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Three tips to reduce data privacy risks

Online phishing attacks and scams are becoming increasingly hard to discern with the naked eye.

Switzerland is famously neutral but it is picking which chat apps its soldiers may use during operations over data protection concerns. — © AFP
Switzerland is famously neutral but it is picking which chat apps its soldiers may use during operations over data protection concerns. — © AFP

As the line between our offline and online lives continues to blur, frequent reminders are required for consumers about safeguarding their data in the face of all-on assault from companies trying to obtain data.

According to the official data privacy website, the overall aim is: “The objective is to sensitize individuals and disseminate privacy practices and principles. It encourages everyone to own their privacy responsibilities to create a culture of privacy.”

In particular this is to make safeguarding personal information a priority. Although people live in an increasingly digital world, most of consumers give little thought to data privacy – at least until after their personal data has been compromised.

Humanity’s increased reliance on digital technologies to manage every facet of life requires a periodic necessity to stop and rethink what is being shared, especially in relation to personal life. It also raises the question about how to protect the more vulnerable information.

This is an important consideration given the extent of phishing attacks and wide-spread data breaches. The regular reports (such as from Digital Journal) show the key threats exist that put people’s important information at risk.

In order to provide advice for keeping data more secure, Lookout, which provides integrated Security, Privacy, and Identity Theft Protection solutions, offers the following advice designed to make sure devices and data remain private while enjoying the best technology has to offer.

The ideas have been provided to Digital Journal by Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions at Lookout.

These recommendations are:

Tip #1: Guarding your personal data & sharing information only when needed

Think twice before you share your personal data. Consider why a company is requesting your email address and what they might do with it before you enter it online. If a store asks for your birth date, driver’s license or phone number, you can decline to share that information.

Tip #2: Staying vigilant about online scams & phishing attacks

Online phishing attacks and scams are becoming increasingly hard to discern with the naked eye; remember that not everything you see online is real. If a text message or email is written with extreme urgency, or asks you to send money or take action regarding your account, stop and go directly to the source to validate whether it is legitimate.

Tip #3: Downloading a dedicated mobile security software to secure against digital threats

This includes software designed to prevent the trio of concern – phishing attacks, malware and identity theft.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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