Take charge of your private info on Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is Thursday, Jan. 28, and while we at Computing and Information Technology (C&IT) prioritize the security of Wayne State University data every day, we do recommend some best practices you can utilize yourself to stay safe online.

Managing your privacy settings, being mindful of the risks of internet or Bluetooth connected devices, switching to a privacy-protective search engine, and watching what you share on social media are all simple actions you can take to protect your private data.

Manage your privacy settings

Whether it’s your smartphone, laptop computer, or an app that you use regularly, there are privacy settings available for you to customize. Always take a look at privacy settings before granting an app access to your device or before you start accessing important data. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend following guidelines from the National Security Alliance on how to adjust privacy settings for music, online conferencing, photo and video sharing, online shopping, email, food delivery, and more. Learn more at https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/managing-your-privacy/manage-privacy-settings/.

Read those terms and conditions

When you download a new app, you’re asked to accept another lengthy set of terms and conditions, but do you really know what you’re agreeing to? Silent Circle sums it up nicely in their #PrivacyProject video.

Don’t let your connected devices spy on you

All of your devices that connect to the internet — smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, smart thermostats or security cameras, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and more — may be sharing your private info without your knowledge. The Mozilla Foundation rates many of these devices on privacy — check it out before purchasing new devices. Learn more at https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/.

Opt for a more private search engine

While Google is by far the most-used search engine, it is not the most respectful of your privacy. In her article “Google Search alternatives that protect your privacy,” Kim Komando recommends search engines that don’t track your online activity, including StartPage, Ecosia, and DuckDuckGo. Learn how to change your preferred search engine in your web browser at kb.wayne.edu/500308.

Be careful what you share on social media

Action Fraud shows us how the things we share on social media can show up in surprising places.

The Wayne State C&IT Information Security Office is responsible for information security across the university. Learn more about our team at kb.wayne.edu/261730.

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