January 28 is Data Privacy Day, and OIS is celebrating all month long!
Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.
You and your information are everywhere. When you’re online you leave a trail of “digital breadcrumbs” in the form of cookies, GPS data, social network posts, and e-mail exchanges, among others. It’s critical to learn how to protect yourself and guard your privacy. Your identity and even your bank account could be at risk!
Tips for protecting your privacy
- Use long and complex passwords or passphrases. These are often the first line of defense in protecting an online account. The length and complexity of your passwords can provide an extra level of protection for your personal information. If possible, use second factor authentication on your accounts, as well.
- Take care with what you share. Periodically check the privacy settings for your social networking apps to ensure that they are set to share only what you want, with whom you intend. Be very careful about putting personal information online. What goes on the Internet usually stays on the Internet.
- Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.
- Using Wi-Fi? If only public Wi-Fi is available, restrict your activity to simple searches (no banking!) or use a VPN (virtual private network). The latter provides an encrypted tunnel between you and the sites you visit.
- Should you trust that app? Only use apps from reputable sources. Check out reviews from users or other trusted sources before downloading anything that is unfamiliar.