As human beings, privacy is an important aspect of our lives. We naturally tend to lower our voices when speaking about personal matters; close the doors to our rooms when we’re doing something personal, and we don’t walk around telling everyone our life stories. There is an innate need for some privacy, regardless of how open the world becomes, and it’s for good reason too.
That said, as the world gets more crowded and busy, it gets harder and harder to maintain a level of privacy we are comfortable with. Buildings are now stacked closer together; cars get stuck in traffic at arm’s length, and the internet gives away more than we would like to share. Protecting our privacy is simply becoming more challenging. In this article, we discuss seven proven ways that can help you maximize and protect your privacy.
1. Install Curtains, Shutters or Blinds
Windows are wonderful, they help us ventilate our homes and spaces, as well as enjoy daylight in the comfort of the indoors. However, curtains, blinds and shutters are simply a must when it comes to keeping our lives private. As the team at Shuttercraft says, you can transform your space with friendly designs that can complement the room, while enhancing privacy.
As a bonus, shutters also help control the lighting in the room, aiding in creating different moods and ambiences. They can also moonlight as home accessories that beautify your walls when you choose certain colours and designs.
2. Don’t Leave Your Belongings Unattended
You’d be surprised with how much information someone can get out of looking at your phone or even a few cards in your bag. Your full name; contacts; where you study or work; where you live and more information can be gathered just by looking through your wallet or purse.
Make sure to never leave your belongings unattended in public – this doesn’t mean that you should be constantly looking over your shoulder, but reasonable caution never hurt anyone. This also means that you should never leave your personal bag, phone, or wallet with strangers to go to the bathroom, or ask someone to hold your purse for you while you open the door; someone could just grab your things and dart away, no matter how innocent or harmless they may seem.
3. Don’t Sign Up for Marketing Lists
Most of these databases, however good their intentions may be, end up being leaked or sold to third parties. This renders your personal information like name and home address widely available for numerous individuals – people you don’t know and never actually met. So don’t succumb to the pressure; you have all the right to politely decline to give away your information.
4. Invest in a Paper Shredder
Tons of sensitive information can end up in the trash for everyone to read if you aren’t being careful; bank statements, residence information, phone bills, travel information and more represent a wealth of data that anyone can acquire and use. Invest in a paper shredder and make sure that every document is in shreds before discarding it.
5. Guard Your Smartphone with a Password
In the event that your phone gets lost or stolen, do you really want whoever it ends up with to know pretty much everything about your life? Your list of contacts; chat history; social media accounts; bank information; work emails and more? Safeguarding your phone with a password not only makes it harder for anyone to extract information but also makes it less attractive for stealing, to begin with.
On the other hand, using a password protects your information in the event that you leave your phone at your desk at work and walk into a meeting; go to the bathroom at someone’s dinner party, or even at home if you live with children who can be curious sometimes. It’s really a win-win.
6. Periodically Change Your Passwords
While this is frequently recommended by most online service providers, it is commonly overlooked or simply forgotten. It is very important for you to change your passwords on all online platforms at least once every six months to maintain privacy and make it harder for scammers to get into your business.
On the other hand, and while it is challenging, you really need to have a different password for each account. Having one password for everything is like having one key for your house, car, office, and safe; you lose this one key and everything is in the hands of whoever finds it.
7. Don’t Use Your Credit Card at Untrusted Outlets
This may be easier said than done, but there’s nothing wrong with carrying some cash for emergencies. Identity theft and credit card account compromise is very common simply because not every vendor is trusted. Try to only use your credit card at reputable shops, and resort to cash when at a place you’re not familiar with or aren’t a regular.
Similarly, this applies to online shopping – don’t simply input your credit card information on just about any website. There are several measures to take and pointers to look out for while identifying secure websites and trusted payment pointers, so do a little research before you type in those numbers.
Although it’s easy to forget some privacy measures along the course of a long, busy day, it’s very crucial to train yourself to remember them. Practice privacy measures over and over until they become part of your routine. You’ll find that, over time, it’ll become a part of you and the way you go about your business.
And while it’s also easy to assume good intentions, don’t let your guard down too much in public or when meeting new people. While many folks can be good, many have ill intentions and prey on good-natured individuals who don’t want to offend anyone. Always close your blinds when doing something personal indoors; keep your personal belongings close; don’t volunteer personal information like your address and other sensitive data; shred important documents before throwing them away; use strong passwords and change them often, and be careful as to where you swipe your credit cards. Be safe!