To celebrate International Data Privacy Day, we sat down with our Information and Cyber Security Manager, Salinda, to discuss the importance of data privacy. In doing so we looked at data privacy and identified some ways both businesses and individuals can improve their online privacy by protecting their data.
Salinda advised us of a few ways to brush up on data privacy. All these things will decrease the chance of your data being shared online, but we can’t assure you that it will safe-guard you entirely - so bear that in mind!
Here are our recommendations:
In some applications (such as some social media platforms) once you publish information about yourself, the application then owns this information and it no longer belongs to you. For example, you could find that by uploading your photos, you’re effectively giving an application free license to use your photos how they want. For many of us this may not be anything to worry about, as sharing the photos with friends and family is worth it. For others, such as if you’re a professional photographer whose photos are a form of income, then this would be a massive issue.
The important thing is to know what you’re signing up for and making an informed decision.
It can be difficult to ensure your personal data is well protected on all platforms. One thing you can do is ensure you only share information about yourself that is necessary such as your name or date of birth. For most social media, it isn’t necessary to share your bank or card details and you aren’t required to provide your address.
Social media allows us to connect with family and friends as well as make new contacts. This can be exciting but can also put us at danger. To avoid being put at risk perhaps tighten up on your privacy settings and switch your accounts to a more private mode to ensure only your friends and family can see your information.
To achieve this, it is quite simple. You go into your privacy settings in your settings page on your social media account. As seen below - using Facebook as an example - you simply go into your privacy settings, press ‘edit’ for each category then choose which suits you. Facebook has four options: Public, Friends, Custom and Only me. These options will give you more control of what information is shared about you.
Hackers tend to use multiple techniques to trick people and get ahold of their personal information. Scam calls and phishing emails are the most common techniques and generally these are known as “social engineering attacks”.
To avoid falling for these scams, there are many things you can look out for to be able to spot an email scam. Here are a few tips:
Lastly, remember protecting your privacy is something to think about outside of the online world as well.
It is always important that whatever information you may have about yourself is always disposed of correctly and securely – whether it digital or physical. It may be a faulty phone, a hard drive or a printed bank statement. Whatever it is, always guarantee no one can get hold of the information after you dispose of it.
Some suggestions are:
If you check all these factors and change your habits or settings where necessary, then you will be a lot less likely to run into trouble online.