How Anonymous Are You?
When you visit a web site, a certain amount of information is automatically collected by the site. This includes your IP (Interenet Protocol) address, which browser you're using and the kind of computer you have. Most of the time, this information is used for legitimate purposes, such as generating statistics for the web site's owner or targeting advertisements. However, some sites may collect your information for malicious purposes. They can steal your identity or passwords, then use them or sell them to others.
Unless you trust a site, don't give it your address, password or credit card information. Also, look for the icon of a lock in your browser's window or address bar. This means that the site is using encryption to protect your information. The National Cyber Alert System has more tips about protecting your anonymity and making your web browser more secure.