We hear about hacks, data leaks and other online scams pretty much on daily basis. If you think this couldn’t affect you, think again!
But the good news is you can take control of your online privacy and take appropriate measures to guard your data and money.
The “Teaching Privacy” project by the International Computer Science Institute and the University of California-Berkeley has released “The 10 principles for Online Privacy.” Each of these 10 principles have great resources to help keep you safe.
Guard Your Data and Money
- There is no privacy! There’s just no hiding. Your phone is track-able, your social media accounts can be seen by many, and companies can sell or lose your search history. One tip: Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do in public.
- Your information is worth money – Data is worth a lot of money. The more information available about you, the easier it is to sell or scam you. Be careful of the information you put online and voluntarily share.
- You’re leaving footprints everywhere – Just like regular footprints, your digital footprint is very clear. Your search results, places you check in online, things you buy online, the list is endless. Realize that you leave a footprint when you go online and be sure to clear your history and cookies often.
- You’re being watched – Whether it is a big data company, the government, or a scammer, people are watching our every move online and listening in on our conversations. Use encryption in data sharing, use strong passwords, and don’t communicate sensitive data!
- Voluntarily sharing gives away control – If you talk to people, that information is out there. Realize the same thing happens with the things you share or put online. It’s out there, forever, without you being able to control most of it. Unless you don’t mind being famous for it (or lose money over), be careful with the information you share.
- It’s easier to find YOU – Companies are getting better at analyzing data every day, as are scammers. Information you share today can be better found (and used against you) tomorrow. Check, monitor and delete your online footprint often (if not every day).
- Online is real! Our fridges connect to the web, alarm systems can be turned on remotely, and you can set the temperature before getting home, all through the web. Realize that you can’t hide, and realize that the info you share can be used by anyone in the worst possible way. Only share what you’re comfortable with, having that in mind.
- Your identity isn’t guaranteed – There are impersonators out there and sometimes our identities are stolen. There is just no foolproof way to match a real person with their online identity. Before doing anything online, think of what can happen if the person you are dealing with is not who you think they are.
- Having privacy requires work! Your own personal privacy (and data) are your own responsibility. Realize that all those fun and handy aps and websites are not only there to make our lives more comfortable, but they can also impact our privacy in many ways. Be sure to monitor your digital footprint and keep your personal and financial information safe!
- There’s no hiding or escaping! Teaching Privacy stated it clearly: “You can’t avoid having a digital footprint by not going online.” Meaning, even if you’re not online in anyway, that doesn’t mean other people don’t post or share details about you. Your identity is still out there. Take all this advice seriously, and share it with “offline” people.
Keeping your personal and financial information safe is a hard task in our digital and data driven world.