There are countless hackers, data-hungry companies, developers, advertisers and spies looking for your information.
In some cases, this is for nefarious purposes, such as clearing your bank account. If you get caught in a scam, tap or click to take three immediate steps. Read this before this happens to you.
Other times, packaging and selling is about gathering as much information as possible. You can do something about it. Tap or click to turn off advertisers following you on every other page you visit from Facebook.
Staying safe online can feel like a never-ending battle. Instead of thinking about all the things you could have done, take a minute now and tackle all three of them.
1. Change Your Router Password
Consider when you set up your router. Did you take the time to set a strong password and click through the security settings? Most people are just trying to connect to the web as fast as possible.
The bad news is that it’s much easier for someone to get their hands on your password than you might think. Websites can reveal your login in moments if they know the model or are dedicated enough to guess.
It’s still not too late. While you’re thinking about it, change your router password.
If you’re not sure what it is, go to Router Password to see yours. Tap or click here for the direct link and step-by-step instructions. Once you have, log in to the admin panel and set a secure password that no one can see online.
Need more help? Check the manual for your router online and get step-by-step instructions.
Tips in your inbox: Every day, we share smart tips that keep you safe online. Try my Tips newsletter here.
2. Turn off Facebook Facial Recognition
Facial recognition technology is helpful for arranging photos. It scans pictures and lets you tag familiar faces in your gallery. But you might not want Facebook to do this with every picture you or your friends upload.
Facebook’s facial recognition program is called DeepFace. If you want to stop Facebook from analyzing your mug, disable the facial recognition feature.
Here is another important setting to change in Facebook. If you ever lose your password, it can be a pain to get back. Tap or click to set up the Trusted Contacts feature.
3. Remove yourself from this scary site
People search for websites which are some of the strangest places on the web. With a person’s first and last name, you can browse a ton of information scraped from social media and public records.
One incredibly accurate site is CyberBackgroundChecks.com. It creates a detailed report aggregated from address history, phone numbers, criminal records, social media, relatives, work etc.
You can delete these records. Visit CyberBackgroundCheck’s opt-out page. Read the Terms and Conditions. Once you agree, enter your email address and complete the captcha.
After 72 hours have passed, your record should be deleted.
An important note: Only records showing the “view details” option are eligible for deletion. If you see “Get premium details”, you will be redirected to PeopleFinders.com. Tap or click here to delete your records from that site. Scroll down to number 6.
Need a hand with a slow PC, smartphone problem or a software problem you just can’t solve? Post your technical questions for concrete answers from me and other tech professionals. Visit my Q&A forum and get technical support now.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call up Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcast.