Data Privacy Day

It’s Data Privacy Day, so here are a few quick and easy data privacy related activities you can do to protect your identity and finances:

  1. Check your privacy settings on social media: Between Cambridge Analytica, Google +, and many other social media-related hacks, gaffes, and data breaches that have transpired over the last year or two, today is the perfect time to check your accounts and make sure you’re not sharing anything with the public that could expose you to identity theft or worse: Keep answers to your security questions off of Facebook, don’t share upcoming travel plans, and more generally, don’t overshare. The more information you make public, the easier a target you are to hit. 
  2. Close your old accounts: Remember Friendster? MySpace? Do you have an old dating profile you haven’t used in years? Chances are, they’re still out there and providing information about you. Do a little bit of spring cleaning on old accounts you don’t use anymore. If any of them have the same passwords as any current accounts, close those too, while you’re at it. 
  3. Enable 2-Factor Authentication on everything: Because right now at least one archive with the login credentials for 773 million people is online, it’s probably a good idea to connect your online accounts to a cell phone or an authentication app. And if a service doesn’t support 2-Factor Authentication, close it – they’re not taking your security seriously enough. 
  4. Create burner email account for non-essentials: There’s a multitude of ad trackers out there compiling and sharing data on your browsing history, as well as your purchases both on- and offline. Creating separate email accounts for your online shopping can provide a modicum of separation and privacy. It’s not foolproof, but it’s a free and easy way to split the data that you’re unwittingly providing online.