January 28th is Data Privacy Day (DPD). Coordinated by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), it is a day set aside to promote the importance of online privacy and protecting personal information. The theme for DPD is “Respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust.” Celebrate DPD by reading the tips below for protecting online privacy.
Only reveal personal information to trusted sources
Remember that you are in control of what you disclose to anyone online. Don’t be afraid to ask why someone needs your personal details or how they will protect your privacy. Only give the minimum amount of information needed, and double check the credibility of anyone who requests your information. For example, if you receive an email that looks like it came from your bank, but it asks you to submit private information, call the bank to verify the email’s legitimacy. Banks do not need to make requests like this via email – they already have your information!
Minimize the personal information you share on social media sites
Social media can be a great form of communication, but sometimes it is too easy to share too much information about yourself, your activities, your current location, and your family. Just be cautious when it comes to sharing information and know the privacy policies of the social media site you are using: How does the site use your information? It is sharing your information with people outside your circle of friends?
Stay updated on privacy policies
We have all encountered privacy policies at the doctor’s office and when trying to download the latest version of software. Take the time to read through those policies so you know how your information is going to be used and whom it will be shared with. Here are some basic questions to ask when reviewing policies:
Who is asking for my information?
How will my information be used?
When my information is no longer needed, will it be discarded?
How is my information going to be stored?
Who will have access to my information?
Follow the DPD hashtag #PrivacyAware to see what others are saying about protecting online privacy.
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