Privacy is not dead yet. Fight for it!

Privacy is not dead yet. Fight to protect yours!

There is no doubt there are aspects of privacy that are out of our control, but as discussed in the last post called Privacy we Cannot Control, there are solid options for reducing the impact of privacy invasion. Today’s post reminds us there are many ways to take control of our privacy – it’s not time to mourn the death of privacy just yet. Heads up, highlighted sentences are links to detailed articles but only click on links when you want more information or getting through this article may become tedious.

Remove your personal information from the Internet:

Minimize repercussions of breaches and privacy invasion:

Be cautious communicating about confidential information:

Don't do this

DO NOT text sensitive information such as PINS

  • Do not text or email confidential data (login info, passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, pins, social security numbers).  Getting a written password request from a family member could mean someone else has their device and you could accidentally provide a criminal access to a bank account. Private emails may be viewed in a variety of circumstances so avoid using sensitive data in email.
  • Encrypt sensitive information at home and work.
  • Bank and shop on secure networks only. Be wary of public Wi-Fi.
  • Log out after using public computers. To avoid leaving trails surf incognito and delete cookies before logging off.
  • Have you noticed people talk loudly on mobile phones? Eavesdroppers may be listening. Maintain privacy when discussing confidential information on any telephone.
  • Shred documents with sensitive/confidential information. (Medical, financial and business information that can be pieced together to provide private details.)

Be careful with social media and email:

I was able to protect my family after buying tainted product because Ralph's tracks my purchase.

I was able to protect my family after buying tainted product because Ralph’s tracks my purchases.

Be aware of tracking:

  • Know when you are being tracked and if it’s helpful or harmful.  For example, if you don’t mind sharing your shopping habits, use a reward card for checkout and coupon discounts or to be contacted regarding recalls.  (I was thankful for a recent market recall notification on chicken I had purchased but not yet eaten.)
  • Recognize that tracking creates a profile of your spending habits and when privacy policy allows, retailers may share your information with others. Discounts are great, but how would you feel if you began to receive baby food and diaper coupons after confidentially purchasing a pregnancy test?
  • When entering online contests, you may relinquish privacy by providing an email address or access to your social media or contact list. Is the slim chance of winning a contest worth the privacy invasion?

Provide personal information to trusted organizations only:

  • Opt-out of anything that makes you uncomfortable, including tracking cookies, apps, privacy policies and sharing of data.
  • Sever relationships with people and organizations that betray your trust. However, there are times when the best protection and intentions fail. Determine whether to continue your relationship with these entities based on how they respond and protect you after a mishap!

And last but not least, a basic and critical yet often ignored suggestion …

Use exceptionally good passwords:

  • Use strong and unique password protection on all devices including computers, tablets and cell phones.
  • Use strong and unique passwords for each site and change them often.

    Password strength checker

    Use a password checker if you are uncertain of the strength of your passwords

Let’s fight for our privacy! Together we can do it!

Until next time,… Stay Cyber Safe.

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