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To Mark Data Privacy Day, AnchorFree CEO Offers 5 Online Privacy Tips to Protect You and Your Family

11 Million Americans Are Victims of Identity Fraud Each Year; This Data Privacy Day, AnchorFree Advises How Not to Be One of Them

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/24/13 -- This Data Privacy Day on Monday, January 28th, AnchorFree is joining forces with the National Cyber Security Alliance to offer some simple tips and tools to empower consumers to protect their online privacy.

"Americans are twice as likely to be victims of identity theft than they are to have their homes broken into," said David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree, maker of Hotspot Shield, one of the world's most popular online privacy tools. "We spend billions every year on keeping our homes safe, yet relatively few are even aware of the growing threats they and their families face every time they go online."

Every year, more than 11 million U.S. adults are victims of identity fraud (1), and an estimated $110 billion is lost as a result of cybercrime (2). By making minor adjustments to their online habits, consumers can take an active role in safeguarding their online identities and take privacy back into their own hands. To mark the 31st Annual Data Privacy Day, Gorodyansky recommends these helpful tips for keeping your family's online data and reputation private and secure:

1. Risky business - Make sure all family members understand the public nature of the Internet and its risks. Any digital information they share -- emails, photos or videos -- can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to take back. Anything that could damage their reputation, friendships, wallet or future prospects should not be shared electronically.

2. Keep it hidden, keep it safe - Make sure all family members are careful about sharing sensitive information such as birth date, addresses, phone numbers, location, financial information, social security numbers, passwords and vacation plans. Most reputable online services have privacy settings. Teach your kids how to use them, too.

3. Browse intelligently - Avoid using sketchy, unfamiliar websites, and delete suspicious emails, particularly those that ask for unnecessary personal information or request that you download something. These may be malware or phishing sites out to steal your personal data.

4. Turn off geolocation - Many apps' permissions include backdoor location trackers that are constantly streaming your location. If you're not actively using your phone to navigate, turn them off. The FTC recently noted that many apps aimed at children are disclosing location; make sure your kids are following this rule of thumb as well.

5. Get behind a shield - Use a VPN such as Hotspot Shield, which will help identify malware sites and provide a secure, encrypted connection to the Internet for desktop or mobile devices, protecting your browsing from hackers and snoops. This is particularly important when using public Wi-Fi or other unknown networks.

More tips and resources to help your family stay safe online are available on the National Cyber Security Alliance's website.

AnchorFree, the global leader in consumer security and Internet freedom, believes in placing consumers in control of their personal information online. With more than 100 million downloads on PCs, Macs, iOS and Android platforms, AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield allows users to browse the Web free from privacy and security concerns, access all Internet content from anywhere in the world and -- on phones -- save money on their data plans.

"Whether you're a teenager whose life revolves around your social networks, a professional who's constantly surfing the Web on the go or a parent keeping an eye on your child's online habits, you are entrusting more information to the public realm than ever before," says Gorodyansky. "And yet few of us are taking the proper -- and very simple -- precautions against cybercrime."

A few facts to consider:

  • Americans are almost six times more likely to have their personal data compromised than they are to be injured in a car accident.
  • Victims of identity theft spend an average of 165 hours repairing the damage caused by fraudulent accounts (3).
  • An identity is stolen once every three seconds (4).

"Just like wearing a seatbelt or locking our front doors, we have simple and accessible means to protect our online lives," says Gorodyansky. "But with so many Americans falling victim to identity fraud every year, it's clear we're not making the most of those tools. Data Privacy Day comes only once a year, but it's a great reminder that we're all responsible for our own online privacy, and doing so is as easy as clicking that seatbelt or securing your home."

Data Privacy Day is an international day of awareness to educate consumers about privacy and safeguarding their personal information. Led by The National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity education for all online citizens, Data Privacy Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

About AnchorFree
AnchorFree believes in placing consumers in control of their personal information online. The company's mission is to enable secure access to the world's information for an addressable market of 5 billion people who access the Web through computers or mobile devices. AnchorFree does this through Hotspot Shield, the world's most popular app for safe browsing. Hotspot Shield secures all Internet communications, protects the user's identity online, and provides universal access to all Internet content. Hotspot Shield is available for PC, Mac, Apple iOS, and Android platforms at www.AnchorFree.com and www.HotspotShield.com. AnchorFree is a privately held, venture-backed company based in Mountain View, California.

(1) Javelin Strategy and Research
(2) Norton Cybercrime Report
(3) Home Security Source
(4) Home Security Source

Nick Shepherd or Charlotte Crawford
[email protected]

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