National Data Privacy Day
The internet is a great tool for learning, staying connected with friends and family, and so much more. However, it's important to be aware of how to guard yourself against people who want to steal your personal information. Following these tips and tricks can help keep you and your information safe online.
Your personal information is valuable. Protect it.
- Lock your devices, like your tablet and phone: You lock the front door to your house, and you should do the same with your devices. Use strong passwords or passcodes to lock your tablet and phone. Securing your devices keeps prying eyes out and can help protect your information in case your devices are lost or stolen.
- Think before you act: Ignore emails or communications that create a sense of urgency and require you to respond to a crisis, such as a problem with your bank account or taxes. This type of message is likely a scam.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Clicking on links in emails are often how bad guys get access to personal information. If an email looks weird, even if you know the person who sent it, it’s best to delete.
- Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
- Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
- Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
Share with care.
- What you post will last forever: Be aware that when you post a picture or message online, you may also be inadvertently sharing personal details with strangers about yourself and family members ‒ like where you live.
- Post only about others as you would like to have them post about you: The golden rule applies online as well.
- Own your online presence: It’s OK to limit who can see your information and what you share. Learn about and use privacy and security settings on your favorite websites.