In the era of Facebook and Twitter, you may think that privacy is a thing of the past. However it doesn’t need to be. In fact, Forbes recently ran a story detailing some simple steps you can take to increase your privacy in the Internet era. If you don’t take these steps, then you’ve got no one to blame but yourself if cyber criminals gain access to your bank information, e-mail messages or other personal information.

Password Protect

Password-protecting your mobile devices – your tablets, laptops and smartphones – is your first line of defense. If thieves have to first guess your password before they can turn on your iPad or Amazon Fire, the odds are lower that they’ll ever gain access to your personal data. As Forbes says, password-protecting your mobile devices is no different than locking your car doors when you park at the grocery store.

The Power of Google Alerts

To protect your privacy, you might want to find out what people are writing about you online. To make this happen, set up a Google Alert in your name. You’ll then receive a message whenever someone says something about you online. As Forbes says, there is no easier way to track what’s being said about you.

The Sign Out Step

You just completed changing your Facebook page. You’ve just transmitted money electronically into your PayPal account. What do you do now? Make sure, before leaving the site, that you simply sign out. This is especially important if you’re using a computer at a library or other public place. You don’t want the next user to see your accounts and gain instant access because you’re still signed in. We’re all busy. However you are not too busy to remember to sign out.