Protecting your personal information online

Tracey capen By Tracey Capen

All those things we have connected to the Internet, from our cell phones to our desktop PCs (and even possibly our kids), are ratting on us to online marketers and hackers.

Our second theme issue of 2011 tackles the thorny topic of personal privacy and security on the Internet and provides a wealth of tips on how to protect your children and yourself.

The topic of personal privacy in the Internet age is sufficiently scary to make a Franciscan monk paranoid. Not only do we face direct threats from cyber criminals who are out to steal our identities and money, but we now know that our clever mobile devices — such as the much-loved iPhone — are recording where we go and what we do. It’s enough to make us look a bit fondly on the days of rotary phones and padlocked file cabinets.

Well, not really. I, for one, would hate to live without my smartphone, notebook computer, and iPad.

As difficult and tedious as managing our personal data is, it’s crucial. The penalties for ignoring this responsibility are just too high. And it’s only going to get more complicated as we move more and more of our information onto the Web. So I hope you find this issue useful. Feel free to send us your thoughts on the subject to, or post your questions and tips in the Windows Secrets Lounge.

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Tracey Capen

About Tracey Capen

Editor in chief Tracey Capen was the executive editor of reviews at PC World magazine for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. He was InfoWorld's managing editor of reviews from 1993 to 1995 and worked in the magazine's test center and as networking editor from 1989 to 1992. Between his stints at InfoWorld, he was senior labs editor at Corporate Computing magazine.