Data Privacy Day!
Most are anxiously waiting for Superbowl Sunday, however it is Data Privacy Day that can truly effect the lives of many for years to come.
Data Privacy Day is an annual international celebration designed to promote awareness about privacy and education about best privacy practices.
The information that can be found online today about yourself and your loved ones can be quite disturbing and at time, embarrassing. Not to mention, private information that was not meant for public viewing is now being disseminated without you realizing it.
StaySafeOnline.org is a website that offers a vast amount resources, information, research, and most importantly tips for people and parents to keep you and your children safe online. They are part of The National Cyber Security Alliance.
When it comes to sharing personal information online, less is more. The less you share, the more you can protect your privacy and minimize the chances of becoming a victim.
In recognition of annual Data Privacy Day on January 28, take a few minutes to review these best practices:
· Be sure to have a firewall installed and enabled on your computer.
· Use anti-spyware/anti-adware protection software. This software is designed to protect you against spyware or malware, which can extract private information from your computer without your knowledge. Make sure you keep these programs updated.
· Periodically check your Internet browser settings (e.g. Security and Privacy) to ensure that the settings are adequate for your level and type of Internet activity.
· Use encryption software if you store private data on your laptop or other portable electronic devices. This will help protect your private data in the event the device is lost or stolen.
·Be sure to read the privacy statement on websites you are visiting prior to providing any personal information, to understand that entity’s policy regarding protection of data.
· Check if GPS location data is being stored when you upload pictures to your social media site from your mobile device and disable it if you don’t want the world to know exactly where the picture was taken.
·Guard the security of your transactions when shopping online by ensuring the transaction is submitted securely. When submitting your purchase information, look for the “lock” icon on the browser’s status bar to be sure your information is secure during transmission. Also be sure “https” appears in the website’s address bar before making an online purchase. The “s” stands for “secure” and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted.
· Use strong passwords on all your accounts, such as a minimum of eight characters and a mix of special symbols, letters and numbers. Use separate passwords for each account.
· Always question someone who is asking you to reveal any personally identifiable information. Find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared with others.
For more resources about online security, visit the Center for Internet Security.
With this information it is also a good time, as is all the time, to remind your teen’s what they are posting today is what their future could be tomorrow. Keep in mind those questionable photo’s they are laughing at today, or comments that they may think are funny or snarky now, may not be so humorous to a college admissions board or a potential employer – a few years from now!
Teenagers don’t seem to have a concept of time. They don’t understand that a few years from today is like a tomorrow. It will be here before they know it. Help them to understand to keep their social sites virtually clean and polite. They will thank you someday.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department offers an Internet Safety website. Click here.