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How To Protect Your Privacy Online

online privacy
As we conduct more of our lives online and equip our homes with digital assistants, we become more exposed to hackers.

Computer and internet hackers seem to come up with new ways to steal digital information every week. We've all been warned about clicking on unfamiliar web links, putting sensitive information in emails and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks.

But it's not safe even if you don't use the public Wi-Fi network while waiting to board your flight. Now hackers are secretly modifying the charging stations at airports to steal data from your device when you plug into the USB port.

What's worse is how much of our personal information we're willing to share online, making it easy for someone with patience and some simple skills to build complete profiles of our lives – the names and birthdays of friends and family, where we shop, what we buy, what we like to eat, watch and read, where our kids go to school, where we work, like to vacation. All information a hacker can use to guess passwords or figure out the answers to security questions and log in to banking and credit card sites.

And anyone who has added a digital assistant and smart-speaker system such as Amazon's Alexa and Echo or Apple's Siri to their home should realize it's listening, and recording.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss how to protect your privacy online and how much personal information many of us are willing to trade for efficiency or convenience is cyber security consultant with intrustIT, Dave Hatter (@davehatter).

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.