Category: Digital Identity

Keep your personal information safe

Fraudsters are after your personal information including – full name, address and contact details, bank account numbers, logins and passwords for websites and Identification numbers such as passport details and driving licence.

Once they obtain your full name and other personal details, they can search official records, social media etc to piece together a fuller picture about you, with the intention of scamming you or even identity theft.

How To Stay Safe

  • Use multiple email addresses [link]
  • Use disposable email addresses (
  • Use temporary email addresses [link]
  • Use the magic phone number if you don’t want to be contacted by phone, but a website insists you provide one []
  • Stop tracking cookies
  • Opt out whenever possible of Marketing emails etc.
  • Withhold data when you can or make something up if it is unimportant

Removing your personal information from the internet

There is a trade-off between having some information on the Internet about you so that prospective employers, old friends and others can find you and the problem of there being so much that criminals can use that information to con and steal from you. Also, it’s virtually impossible to remove all traces of your Internet activity.

  1. Restrict or Delete Social Media Accounts

Scammers seeking your information may start with your social media posts so make sure not to post anything personal or mention holiday dates etc. Simply deleting such accounts is safer.

  1. Close down Blogs and Blog Posts

Close or delete any blogs posts or the whole blog if it gives away personal information on you.

Personal blogs may contain intimate details about your daily life, family, jobs, health information and financial situation — which is information a fraudster could use to scam you or access your accounts. If you publish a blog, be mindful of the details you’re sharing.

  1. Websites, Chat Groups etc. With Your Information

If someone else has posted sensitive information about you on their website or blog, then you can contact the webmaster of the site and ask them to remove the information.

If a website refuses to remove your info, then you can send a legal request to Google and ask to have it removed.

  1. Phone APPS

Many APPS on your smartphone and tablet collect personal details such as your name, email address, spending habits, and geographical location. This information could be accessed by cybercriminals, leaked or stolen, and if it ends up in the hands of scammer, your finances could be at risk.

If you’re unsure whether an app is trustworthy, it’s a good idea to review the Terms of Use and Privacy Notice first to determine what info is collected, why it is collected, and how it may be secured, stored, and shared. You might also check some user reviews.

  1. Block Tracking Software

While browsing the web, you’ve probably noticed disclaimers about “cookies,” which is technology that tracks your web browsing habits. If you don’t want that information tracked and stored, then consider running security software that contains features to block online tracking. You should also understand the limitations of your browser and any do-not-track feature.

  1. Clean out your computer data

There’s a trove of personal information stored on your browser history, including the websites you visit (including financial institutions), passwords, and cached images and files. If a cybercriminal gains access to your device, they may be able to use that information. Regularly clear your browser history, delete cookies and install and use security software that includes online privacy features.

If you do all of the above then you will remove most of the data that anyone can find about you on the open Internet. There will always be data on government systems, retailers you buy from etc. but that is harder for any criminals to access.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Maintain Online Privacy

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is the capacity to share information quickly and with a lot of people.

Conversely, one of the big problems with the Internet is people with malicious internet obtaining your confidential information.  Everyone from the ‘Big Brother’ of Facebook, Google and others watching everything we do to scammers trying to steal from us.

Here are some actions you can consider to protect your online security

  1. Have up to date anti-virus and anti-malware on all of your computer devices
  2. Don’t give out information that you don’t want scammers to have, unless you are sure of the person or website you are giving it to.
  3. Be careful – if something looks too good to be true then it’s likely to be a scam
  4. Never click on a link or open an attachment unless you are sure it is safe
  5. Avoid public WI-FI if you intend to access online banking or anything else that needs to be secure.

Website Browsing

There are a number of things you can do to make your website browsing more private and safer.

  • Use the privacy/incognito mode
  • Block web activity trackers
  • Block your ads
  • Use encrypted messengers
  • Get a VPN
  • Avoid non-https:// websites for input of confidential information
  • Clear your cookies regularly
  • Use secure/encrypted email providers

The  guide at contains a lot more information on what you can do to maintain your online privacy.

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Tracking You Through Browser Fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting (also called device fingerprinting or online fingerprinting) refers to how some websites can track you across your Internet activities.

Basically it is the process of collecting information about your computer, not through cookies which is the usual method, but by how your device connects to the web sites. You don’t need to give permission to a web site to do this – it cannot be avoided.

These fingerprints can include data such as geographic location, the browser and operating system that is in use, screen resolution, system fonts, system architecture, browser plugins and system hardware.

All innocent stuff, but with enough such data, it is possible to track individuals across websites and use that information to build up a picture of the person.

That can be used for ‘positive’ reasons such as targeted advertising or for companies wanting to understand more about their customers or to restrict access to authorised users but can also be used for fraud.

There is no way to delete your browser fingerprint and no way to block it’s creation.

Some website owners and advertising networks share browser fingerprinting functionality to perform cross-site tracking. That means they use your online fingerprint to track you across the web, and collect details about you: your search history, shopping, news preferences and more.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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