Sunday, April 8, 2018

Thing 16: Your Digital Footprint

I have to run a diagnostic of how I protect myself against violations of my privacy on the internet. I have to see how well I do at these things:

  • Be very careful giving out personal information to websites that you are unfamiliar with. I consider myself good at this. 
  •  Do not respond to phishing emails. Remember, Banks or Paypal, etc will never ask you to send personal details or to “Click Here” to login. Only ever call them on a number you trust or login into your account on a trusted computer on a secure internet connection that you initiated. I'm well aware of this.  
  • Don’t download illegal software - apart from the legal ramifications - quite often, this software will have backdoors programmed in to allow access to your device or information at a later stage. As a librarian, I have no interest in doing this! I certainly wouldn't knowingly download something illegal. 
  • Be careful when connecting to the internet when out and about. For example, a coffee shop, or bar or airport waiting room. Make sure that you are connecting to a legitimate hot-spot and that it is encrypted. In the public domain there is potential for fake wi-fi hotspots to be set up, such as “freeStudentWiFi” that could steal your information. I wasn't aware of this, but would usually only connect to WiFi in places like libraries and airports where it's fairly clear that it's genuine. 
  • Do read T&C’s of the apps you download so that you can give “informed consent”.  I don't do this but I only use apps if I really need to or for R23. 
  • Be aware online of what you post, both from a defamatory perspective and regarding giving out too much information about yourself or your family. I'm quite aware of this, especially as a librarian. 
  • Educate yourself about the basics of the internet and how it works. This will allow you to become more aware of the risks out there and how to mitigate them if needed. I haven't thought too much about this
  • Do use an alphanumeric password, i.e. characters, numbers a special character. Do not use the same password or a very close derivation for all your accounts. Remember, if I can get access to your email account, I will be able to reset most of your online accounts and take control of them. Change your passwords reasonably often. Hmmm. I'm not the worst but there's certainly room for improvement.
  • Finally, enjoy yourself online but always remember the pictures or content you post could potentially end up in a newspaper / in an ad campaign / looking back at you in a job interview, etc... So be prudent and careful about your digital footprint. Yep, I'm aware of this!

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