Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich encourages Arizonans to use National Data Privacy Day (January 28, 2015) as a time to review their personal information and their digital footprint. Data Privacy Day began in the United States in 2009 to promote awareness about privacy and education about best privacy practices. Today, Data Privacy Day continues to be recognized in more than thirty countries.
“Technology continues to change how we communicate and how we conduct business. Many of us conduct business and personal communications over our computers and mobile devices which store and send vast amounts of personal information. Data Privacy Day is a good time to remind Arizonans to review best practices to protect their privacy and guard against possible criminals who may try to steal personal information,” said Attorney General Brnovich.
Attorney General Brnovich offers the following reminders and safety tips to consumers and businesses:
- Never give out any personal information, such as Social Security or credit card number, in response to an unsolicited e-mail, telephone call, text message or other communication from unknown senders. If the e-mail or call claims to be from a company you do business with, call them first to confirm the contact is legitimate. If not, do not provide information or click on links within the suspect e-mail.
- Be cautious about sharing your travel plans on social media. Some thieves search social media and target empty houses. For more tips on social media posts, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/privacy-tips/
- Read and understand privacy settings on social networking sites to make sure your information is shared with only those you intend to share information with. If you’re not sure what privacy settings apply, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/check-your-privacy-settings/
- Lock your cellphones with a security code. Up to one-third of cell phone users do not lock their phones.
- Protect your WiFi network with a password. Criminals can use an unprotected network to steal your personal information and even commit crimes that will appear to be attributed to your home or business.
- Protect all hardware (computer, mobile devices, gaming stations, etc.) with up-to-date anti-virus, anti-malware, software, firewalls and browsers.
- Back up all computer files regularly.
- Use strong passwords for your computer, mobile devices and gaming stations. Create unique passwords for all of your accounts. Use 10-12 characters in a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols.
- Keep mobile security software current. Most software programs will automatically update versions of their program to protect it from risks. If available, turn "On" automatic updates.
- Smart phones and some digital cameras have information embedded where users share photos. Photos can also provide the time, date, latitude and longitude of where the photo is taken. Information contained in photos may unknowingly allow others to know exact locations of users; as well as habits and social patterns. Check the options/settings on the mobile device to see if your phone shares location information, if you’re not sure.
- When using mobile devices in a WiFi Hot Spot, turn on security settings and firewalls.
- Adjust the security settings on mobile devices to limit who can access information.
For more information and tips to protect yourself online, please visit our website or visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0038-onguardonline.