Today is Data Privacy Day, an international day of recognition to promote best practices in safeguarding data and respecting privacy.

There’s a lot of talk in the news about new privacy laws and the rights of individuals.  While many businesses are taking a look at their practices and privacy policies, there are also several organizations under fire for real or perceived violations of individuals’ privacy.

Recognize that you do have to give up some private information in order to have some of the conveniences you may enjoy.  You can’t get “local deal alerts” or “check in” on your phone unless you allow the device to know your location.  You can’t get local weather from your smart home speaker, unless you are willing to share your address with the owning company.  And you can’t get special offers on your favorite products without sharing your preferences.

But in many cases, you do have control of the data you choose to share.  Here are three things you can do today to celebrate Data Privacy Day and help take control of YOUR data privacy.

1. Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication

Privacy and security aren’t exactly the same thing, but they are related. Using multi-factor authentication is absolutely necessary on things like your financial accounts, in order to protect you from fraud. However, it’s also a good idea to secure your email and social media accounts, so your personal information isn’t exposed.

2. Review Your Privacy Settings

You read all those privacy policies for every site where you set up an account, right? It’s easy to just ignore or gloss over those long legalistic policies, but take a few moments to read them and make sure you really do understand and agree with how the company can use your data. Often, they also give information on how you can limit the data you share. Spend a little time today to examine and update your privacy settings, and take control of your data. Not sure where to find the privacy and security settings? Check out this great resource with links to change privacy settings on many popular services and devices.

3. Delete Recorded Conversations

Most personal assistants keep records of your queries and requests. There have been instances where personal data was inadvertently revealed to a person other than the device owner. While most of these recordings are innocuous, it’s a little creepy to think about, and all these little snippets of information could be collated and become a bigger privacy issue. Take a few minutes and clean your digital house today by deleting those recordings, and make sure you’re comfortable with how long the recordings are kept. This Consumer Reports article provides information on how to control what’s heard and recorded on the “big three” devices, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and the Google Assistant.

You can learn more about Data Privacy Day at StaySafeOnline.org.

Take action today, and Own Your Privacy!

 

Milepost 42 is proud to be a Data Privacy Day Champion.

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