happydataprivacyday

Today is Data Privacy Day– why not take a moment to review your online behaviour and make sure that you are happy with the amount of personal information you potentially share online or via mobile apps?  Especially in light of the latest Snowden leaks which revealed the NSA uses mobile apps to spy on people. It’s a good opportunity to evaluate where you could be leaking information you might not necessarily want lurking around cyber space for criminals to find. Think of all the different identities you have online: Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest… I could go on and on.  Make sure you take a glance at your privacy settings and see that you really are happy to share your profile and personal details and photos with just anyone, or whether you want to limit the reach.

You may also want to take this quiz to find out your privacy IQ.

Our client, ISACA, offers some very sensible advice for protecting your privacy and security:

  • Read privacy policies. Understand what personal information websites and mobile apps are requesting and how it will be used. If there is no privacy policy, it’s a red flag—your personal data may be sold without permission.
  • Be smart about location-based services. Don’t opt-in to beacon-type mobile apps unless you trust the retailer and their security and privacy practices.
  • Don’t shop from public wi-fi hotspots. When you surf the Internet on an open hotspot, hackers can spy on your activities and steal data such as passwords and credit card information as you enter it.
  • Beware of phishing. If you receive an e-mail asking for financial information because there is a problem with your order or account, call the retailer to confirm. Don’t reply to the email and don’t provide confidential information, like your credit card number.
  • Check it out before you check out. Before you pay, confirm that the site is secure by looking for the “s” in https:// in the site’s URL and check the lower-right corner of the page for the lock symbol. Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise.
  • Safeguard and remember the password you have chosen for the extra verification services used on some websites, such as Verified by Visa.
  • Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy.

Also, note that some websites will redirect you to a third-party payment service (such as WorldPay). Ensure that these sites are secure before you make your payment.

And then, heck, why not make every day after that Data Privacy Day!

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