Effectively Erasing Files

Before selling or discarding an old computer, or throwing away a CD or DVD, you naturally make sure that you've copied all of the files you need. You've probably also attempted to delete your personal files so that other people aren't able to access them. However, unless you have taken the proper steps to make sure the hard drive, CD, or DVD is erased, people may still be able to resurrect those files.

How Anonymous Are You?

You may think that you are anonymous as you browse websites, but pieces of information about you are always left behind. You can reduce the amount of information revealed about you by visiting legitimate sites, checking privacy policies, and minimizing the amount of personal information you provide.

What information is collected?

When you visit a website, a certain amount of information is automatically sent to the site. This information may include the following:

Understanding Encryption

Encrypting data is a good way to protect sensitive information. It ensures that the data can only be read by the person who is authorized to have access to it.

What is encryption?

In very basic terms, encryption is a way to send a message in code. The only person who can decode the message is the person with the correct key; to anyone else, the message looks like a random series of letters, numbers, and characters.

Protecting Your Privacy

Before submitting your email address or other personal information online, you need to be sure that the privacy of that information will be protected. To protect your identity and prevent an attacker from easily accessing additional information about you, be cautious about providing your birth date, Social Security number, or other personal information online.

Choosing and Protecting Passwords

Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only barrier between you and your personal information. There are several programs attackers can use to help guess or "crack" passwords. But if you choose good passwords and keep them confidential, you can make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access your information.

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