A Basic Guide to Safe Surfing on the Internet


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Company names mentioned herein are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners and are for educational purposes only.
Compiled and designed by Mark Fullbright, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist™ (CITRMS) as a free service for consumers to protect themselves online and reduce their exposure to identity theft. Stay Safe, Stay Secure

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A Basic Guide to Safe Surfing on the Internet

  1. 1. A BasicGuide toSafe Surfing on the Internet How to surf the internet safely and avoid the pitfalls and traps of Data Brokers and IdentityThieves Updated 04/11/2014
  2. 2. Advocate Tips  Your personal information is a commodity to Data Brokers who collect , manage and sell your information. Protect it!  Before you try any suggestions in the following slides. Be sure to back up your computer and set your System Restore. Use what fits your needs. Don’t add everything.  If you find a program that you like, use the free trial version before purchasing. Most companies will not provide refunds.  Check the internet for online reviews from reputable companies. Be a smart shopper  Use pseudonyms on the web for non- important web activity. Be safe online!
  3. 3. Google Voice  This is one of the best ‘unknown’ tools available free of charge.  Use it as a alternate phone orVoice Mail phone number when you don’t want to disclose your cell or home number.  Many other GoogleVoice services—such as voicemail, free text messaging, call history, conference calling, call screening, blocking of unwanted calls, and voice transcription to text of voicemail messages—are also available to users resident in the US.  GoogleVoice
  4. 4. Abbreviate  If you need to user your real name, change it up.  Use abbreviations instead of your full name, example: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt would be ‘J Schmidt’ or ‘j_schmidt’.  Using abbreviations makes it difficult to determine your gender or locate you in public records.  The less about the ‘real’ you the better when surfing the internet.  Use variations of your name :  Jon instead of John  Marc instead of Mark  Jan instead of Janet
  5. 5. Social Media  Create multiple Social Media Accounts using different email addresses.  Stay anonymous while surfing online.  Use real information for business or financial accounts, family. Everything else pseudonyms.  Limit how much of your real ‘you’ is provided online. If you use your real name, secure that site!  Keep work and socializing websites separate.  Match them up. Example:  Facebook +Twitter+ Email (pseudo name)  Tumble + Pinterest + Email (pseudo name)  LinkedIn +Twitter + Email (real name)  Pandora +Yelp + Craigslist + Email (pseudo name)  Financial Institution + Credit Card + Email (real name)
  6. 6. Caricatures  Companies like Facebook use real pictures of members to sell to marketing companies for use with products and advertisements.  Using a caricature stops your real image from being used without your consent.  Using your pet is a good idea, using your child is not.Again, it can be used for advertising.  Look for free Caricatures programs on the internet.
  7. 7. VPN  AVirtual Private Network (VPN) extends a private network across the Internet.  It secures your computer's internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you're sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes.  VPNs allow individuals to spoof their physical location—the user's actual IP address is replaced byVPN provider—allowing them to bypass content filters.  Use Public or HotelWi-Fi in Confidence  Download and Upload P2P Files in Privacy  CloakYourVOIP PhoneCalls  Use Search EnginesWithout HavingYour Searches Logged
  8. 8. OptOut  The term opt-out refers to several methods by which individuals can avoid receiving unsolicited product or service information.  This ability is usually associated with direct marketing campaigns such as telemarketing or e-mail marketing.  Whenever the option is available, do it.  If you are creating an online identity, you don’t want to create a new one because spam and e- marketing is flooding your account.
  9. 9. Anti- Malware /Spyware/ Firewall  Malware is short for “malicious software." It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent.  These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity.  Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.  It is imperative you have some type of protection in addition to your computers installed program.
  10. 10. Anti- Malware /Spyware/ Firewall Malwarebytes Microsoft Essentials AVG CCleaner Windows Firewall MacOS X Firewall
  11. 11. Encryption  Encryption is the last and strongest line of defense against the myriad attacks your computer experiences every day.  Spam filters, Firewalls, Privacy Settings, Passwords andAnti-virus programs all offer defensive measures against broad based attacks, but none of these offer any defense against targeted data theft.
  12. 12. Encryption Kruptos 2 Professional TrueCrypt
  13. 13. Secure Browser  Protect your connection, secure URLs begin with https:// instead of http://.  HTTP stands for HypertextTransfer Protocol  HTTPS stands for HypertextTransfer Protocol Secure  Only download files or software from sites that have been rated/verified by trusted sources.  Keep your Browser settings updated.  Use anonymous privacy setting, if available.  A good secure Browser encrypts your passwords or your phone number or anything personal you enter online.
  14. 14. Secure Browser Mozilla Firefox Internet Explorer GoogleChrome Opera Safari
  15. 15. Secure WebSearch Engines  In general,Web search engines work by sending out a software system or spider to collect as many documents as possible.  Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded.  Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose - then they store that information in a giant database.  This information is a ‘Gold Mine’ for marketers, data broker and identity thieves.  Use Search Engines that contain non-tracking features
  16. 16. Secure WebSearch Engines  IXQuick  DuckDuckGo  Ask.com  Blekko  Startpage
  17. 17. Back(it)Up  Backing up is simply making an electronic copy of files and storing that copy in a safe place.  If you back up your files regularly, you can retrieve some, if not all, of your information if something happens to the originals on your computer.  Use either external hard disk, CDs, DVDs, or other storage medium for your backup copies.  Upload data to an Internet-based file storage service (cloud).  Do not store your backup on your computer!
  18. 18. Back(it)Up Financial Information Digital photos Digital music Programs downloaded from theWeb Important email messages Email address book Operating System  Cloudme  Dropbox  Google Drive  iCloud
  19. 19. Passwords  Never use the same password for all accounts.  Use different passwords and add something about the site to separate it from the others. Facebook, use fcbk!101010 etc.  It may be easier to remember if you use Passphrases.  Exchange letters for characters, example: identity (!d@nT!Ty).  Use: !=i, @=a,$=s etc.  Don’t forget to underscore_  Have a few extra ready as backup.You never know when you’ll need to replace one. Be prepared!
  20. 20. Protect Your Identity  Do not give out your full name, address, or phone number to anyone online that you don't trust or know in person.  Pseudonymity: the use of a pseudonym  Unless it’s a business relationship, financial or an important account.Go Pseudo!  Anonymity: a person whose name is unknown or withheld  Some websites will use address verification tools to verify your identity. Unless you need to use your real name. Skip it!  Check your social media privacy settings  Use strong Security Questions, if required.
  21. 21. Wi-Fi  Using a public wireless network?Turn off file sharing and network discovery.  UseWPA (WPA-Personal) orWPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2).  Don’t use WEP, it’s weak.  Avoid Automatically Connecting toWi-Fi Hotspots.  Observation ofTCP flags to uncover various types of network scans.  UseTwo-Factor Authentication  Use Encryption !  Avoid piggybacking.  Change your Network’s SSID name. Don’t keep the default name.
  22. 22. Email Accounts  A good rule is to have multiple email accounts:  One for friends  One for websites that require email addresses  One for your job, personal clients, bank correspondence, etc.  Having a backup email service is a great idea. Have it ready but not used until needed.
  23. 23. Email Accounts  Gmail  Inbox  Live  AOL  Mail.com  Hushmail  GMX  Yahoo
  24. 24. Resources  Gizmo'sTechTips  Download Security Center  Get Safe Online  OnGuard Online
  25. 25. Disclosure  Company names mentioned herein are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners and are for educational purposes only. This document is not an endorsement of any of the products mentioned. It is suggested that consumers conduct their own due diligence before uploading or purchasing any products mentioned. I have not received any payment or compensation for mentioning any products in this document. I do not imply one product is better than another or by not mentioning a certain product imply it is substandard.
  26. 26. Data Brokers in the News  The Data Brokers: Selling your personal information
  27. 27. CompiledanddesignedbyMarkFullbright,CertifiedIdentity TheftRiskManagementSpecialist™(CITRMS)asafreeservice forconsumerstoprotectthemselvesonlineandreducetheir exposuretoidentitytheftandfromonlinewebsitesthatgather andsell personalinformation. StaySafe,StaySecure