The purpose of Data Privacy Day, observed on January 28th, is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. There is no better way to recognize the Day than taking a few extra steps to ensure the security of your private information. Here are a few steps you can follow.
Use Complex Passwords and Change Them Regularly.
Creating strong passwords is critical to protecting your sensitive information online. Using unique, complex passwords for each account you own is the first step for ensuring that your accounts and personal information aren’t improperly accessed or exposed. Long character counts and combination of upper and lower case letters and special characters add additional layers of complexity, making your passwords harder to crack and more secure. Changing your passwords every 90 days is a habit that will keep your private information secure.
Check Your Credit Report.
A study by the FTC on credit report accuracy found that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports. You are entitled by law to one free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, available at www.annualcreditreport.com, and should check your credit report at least once a year to verify its accuracy. Also review your credit card statements regularly and promptly report any unauthorized transactions.
Do Not Share Sensitive Information Over Public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi networks are not at all secure for official work, sensitive data sharing or transferring funds. To prevent other user from accessing your files, disable file sharing function on your computer immediately. It could be a good idea to turn your Wi-Fi off when you are not actively using it. If you use public Wi-Fi regularly, get a VPN and connect to it when browsing on public Wi-Fi networks.
Avoid Email Phishing Scams.
Be wary of emails asking for sensitive data – especially financial information. Legitimate organizations will never request sensitive information via email. Also watch out for generic requests for information. Fraudulent emails are often not personalized, while authentic emails from your bank often reference an account you have with them. Never use links in an email to connect to a website unless you are absolutely sure they are authentic.
Customize Your Social Media Privacy Settings.
Social networks like Facebook enable users to customize their privacy settings. You can decide who is able to see your posts and who is able to view information on your profile, such as your place of employment, birth date and hometown. Always go for the highest level of privacy to ensure that your personal data is not used for improper purposes.