Data Privacy Day Is Here

Pick a topic and it probably corresponds to a day on the calendar in which to celebrate. Today is Data Privacy Day. Are you aware of how much of your personal information is freely “out there” for anyone to access? How much access to you give your  social networks? Do you use various protection software on your PC to keep malware and other nasty little computer invaders at bay?

Data Privacy Tips—Tips to protect your online data

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  1. Before submitting your name, email address, or other personal information on a website, look for the site’s privacy policy. This policy should state how the information will be used and whether or not the information will be distributed to other organizations.
  2. Never respond to requests by phone or e-mail for personal information, no matter how urgent the request seems. Find the number of the company online or in the phone directory and call to ask if the request is legitimate.
  3. Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Dishonest merchants bill you for monthly “membership fees” and other goods or services without your authorization. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t authorize, contact your financial institution, card issuer, or other creditor immediately.
  4. No matter which browser you use, it’s important to keep it updated. An out-of-date browser can leave your computer vulnerable to attack by malware, which could intercept sensitive data like your log-ins, passwords, or financial information. Most browsers update automatically, or prompt you to update to the latest version.
  5. Install and run anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall programs on mobile devices – and keep those programs up-to-date.
  6. Security software on your phone, like your computer’s antivirus, can’t protect you if you ignore security warnings and install the app anyway.
  7. Don’t broadcast your absence  or too many deteails of your private life on social media, i.e., Facebook, FourSquare, Twitter, etc. This can alert potential thieves to an opportunity to raid your vacant home. This threat is especially magnified if your social media accounts are public. Does everybody really need to know your every move?

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