Protecting Your Data Online
Today we’re going to give you a few tips on how to stay safe online for Data Privacy Day (28th January), held annually to educate organisations and individuals to take responsibility for their online lives. As the global digital community grows it is increasingly important to protect our online data, after all, you wouldn’t leave your physical valuables lying out on the street for anyone to steal!
Data privacy can be incredibly daunting to tackle especially for an individual or a small business who perhaps don’t understand the full extent of how much data is really out there about our lives and, let’s face it, how many of us actually read the privacy policies on our favourite websites? Data online will never be 100% safe just as you’ll never be able to 100% protect yourselves from break ins at your home, but there are a few simple changes you can make to your digital habits to ensure that you have done everything in your power to avoid the dangers.
- First of all be aware of what you post online. Everything you post online has the potential to give away private and sensitive information about you and once it’s online you will have little to no control over how far it travels and who uses it. Always keep in mind what your social media profiles will look like in the future. What may be an innocent comment could, in years to come, be taken out of context and damage your reputation or be used against you.
- Own your online presence. Every platform, browser, app and device will have different privacy settings. Take time to familiarise yourself with each one and change any settings that you are uncomfortable with. Privacy settings change often so make this a regular habit.
- Perhaps one of the most obvious but overlooked way to help you keep your data secure online is keeping your log-in’s strong. Although on it’s own this is not enough to secure your data, it’s a good place to start! Change your passwords regularly and when available use stronger methods such as security keys or unique codes.
- Be sure to give your devices some TLC. Regularly make sure all your software, operating systems and apps have the latest updates. This will help reduce loss from viruses and malware.
- Consider other peoples data! Just as your mother used to tell you, don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you! Don’t post personal information about other people unless you have their permission to do so. Apart from being bad manners, you may be held accountable if information gets into the wrong hands or if it is seen as slanderous.
- Be aware of how Apps use your information. A lot of us will be guilty of overlooking apps but they can hold just as much and sometimes more information than websites. Even our favourite games can be culprits. Make sure you only give access to the information you’re ok with giving away.
Want to know more about how to protect your data online? Here are a few useful links to more tips and advice: