Data privacy: It all starts at home

So many of us post, like and share on a regular basis. So much so we often don’t think about how online sharing impacts our offline lives. That’s why Data Privacy Day, celebrated annually on January 28, reminds us that protecting our privacy and personal information starts at home. Here are five tips on becoming more privacy aware.

Secure your accounts
Put “improve account security” at the top of your to-do list. Start with passwords that are long and strong — about 15 characters in length that feature a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. This small step can help keep your personal information safer.

Own your online presence
It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information. To become more privacy aware, consider tightening your device and social media privacy settings, disabling internet “cookies,” and examining a website’s privacy policy before revealing any personal data.

Is this TMI (too much information)?
Are you oversharing? You wouldn’t put a sign on your front lawn advertising your upcoming weeklong family vacation, so ask yourself why would you post your travel plans in advance online? Before you update your status, think about your privacy and home safety, then decide if your post is TMI.

Post only what you would say in real life
It’s difficult to interpret emotion or intent in an online format. Emojis can help, but don’t always “emote” your true feelings. Again, if your privacy settings allow anyone to see your comments, your remarks could be misinterpreted. So, review your privacy settings and follow the golden rule: Only say to others what you would have them say to you.

Think before you act
Be wary of free online offers that implore you to act immediately, promise something that sounds too good to be true or that ask for personal information. Your personal privacy should be worth more than the promise of something you can’t live without.  

The effects of our digital footprint expand much more than we realize.  Take steps today to ensure your data stays private.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
The advice provided is for information purposes only.