So you鈥檙e not ready to leave the big, open world of Facebook for their rumored private sharing app, but you don鈥檛 want the whole world getting their hands on your information. You鈥檝e followed these six steps to lock up your photos, but what about everything else? Your iPad knows your birthdate, credit card numbers and the password to every site you visit. Your favorite doodling app even knows you spent a whole year drawing hearts around Michael Cera photos. How can you keep all that information private and still enjoy everything the web has to offer? We鈥檙e sharing four easy precautions you can take to stay online and be smart about your information.

1. Lock Down Your Social Media Accounts


You don鈥檛 need to use a specialized app to keep your Facebook posts private 鈥 let their privacy dinosaur walk you through your settings. Make sure to hide your date of birth. Everything from password resets to applications for a new credit card use your date of birth as a security credential, so don鈥檛 make it public knowledge. Don鈥檛 worry, you don鈥檛 have to give up all those birthday posts from people you haven鈥檛 talked to in ten years. Just make sure to set your Birth Year to 鈥淥nly Me.鈥 (Photo via Facebook)

2. Don鈥檛 Get Attached to Passwords


No matter how much you love your password, you need to change it often (at least twice a year), choose a strong password and use different passwords for all your important websites and apps. If someone hacks your Twitter account, it may not be a big deal, but if you鈥檙e using the same password for Facebook, now they can view your private posts, your personal information and more. And if you鈥檙e using the same password for your online banking, they have access to your money. We can鈥檛 stress this enough: Never use the same password for online banking as you use for another site. If someone finds out you creep on your ex-boyfriend鈥檚 Facebook page, it鈥檒l be embarrassing. If they drain your bank account or max out your credit card, your ex-boyfriend will be the least of your worries.

3. Don鈥檛 Trust Everything in the App Store


Research apps before you download them. Pay particular attention to what information they need to access. Does your flashlight app really need to track your GPS location? If you鈥檙e not willing to share the necessary settings with that particular app, search the store for a similar option that鈥檚 less invasive. It鈥檚 also a smart idea to stick to your phone or tablet鈥檚 designated app store. When you download an app from a website, you have no idea what type of data it may be mining, or if it comes with a bonus virus.

4. Remember That Public WiFi is Public


Even if you follow the above steps, if you鈥檙e using public WiFi, all bets are off. While you鈥檙e enjoying that free internet at your favorite coffee shop, anyone may be watching over your shoulder or hacking onto the WiFi network to see what you鈥檙e up to. You can still visit your favorite sites and check out the latest Brit + Co posts. Just avoid sites that require you to enter your password, and never check your bank account or enter your credit card information over public WiFi. It鈥檚 better to be safe than sorry 鈥 you can always pay for that Etsy item when you get home.

What steps do you take to protect your personal information? Let us know in the comments.