Tips to Protect Your Online Privacy

With identity theft on the rise, why are so many adults careless when it comes to protecting their privacy and data? Think twice about these daily habits to make sure you’re protecting your personal information online the best you can. 

Ask yourself these questions that can help you protect your online privacy.

1. How often do you share your information online and what do you typically share? It’s important to value and protect all types of data about you—including your address/location, phone number, purchase history, family, travel habits, and financial details.

a. Social media. Carefully consider what your text and photo might reveal about you, who will see it, and how that information can be used both now and in the future.

b. Online accounts. When you shop online, keep your primary email address and phone number private. Use a burner email for most online activities to protect more important accounts like your bank.

2. How do you lock down access to your accounts? You should be using a unique and complex password for every online account you have. Consider using a password manager tool to generate and remember these passwords. When available, use 2-step or 2-factor authentication to add an extra layer of protection.

3. How many secure web browsing practices do you follow? Though many people do remember to clear their browser history and cookies from time to time, how often do you actually do it? Do you use ad-blocking extensions? These are important tools you can use to prevent third parties from following your journey on the web and learning more about you.

4. How many mobile apps have you downloaded? Every app or browser extension you download represents a potential security risk and threat to your privacy. Too many mobile apps default to tracking your location and collecting your data—even in apps designed for children. Be sure to audit each app’s privacy permissions to ensure you’re only sharing what you need to.

5. Can you spot a phish? Fraudsters use email or text messages to impersonate a company you know and trick you into giving them valuable PII. Nearly 38% of people who aren’t cyber aware fail phishing tests.[1] Learn all you can about common phishing tactics.

To learn more about digital defense tools individuals can use to protect their personal information, contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance Agent or visit

[1] KnowBe4, “2020 Phishing By Industry Benchmarking Report,” 2020.