Like charity, privacy begins at home. The threats are almost too numerous to name. Your privacy can be accidentally or deliberately violated by your spouse, your kids, roommates, house guests, or simply by your own carelessness.

Many privacy threats involve the treasure trove of data you store on your home PC. Inquisitive types could glean reams of information about you just by glancing at your screen or examining your browser history. Strangers driving by your house could tap into your wireless home network. Hackers could secretly install software that logs your keystrokes in order to steal passwords and personal information. (To learn how to prevent such threats, see Chapter 3.) The list goes on.

But computers are hardly the only places where your privacy is at risk Privacy annoyances abound thanks to your telephone (telemarketers and tele-stalkers), your mailbox (junk mail and thieves), fax machine (low-rent advertisers), cell phone (eavesdroppers and text spammers), and so on. Perhaps worst of all, poor privacy practices could lead to the theft of your personal identity—and a world of hurt for your reputation and credit rating. Feeling paranoid yet? Read on and take action!


One Computer, Many Eyeballs

The Annoyance:

I keep sensitive files on my home desktop machine—my banking records, old love letters, the chapters from my unfinished best-selling novel—that are nobody else’s business, damn it. How do I keep Nosy Nellies from walking up to ...

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