOut of the Databases of Many Online Data Vendors
Finally, if you want to protect your privacy online, consider opting-out of the databases of many online data vendors. There are many services that allow you to opt-out of these databases, which can reduce the amount of personal information that is shared online.
Protecting your privacy is important in today’s world where personal data is being collected and shared more than ever before. By following the 13 ways discussed in this article, you can help to safeguard your personal information and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. While none of these measures can guarantee complete privacy, they can certainly make it more difficult for people to find and use your personal information for nefarious purposes.