Shred360 Blog

data-privacy-day

 

In honor of today, January 28th, being Data Privacy Day, Shred360 wanted to share some valuable information with you to help you protect your online data privacy…

Shared from Stewart Wolpin and Huffington Post

You probably know data is collected about you every time you visit a website, shop online, engage in social sharing, enable location services or send digital messages and email. But according to a recent global study by Microsoft, most cyber surfers “still don’t feel they are completely aware of the information that’s being collected about them.”

For instance, did you know that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ track your visits to any website with a displayed “Like,” “Tweet” or “+1” icon, whether or not you even click one of those buttons? According to Robin Wilton, identity and privacy director for the Internet Society, every day businesses are finding new — and not always honorable — ways to use this collected intel.

So how do you protect yourself from undesired data collection, and your collected data from misuse or misappropriation? It’s up to us to understand our own privacy rights and how best to protect our what’s ours in cyberspace.

Unfortunately, Wilton says, there’s no one-click answer to controlling your personal data. But here are some of Wilton’s suggested data protection techniques:

“Fracture” your digital identity. Strategically use different email addresses, browsers, credit cards and even devices for different web activities (like personal, work and online shopping) to make it more difficult for entities to assemble one cohesive data set about you.

Check privacy settings. Browsers, devices and apps often are set to share your personal data out of the box. Find and review default settings to see if you’re comfortable with data is automatically shared. A quick search for “default settings” and a specific type of browser or device will yield information about that system’s settings and how to find and change them.

Regularly review your browser’s cookies. You may be shocked by how many cookies have been set on your browser by sites you weren’t even aware you visited. Visit whatismybrowser.org to identify the browser you’re using, and to see if cookies are enabled and if your “Do Not Track” capability is on. This Indiana University site tells you how to find and control cookies for Chrome, Firefox, Explorer and Safari.

Read the fine print. Know the privacy policies of the devices, websites, social sharing services and applications you use. Find out what permissions apply to the content you upload and how it can be used.

If you’re concerned about your data privacy, be willing to adjust your online habits. Sure, Wilton notes, it’s a little inconvenient having to lock your house or car every time you leave it, but it’s better than being robbed. Your personal data is just as if not more valuable, so it’s worth giving up a little convenience to protect it.

 

 

 

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