Data Privacy Week 2023Jan. 4, 2023 / My Data Removal Staff
Data Privacy Week is an international effort to spread awareness about online privacy. My Data Removal is a Data Privacy Week Champion, and we want to use this platform to educate individuals and help them understand that they have the power to manage their data.
Data: The story of you
All your online activity generates a trail of data. Websites, apps, and servicescollect data on your behaviors, interests, and purchases. Sometimes, thisincludes personal data, like your Social Security and driver's license numbers.It can even include data about your physical self, like health data – think abouthow a smartwatch counts and records how many steps you take.
While it's true that you cannot control how each byte of data about you andyour family is shared and processed, you are not helpless! In many cases, youcan control how you share your data with a few simple steps. Remember, yourdata is precious, and you deserve to be selective about who you share it with!
Here are some simple, easy tips that will help you manage your data privacy:
1. Know the tradeoff between privacy and convenience
These day, when you download a new app, open a new online account, or join anew social media platform, you will often be asked to share access to your personalinformation before you can even use it! This data might include your geographiclocation, contacts, and photos.
For these businesses, this personal information about you is tremendouslyvaluable – and you should think about if the service you get in return is worththe data you must hand over, even if the service is free.
Recognize there is always a tradeoff between convenience and privacy. Make informed decisions about sharing your data with businesses or services:
Is the service, app, or game worth the amount or type of personal data theywant in return?
Can you control your data privacy and still use the service?
Is the data requested even relevant for the app or service? For example, does a Solitaire game need to know all my contacts?
If you haven't used an app, service, or account in several months, is it worthkeeping around knowing that it might be collecting and sharing your data?
2. Adjust the settings to your comfort level
For every app, account, or device, check the privacy and security settings.
These should be easy to find in a Settings section and should take a fewmoments to change. Set them to your comfort level for personal informationsharing; generally, we think it's wise to lean on the side of sharing less data, not more.
You don't have to do this for every account at once. Start small, and over timeyou'll make a habit of adjusting all your settings to your comfort.
National Cybersecurity Alliance, the sponsor of Data Privacy Week, has a free resource to help you Manage Your Privacy Settings. If you want to view or manage your privacy and security settings, but don’t know where to find them, start with this link. This is a list of over 100 of the most popular online services, devices, and apps. They include direct links to the privacy and security pages of companies such as Amazon, Apple Music, Capital One, Zoom, Tinder, ProtonMail, Peleton, TikTok, DoorDash, Lyft, Google Maps, AirBnB, Care.com, Xbox, HBO, and many more.
3. Protect your data
Data privacy and data security go hand-in-hand. Along with managing yourdata privacy settings, follow some simple cybersecurity tips to keep it safe.We recommend following the Core 4:
Create long (at least 12 characters), unique passwords for each accountand device. Use a password manager to store each password –maintaining dozens of passwords securely is now easier than ever.
Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever it is permitted – thiskeeps your data safe even if your password is compromised.
Turn on automatic device, software, and browser updates, or make sureyou install updates as soon as they are available.
Learn how to identify phishing messages, which can be sent as emails, texts, or direct messages.
Take advantage of Data Privacy Week this year to improve your digital hygiene. Follow along with us on our socials for more tips, advice, and motivation all week long during Data Privacy Week!
You can also check out the National Cybersecurity Alliance.