Own IT: Managing Your Online Privacy

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

Revisit privacy settings on your social networks

Social networks collect and store a lot of information onall users. When you sign up for a social network, you provide some privateinformation such as phone number, email address, birthdate, and other items. Itmay have been a while since you have reviewed the privacy settings on theseaccounts, so now is a good time to do so. Privacy settings allow you todetermine what information you want to share and with whom. You mightdecide to share certain posts only with some friends and limit what is seen inyour public profile. Whatever you decide, the control is yours when you updateand manage your privacy settings.

Keep private information out of public storage spaces

File-sharing services like Google Docs have made it easierthan ever before for users to access, share, edit, format, and downloaddocuments. These online services are meant for accessing and sharing files thatare public, and not for storing private information. Information such as bankstatements, credit card data, passwords, passport materials, social securitynumbers, and other private data should be kept out of public file-sharingservices.

Password-protect your devices

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

Avoid public Wi-Fi, if possible

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

If, after reading this, you feel compelled to check andupdate your own privacy settings, thesedirect links to popular online services and devices make it easy. Thetechnology experts at AJTC are available to help you update and manage youronline privacy to keep your data safe.  Contact AJTC today to learn more aboutIT security and other services. You may also visitAJTC here or call 708.942.8200.

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