You and your information are everywhere. When you’re online you leave a trail of “digital exhaust” in the form of cookies, GPS data, social network posts, and e-mail exchanges, among others. It is critical to learn how to protect yourself and guard your privacy. Here are some ideas that can help protect you, your information, as well as the data you are entrusted with from SR.
- Use long and complex passwords or passphrase. These are often the first line of defense in protecting an online account. The length and complexity of your passwords can provide an extra level of protection for your personal information.
- Take care what you share. Periodically check the privacy settings for your social networking apps to ensure that they are set to share only what you want, with whom you intend. Be very careful about putting personal information online. What goes on the Internet, usually stays on the Internet.
- Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.
- Using Wi-Fi? If only public Wi-Fi is available, restrict your activity to simple searches (no banking!) or use a VPN (virtual private network). The latter provides an encrypted tunnel between you and the sites you visit.
- Should you trust that app? Only use apps from reputable sources. Check out reviews from users or other trusted sources before downloading anything that is unfamiliar.
If you have questions about how to follow any of these guidelines, contact the Helpdesk at 432-837-8888.
By the way, never use your laptop as a coffee mug coaster as in the picture. Not a good idea. 🙂
Planning a summer vacation? People are frequently more vulnerable when traveling because a break from their regular routine or encounters with unfamiliar situations often result in less cautious behavior. If this sounds like you or someone you know, these five tips will help you protect yourself and guard your privacy.
- Track that device! Install a device finder or manager on your mobile device in case it’s lost or stolen. Make sure it has remote wipe capabilities and also protects against malware.
- Avoid social media announcements about your travel plans. It’s tempting to share your upcoming vacation plans with family and friends, but consider how this might make you an easy target for local or online thieves. While traveling, avoid using social media to “check in” to airports and consider posting those beautiful photos after you return home. Find out how burglars are using your vacation posts to target you in this infographic.
- Traveling soon? If you’re traveling with a laptop or mobile device, remove or encrypt confidential information. Consider using a laptop or device designated for travel with no personal information, especially when traveling out of the country.
- Limit personal information stored on devices. Use a tool like Identity Finder to locate your personally identifiable information (e.g., SSN, credit card numbers, or bank accounts) on your computer, then secure or remove that information.
- Physically protect yourself and your devices. Use a laptop lock, avoid carrying identification cards, shred sensitive paperwork before you recycle it, and watch out for “shoulder surfers” at the ATM.
These tips can’t protect you from every possible scenario but they will provide some protections and give you ideas for others. The best advice of all … be aware.