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Protect your personal information

Data Privacy Day, occurring every year on 28 January, is an international effort to empower individuals and business to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust. 

Over the past year the world saw many extensive data breaches across the world. This has accentuated the necessity for creating a greater awareness of protecting information. 

But why should we care about our information?

We are entering the next generation of technological advancement like the Internet of Things, which will connect devices in our schools, home and workplaces. This provides many opportunities, but consumers will have to learn to protect and secure their information. Your devices make it easy to connect to the world around you, but they can also track a lot of information about you and your family. 

How much information do you share online daily? We spend most of our day on the internet where all our actions are tracked and collected by the devices we use. This data is stored indefinitely and can be used at any time. 

The National Cyber Security Alliance in the United States have the following tips:

  1. Personal info is like money: value it, protect it. 
    Be thoughtful about who gets your information and how it’s collected through apps and websites. Delete unused apps, update others and review your app permissions.
  2. Share with care.
    Think before posting about yourself and others online. Review your social network friends and contact lists regularly.
  3. Own your online presence.
    Set the privacy and security settings on websites and apps. You can share information with only friends and family.
  4. Lock down your login.
    Make sure your accounts are secure. Don’t use a password only for bank accounts, email and social media. Use two-step authentication, bio-metrics or security keys.
  5. Keep a clean machine.
    Keep your software, operating systems (mobile and PC), anti-virus and apps updated to prevent data loss, infections and malware.
  6. Apply the golden rule. 
    Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
  7. Secure your devices.
    Every device should be secured with a password or strong authentication – finger swipe, facial recognition, etc. Imagine what someone could do with the information on your device if it got lost?
  8. Think before you app.
    Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contact lists, where you shop and your location has tremendous value. Apps collect this information. A recent example is activity-tracking app, Strava’s privacy issue. 

FACT AND STATISTICS

  • 41% of Americans have been personally subjected to harassing behaviour online and one in five (18%) has been subjected to particularly severe forms of harassment online. 
  • 82% of cyber-stalkers use social media to find out where their potential victims live, where they go to school, etc.
  • Four in five US physicians have had cyber-attacks in their practices. Keep in mind that medical and health information is among the most sensitive and personal information about people. 

 

[SOURCE: https://staysafeonline.org and www.wikipedia.org]

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