Internet privacy provider Anonymizer wants everyone to know that we are not as safe as we think we are when we are online.

The company’s research found that most of us believe using server security software (75 percent) or best antivirus software (62 percent) is enough protection against online identity theft. That is unfortunately not the case.

Having both a firewall and an antivirus program will help you protect your data from things going in, so you should use both.  They also help protect against identity theft, but only refer to half of the equation: the entry side.

These programs can not do much about what you decide to send through your computer, whether you do it by spreading information about a public instant messaging network, sharing files, or writing your data on social networking sites, forums, or in the Internet. -mails

There is a lot of software out there that you can pay to protect some of these things. Anonymizer would have to pay $ 80 for a year of protection, and if you are going to visit your website right now, you are likely to see your Internet protocol (IP) address, city, and web browser, list – which could scare you so he can buy.

But there are a lot of free solutions, too. While it is not always easy to use, if you can save money and help keep your credit intact and privacy, it is worth considering. Let’s start with the first ones easier:

Use common sense

Look what it says and when you say it. Do not post information that you may not want certain people to see unless you know it is securely encrypted or otherwise protected. The Federal Trade Commission has a little more  basic Internet security tips .

Update your software regularly. 

Since new viruses and security holes always appear, you need to keep updating. A friend of mine who works in an IT department compares this task to brushing his teeth: If you do not make it a habit, you could end up with problems, embarrassment and a lot of pain. It is not necessary to update three times a day, but the week is good. Many programs can be configured to update automatically, or at least to announce new versions. Use the settings and avoid both the hassle and the risk. Secunia offers a free tool that tells PC users about programs that are out of date and helps you find the latest versions.

Use protected Wi-Fi connections. 

When you use a wireless connection, the data possibly including your passwords – is literally floating in the air, and anyone who knows how you can listen on your computer. While places like Starbucks and Panera offer Wi-Fi connection, it is in an insecure public network. The easiest way to protect yourself is to connect only to secure networks: they usually have a padlock symbol next to them, and can speak WPA or WEP encryption. These networks mutilate the data you are transmitting which will not make sense to anyone who tries to steal it. Usually, you can not get on these networks without a password, however, so they do not have access unless you are supposed to. For more information on  secure networks, including how to guarantee your wireless connection from home, check out this  World PC article .

Make your instant messages instantly safe. 

This level of security is not possible for the average person, but if you are worried about someone spying through your instant messages, you can take a few steps. First, turn off all the features that make the records of your conversations, then get the chat friends to do the same. Second, look in the software that encrypts messages, such as  Off the Record . Privacy rights The lawyer of the  Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), explains how to use OTRand other security measures of instant messaging. If you are a Mac user with the Adium client, it is already built in. If you are a PC user, you will have to switch to a chat client such as  Pidgin , which connects to multiple popular instant messaging networks such as MSN, MSN and Google.

Hide your IP address 

If you’ve ever seen a pop-up ad with offers or offers specifically for where you live, it’s because that site can see your IP address, which is a unique series of numbers assigned to your computer each time you connect to the Internet. Hackers can also easily take advantage of a visible IP address. How can you hide? One of the solutions approved by the FEP is  The Onion Router, also known as Tor. Download the software (for PC or Mac) and it works together with Firefox and other programs to keep it hidden. There are a lot of ways in which your cover can slip, however, so read the instructions carefully. And there are negative aspects, too: Software can block things like YouTube videos from loading, for example. It all depends on how safe you want to be – this is probably a bit more for the average user.