Own IT: Managing Your Online Privacy

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As part of our continuing blog series in support of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we will explore the areas of owning one’s online presence. In our previous blog, we covered staying safe on social media and this week we’ll examine the importance of updating and managing your online privacy.

Revisit privacy settings on your social networks

Social networks collect and store a lot of information on all users. When you sign up for a social network, you provide some private information such as phone number, email address, birthdate, and other items. It may have been a while since you have reviewed the privacy settings on these accounts, so now is a good time to do so. Privacy settings allow you to determine what information you want to share and with whom. You might decide to share certain posts only with some friends and limit what is seen in your public profile. Whatever you decide, the control is yours when you update and manage your privacy settings.

Keep private information out of public storage spaces

File-sharing services like Google Docs have made it easier than ever before for users to access, share, edit, format, and download documents. These online services are meant for accessing and sharing files that are public, and not for storing private information. Information such as bank statements, credit card data, passwords, passport materials, social security numbers, and other private data should be kept out of public file-sharing services.

Password-protect your devices

Our phones, computers, tablets, and other mobile devices contain a lot of data that should be kept private. For businesses, that might mean proprietary or sensitive client data could be compromised, creating a security breach. In a health setting, patient information is at risk and should be closely guarded. Implementing unique passwords to protect devices help keep strangers out of your private business.

Avoid public Wi-Fi, if possible

Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure by nature and are not appropriate for transmitting private or sensitive data. It is easy for people connected to a public network to eavesdrop on the traffic making any data traveling across the network vulnerable to prying eyes. If you must use a public Wi-Fi network, use caution; if possible, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect.

If, after reading this, you feel compelled to check and update your own privacy settings, these direct links to popular online services and devices make it easy. The technology experts at AJTC are available to help you update and manage your online privacy to keep your data safe.  Contact AJTC today to learn more about IT security and other services. You may also visit AJTC here or call 708.942.8200.

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