Keep What’s Private, Private
January 28 is Data Privacy Day
It is critical to guard your online privacy — not only to protect your professional and personal reputation, but also to protect your identity and finances!
You exist in digital form all over the Internet — your digital footprint includes email and social media accounts, health and banking records, and more — it is essential to ensure that the “digital you” matches what you are intending to share and that the information you need to protect from unauthorized users is secured appropriately.
Here are some steps you can take to protect your online information, identity, and privacy.
- Use a unique password for each site. Hackers often use previously compromised information to access other sites. Choosing unique passwords keeps that risk to a minimum.
- Keep your operating system current by accepting the latest updates. Hardware and software vendors regularly release patches for system flaws that can be exploited by malicious programs.
- Know what you are sharing. Always be cautious about what you post publicly.
- Check your privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. You can even use a wizard to walk you through the settings.
- Guard your date of birth and telephone number. These key pieces of information are used for verification, and you should not share them publicly. If an online service or site asks you to share this critical information, consider whether it is important enough to warrant it.
- Keep your work and personal presences separate. Because your employer has the right to access your email account, you should use an outside service for private emails. This also helps you ensure uninterrupted access to your private email and other services if you switch employers.
- There are no true secrets online. Use the billboard test: Would you be comfortable with everyone reading a message or post? If not, don’t share it.
Don’t stop here! Keep what’s private, private by reviewing the links below for more information about how and why:
- Visit the U of M’s Access and Privacy website to understand the University’s obligation to protecting your personal information.
- Explore three reasons to care about your privacy in a university setting: Read the article “I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about privacy?”
- Download the “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” Tip Sheet: Using Public Computers & Wireless Networks.
Remember, Information security starts with you!
Visit the IST website for more about Information Security and Compliance at the U of M.