The beginning of year is the perfect time to think about your data privacy. By taking some smart, simple steps, you can greatly impact the safety and security of your online identity.
Websites, apps, and services collect data on your behaviors, interests, and purchases. Sometimes, this includes personal data, like your Social Security and driver’s license numbers. It can even include data about your physical self, like health data – think about how a smartwatch counts and records how many steps you take.
While it’s true that you cannot control how each byte of data about you and your family is shared and processed, you are not helpless! In many cases, you can control how you share your data. Here are some simple, easy tips to help you manage your data privacy:
Know the tradeoff between privacy and convenience
When you download a new app, open a new online account, or join a new social media platform, you will often be asked for access to your personal information. This data might include your geographic location, contacts, and photos.
For these businesses, this personal information about you is tremendously valuable — and you should think about the service you get in return before you hand over your information, even if the service is free.
Is the service, app, or game worth the amount or type of personal data they want in return?
Can you control your data privacy and still use the service?
Is the data requested even relevant for the app or service (that is, “why does a Solitaire game need to know all my contacts”)?
If you haven’t used an app, service, or account in several months, is it worth keeping around, knowing it might be collecting and sharing your data?
Adjust privacy settings to your comfort level
Check the privacy and security settings for every app, account, or device. These should be easy to find in the Settings section and only take a few moments to change. You don’t have to do this for every account at once. Start small, and over time, you’ll make a habit of adjusting all your settings to your comfort.
Protect your data
Data privacy and data security go hand-in-hand. Along with managing your data privacy settings, follow some simple cybersecurity tips to keep it safe.
- Always use strong, unique passwords for each account and device. Learn more
- Turn on Multifactor authentication (MFA) whenever possible.
- Keep your devices, software and browser up-to-date.
- Learn to recognize Phishing messages sent via text, email, or DM. Learn more
To learn more about Data Privacy and to find additional tips to protect you and your family, visit our Security Center.