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Choose Privacy Week: Best Practices for Privacy

Virtual Privacy Lab from San Jose Public Library

Visit the Virtual Privacy Lab from San Jose Public Library for a customized set of privacy-protecting tips based on how you use the Internet. Learn about a range of technology tools, some very easy to use, to help keep hackers and other busy bodies from accessing your personal information. Toolkits include links, tips, and resources that empower you to customize your online identity. Email or print your privacy toolkit for future use. 

San Jose Public Library Virtual Privacy Lab

Photo courtesy of the San Jose Public Library Virtual Privacy Lab.

Privacy Guides and Tips

Monitoring My Online Presence

Search for your name using several browsers. You'll get a sense of your online presence and what other people can learn about you. 

Conduct a web search for reputation tracking services; however, some services may have subscription costs. 


Tips for Safeguarding your Digital identity

  1. Use current browser settings as web browser updates also include enhanced security measures
  2. Clear your cache on a routine basis
  3. Disable cookies to reduce unnecessary tracking of your web practices
  4. Install malware/antivirus protection software
  5. Use SSL encrypted websites when making purchases (https: OR padlock near the URL)
  6. Reduce the number of places where you input your payment information by using a service like PayPal
  7. Make your purchases from verified and reputable merchants
  8. Provide the merchant with the minimum amount of information required for the transaction
  9. Do not over-share your email address
  10. Eliminate subscriptions to infrequently used websites, listservs, and distribution lists
  11. Do not pay for any services/goods through email
  12. Use apps offered directly by merchants or through trustworthy app stores
  13. Purchase only from protected WiFi services. Public WiFi services are not always secure.
  14. Avoid excessive clicking on ads, unrealistic news, great deals, etc. 
  15. Review a site's policies prior to revealing information. Your information/data may be shared. 
  16. Use an advertising blocking browser plugin/extension like Ad Block Plus.


Avoid Phishing Scams

Be wary of hyperlinks and email attachments.

Never give out your personal information when it is requested via email. Your bank, credit card company, employer, college, etc. already know that stuff so why would they ask you to provide it?

Keep your anti-virus software up to date.

Learn more by reading the Department for Homeland Security's phishing tip sheet.