Updated: June 6, 2013 2:30 PM | By Andy Greenberg, Forbes.com
10 incredibly smart and simple things you can do to protect your privacy

As attitudes to privacy are starting to change, trying to protect personal information is getting harder and harder. Here are a few steps we can all take to reduce the risk to our private data



As attitudes to privacy are starting to change, trying to protect personal information is getting harder and harder. Here are a few steps we can all take to reduce the risk to our private data (© Getty Images)
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  • As attitudes to privacy are starting to change, trying to protect personal information is getting harder and harder. Here are a few steps we can all take to reduce the risk to our private data (© Getty Images)
  • Password protect your devices (© Forbes.com)
  • Put a Google Alert on your name (© Forbes.com)
  • Sign out of your online accounts when you're finished using them (© Forbes.com)
  • Don't give out your email, phone number or postal code when asked (© Forbes.com)
  • Encrypt your computer (© Forbes.com)
  • Turn on two-step authentication in Gmail (© Forbes.com)
  • Pay cash for embarrassing items (© Canadian Press/Don Denton)
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It’s hard to go online these days without being watched in some shape or form. Tracking cookies follow your every move, so advertisers can figure out what to sell you. Social networks keep you constantly signed in, in part so they can see what other websites you visit. Phone and tablet apps may be gathering information about you, including your contacts list or your camera roll.

Recently, many Facebook users scrambled to post a notice to their timelines proclaiming copyright ownership of all content. The scare was a hoax, but it brought to light just how vulnerable we all are in the digital age. Truth is, your personal data is out there. Every thought you tap out on Twitter, every status update you post to Facebook, and even the last credit card purchase you made is accessible via the Internet.

If you want to participate in today’s online landscape, and all the apps and services that go with it, you have two choices: Accept that your information is out there and try not to worry about it, or arm yourself with some privacy protection tools. Here's a guide to some easy but essential steps you can take to ensuring your privacy is kept private and not falling into the wrong hands.

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