Protecting Your Personal Information with Online Privacy Laws

A lot of people who use the internet have the need to protect their privacy. However, the internet is still so new that online privacy laws are still being written and modified.

Because the landscape of the online world changes so frequently, the laws hardly have the time to catch up. Plus, new ones have to be created to address any issues that arise. This continuously changing landscape of laws make it difficult for internet users to keep track of what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to privacy protection.

While companies and website owners have the responsibility of protecting and not misusing the private information that consumers provide to them, consumers should also take some steps to make sure they are doing their part in protecting their own personal information. To begin, it is important to know which online activities contribute to the loss of privacy. It is actually quite surprising to find out just how much information you give out without realizing it.

It all begins with your internet service provider (ISP). When you decide to start paying for the internet, your ISP obtains all of your sensitive information including your name, address and even your social security number. When you send emails, you are giving out your name and your email address to whomever you are corresponding with. Likewise, if the recipient forwards that email to another individual, your email address and name may still be attached.

To go further, any time you sign up for an email newsletter or an email discussion group, your email address and name is supplied to more people. And the most surprising part is that your internet browser is providing information to all the websites you visit without you even being aware of it. This is primarily done through the use of cookies, which can be controlled to a certain extent by the user. Likewise, search engines are able to store a record of every single search term that was entered by anyone using your IP address.

And even more surprisingly, you can have all of your web browsing or internet search information attached to your email address if you happen to be logged into your web based email account while you are browsing the internet and performing searches. The absolute best way to protect all of your personal information is by not using the Internet; however, these days that seems like an impossible idea. For now, the best thing you can do is to adjust your browser’s cookies for maximum protection and try to limit activities that will reveal information that you wish to remain private.

It may also be helpful to get up to date with all of the most recent online privacy laws. When you understand these laws, you can be aware of when your privacy rights are being violated so you can do something about it. You cannot just assume that the websites you visit are following the privacy laws. If you do this, you could be putting all of your personal information out there for anyone to get.

AUTHOR: Aaron M Kelly

Copyright Aaron Kelly Law
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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